Dáil debates

Wednesday, 9 March 2011

12:00 pm

Photo of Micheál MartinMicheál Martin (Leader of the Opposition; Cork South Central, Fianna Fail)

Ba mhaith liom, ar son Fhianna Fáil, tacú le ceapachán Seán Ó Bairéid mar Cheann Comhairle. Cinneadh an-mhaith atá ann.

On behalf of the Fianna Fáil Party, I wish to support the nomination of Deputy Seán Barrett for the position of Ceann Comhairle. During his years in the House, the Deputy has been viewed by those on all sides as a committed and fair parliamentarian. In the often unruly exchanges which have taken place in the House from time to time, his has been a rather restrained voice.

In view of the fact that the incoming Government will have the largest majority in the history of the State, Deputy Barrett will have a central role to play in protecting the ability of those in opposition to have their voices heard and in ensuring that said Government will be held to account. Even though the Deputy is a senior member of what will be the major party in Government, we on this side of the House have no doubt that he will be an impartial Chair.

I also believe Deputy Barrett will be a good person to preside over what should be a fundamental reform of how the House does its business. Given that almost all parties made promises in their election manifestos regarding the way in which the Ceann Comhairle is elected, this should be the final occasion on which the current model relating to his or her election will be employed. While a constitutional change may be required, the move to a system of election of the Ceann Comhairle by secret ballot is something which my party would advocate because it would assist in further strengthening the independence of the Parliament.

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