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Sorry Pat, the Ceann Comhairle says he's in it until the end

Suggestions that Pat Rabbitte could replace Seán Barrett have been shot down.

SEÁN BARRETT SAYS he’s going nowhere following media reports that the Labour Party were lining up Pat Rabbitte as a potential replacement.

The Irish Times reported this morning that Labour sources said they were keen to install one of their own in the position and that Rabbitte was seen as one possibility.

pr sb It looks like Seán Barrett will see out his term as Ceann Comhairle. Source: Photocall Ireland

But such as situation has been ruled out after Barrett’s office quashed any idea that he may step down ahead of the next General Election:

We wish to clarify that contrary to newspaper reports, the Ceann Comhairle intends to complete his term in office and so does not intend departing his post before the end of the current Dáil. Amongst a number of priorities, the Ceann Comhairle has work he wishes to complete in his wider role as chairman of the Oireachtas Commission.

Barrett’s position as Ceann Comhairle means he can return to the Dáil without being elected next time round but there had been suggestions that Barrett would step down so as not to avail of the free run. This statement would appear to rule out that decision.

Barrett has endured a difficult tenure as Ceann Comhaile of late with both Sinn Féin and the Technical Group considering a motion of no confidence in him.

Sinn Féin’s disagreements with Barrett came to ahead when Mary Lou McDonald staged a sit-in in the chamber and was suspended. Barrett has claimed that Sinn Féin used him as a “pawn to deflect attention” from controversies they were involved in.

Today’s clarification that he will not be stepping down comes after Fianna Fáil an others had called on him to end speculation.

“This ongoing conjecture surrounding the post of the Ceann Comhairle is deeply worrying,” Fianna Fáil’s Seán Ó Fearghaíl had said.

Read: It looks like this man could be facing a motion of no confidence pretty soon >

Read: Gerry Adams wants Sean Barrett to meet with him over ongoing issues >

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Rónán Duffy

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