Regina Doherty defends Fine Gael’s position on Leas Ceann Comhairle
Chief Whip says that ‘at no stage’ was any election for role due to be taken on Thursday
Fine Gael has been criticised for seeking to re-open nominations for the position because it missed the deadline.
Government Chief Whip Regina Doherty has defended Fine Gael’s position on the election of the Leas Ceann Comhairle.
The party has been criticised for seeking to re-open nominations for the position because it missed the deadline.
However in a letter to the party whips last night, Ms Doherty said: “At no stage was any election for the Leas Ceann Comhairle scheduled to be taken during Government time this Thursday.
“Due to a misunderstanding regarding this the Oireachtas, believing the election to be on the agenda for the following Thursday, sent an email to all Opposition Whips on Thursday the 12th May seeking nominations by close of business the next day.
“I was not included in this email and proceeded to seek potential nominations for the post from the members of the Parliamentary Party and included it on the agenda for our next Parliamentary Party meeting.This could not have been done within the 24 hours provided which was not sufficient.”
Ms Doherty said there has been no effort to postpone a vote but “rather a misunderstanding regarding the day this would be taken”.
The party’s whips are to meet at 10am on Thursday to discuss the dispute.
‘There are currently three nominees, Pat ‘The Cope’ Gallagher, Independent Mattie McGrath and Sinn Féin’s Sean Crowe.
The issue was discussed at the Fine Gael parliamentary party meeting on Wednesday night.
TDs expressed concern that Fianna Fáil may secure the positions of Ceann Comhairle and Leas Ceann Comhairle.