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Reform Alliance members want appointments to Oireachtas committees

They’ve got speaking time but they want more…

Peter Mathews and Lucinda Creigton.
Peter Mathews and Lucinda Creigton.
Image: Laura Hutton / Photocall Ireland

MEMBERS OF THE newly-formed Reform Alliance have put down a motion calling for additional places to be added to certain Oireachtas committees.

The self-labelled ‘exiled’ members of Fine Gael have looked for appointments to specific groups in a motion set out in today’s Order Paper.

TD Denis Naughten told TheJournal.ie last night that they want the government to follow the example of the Ceann Comhairle and provide members not aligned to any particular political grouping a place on the committees.

In a surprise move, Seán Barrett granted the 12 TDs who have lost the Labour and Fine Gael party whip since taking office speaking time on government business for this Dáil session.

It was a development welcomed by the Reform Alliance, which includes Lucinda Creighton, Peter Mathews, Terence Flanagan and Billy Timmins, as well as Naughten.

The motion put down today – but which the TDs cannot actually move – asks for five committees to be expanded by one place each.

Creighton is seeking an appointment to the Committee on Public Accounts, while Mathews would like his place back on the Finance, Public Expenditure and Reform Committee.

Timmins has looked to be appointed to the Foreign Affairs and Trade group and Flanagan wants on the Environment, Culture and Gaeltacht Committee.

Finally, Naughten has sought a place on the Agriculture Committee.

It will ultimately be the government’s decision if the requests will be granted.

It is understood the decision to grant Dáil speaking rights to the group was taken solely by the Ceann Comhairle. It came in the wake of reported disagreements between Barrett and government over a lack of consultation on Dáil reform proposals announced last week and a row over the appointment of a new clerk of Dáil Éireann to succeed to the retired Kieran Coughlan.

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Related: ‘Exiled’ party members granted speaking rights in Dáil

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