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Independent TDs agree terms to gain Dáil speaking rights

Technical Group has named the three TDs which will use its speaking time in the 31st Dáil.

Joe Higgins of the Socialist Party and United Left Alliance is one of three nominated to speak for the technical group..
Joe Higgins of the Socialist Party and United Left Alliance is one of three nominated to speak for the technical group..
Image: Niall Carson/PA Wire

AN AGREEMENT HAS BEEN reached to create a technical group in the 31st Dáil, comprised of a group of disparate Independent TDs.

RTÉ reports that Shane Ross, Finian McGrath and Joe Higgins have been named as the group’s recognised speakers, which means they will rotate the opportunity to pose questions during Leader’s Questions.

Shane Ross said that speaking rights would be divided among the group.

Just three Independents refused to join the group of 16 members: Michael Healy-Rae, Michael Lowry and Noel Grealish.

RTÉ’s Fergal Keane said on the Drivetime programme that those three would be supporting Fine Gael and are expecting to get some speaking rights in return for that support. They had supported the Fianna Fáil/Green Party coalition government in the last Dáil.

The group had to be made up of at least ten TDs in order to qualify for speaking rights, but every member is not entitled to speak and the group had to nominate three members to take its speaking time.

The 31st Dáil will assemble for the first time tomorrow afternoon, when Enda Kenny will be put forward as nominee for Taoiseach. If elected Taoiseach, Kenny is expected to name his cabinet later tomorrow.

Read: How tomorrow’s Dáil proceedings will work >

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