Committee chairmanships announced


The Government has announced the 17 Coalition TDs who will chair Oireachtas Committees and pick up €1.7 million in extra pay over the next five years.

The list includes former Minister Mary O'Rourke, Independent Jackie Healy Rae and two junior ministers previously sacked by Taoiseach Bertie Ahern - Frank Fahey and Noel Treacy.

Each chairman receives an annual stipend of €20,000 on top of their Dail salaries while deputy chairmen each pocket an extra €10,000.

Vice chairmen appointed from the Government benches include former Northern Ireland advisor Martin Mansergh, new Clare TD Timmy Dooley, wheelchair user Sean Connick and the Taoiseach's Dublin Central colleague Cyprian Brady.

The controversial Committee on Implementation of the Good Friday Agreement will be chaired by Noel Treacy with first-time TD Eamon Scanlon as his deputy.

Former Independent TD Niall Blaney was rewarded for joining Fianna Fail with the co-chair job on the British Irish Inter Parliamentary Body.

The Green Party's first committee chairmanship goes to Paul Gogarty for Education and Science while Ciaran Cuffe was appointed vice chairman for the Economic and Regulatory Affairs Committee.

Earlier, Fine Gael announced that former front bench spokesman Bernard Allen would chair the high-profile Public Accounts Committee while Bernard Durkan got European Affairs.

Sligo TD John Perry will chair the EU Scrutiny Committee while Sean Barrett will oversee the Climate Change and Energy Security Committee.

Fine Gael also received vice chairman position on six other committees.

Labour TD Willie Penrose will chair the Enterprise, Trade and Employment Committee.

Other Fianna Fail TDs to get chairman positions included Michael Woods, Peter Power, Michael Finneran, Noel O'Flynn, Johnny Brady, MJ Nolan, John Cregan, Sean Fleming, John Moloney, Barry Andrews, Sean Ardagh and Michael Moynihan.

There was no position for returning Fianna Fail TD Beverly Flynn who had been tipped for a vice-chair role.