Oireachtas Joint and Select Committees
Tuesday, 4 October 2016
Joint Oireachtas Committee on European Union Affairs
Election of Vice Chairman
I thank my proposer and the members who voted for me. I thank the Chairman for his remarks. I will be delighted to work with him and all members. Deputy Bernard Durkan and I are long-serving members of this committee. Deputy Durkan has served as Chairman, Vice Chairman and member.
I know Deputy Michael Healy-Rae will be very effective in his role as Chairman because of his vast experience. I am particularly interested in this role because I was appointed by the then Taoiseach, Charles Haughey as the negotiator during the negotiations on the Single European Act from 1989 to 1992. I was dealing with those who were negotiating on behalf of the British Government at that time and we worked very well together.
As a Senator I will have more time than most Deputies to devote to this committee. I think that on a joint committee it is a good idea that the Chairman is a Member of the Dáil , which I support, but it is appropriate that the Vice Chairman is a Member of the Seanad. As far as this Oireachtas is concerned, both Houses have equal status and this is a step in the right direction in that regard.
I look forward to working with the very experienced Deputy Durkan. Let me assure members that like the Chairman, I will be totally impartial when called to take the Chair. I know I will not be called too often to take the Chair.