Advice sought on 'Oireachtas TV' plan

Tue, Feb 14, 2012, 00:00

The Houses of the Oireachtas service is seeking a consultant to advise it on the viability of creating a channel dedicated to broadcasting proceedings from the Dáil and Seanad chambers.

The service has put out a tender seeking to engage an independent expert “to advise and assist” on matters relating to the establishment and operation of a parliamentary television channel.

The winning candidate will be tasked with advising on the options available to the Houses of the Oireachtas service, identifying opportunities and assisting in the preparation of a business case.

Ceann Comhairle Seán Barrett said last month that he was keen to see a dedicated TV channel, similar to BBC Parliament, broadcasting Leinster House proceedings to the population at large by the end of this year.

He also said he wanted to see improved language and better-dressed deputies in the Dáil.

Mr Barrett said he was keen to update the list of words banned in the Dáil – which includes buffoon, chancer, communist, corner boy, fascist, guttersnipe, hypocrite, scumbag, scurrilous and yahoo – for the first time since 2006.

This follows the use of obscenities, which are not on the list, in the chamber by Independent TD Mattie McGrath and former Green Party TD Paul Gogarty in recent years.

Mr Barrett has also proposed that male deputies would have to wear a jacket and a shirt with a collar but ties would be optional.