Social Democrats co-leader considers run for Ceann Comhairle post

Catherine Murphy weighing up standing for position when Dáil convenes on Thursday

Kildare North TD Catherine Murphy’s potential move  indicates that the party, who now have six TDs, are likely to remain in Opposition. Photograph: Collins

Kildare North TD Catherine Murphy’s potential move indicates that the party, who now have six TDs, are likely to remain in Opposition. Photograph: Collins

 

Social Democrats co-leader Catherine Murphyis considering standing for the post of Ceann Comhairle of the Dáil as party sources said they are unlikely to enter government.

Ms Murphy, a Kildare North TD, is said by party sources to be weighing up standing for the position when the 33rd Dáil sits for the first time this Thursday.

Her consideration of standing for the post will be seen as an indication that the Social Democrats, who now have six TDs, are likely to remain in Opposition in the 33rd Dáil.

Some party sources said the Social Democrats are unlikely to enter a coalition that has Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael as its senior partners. Others, however, cautioned that it is “too soon to come to those conclusions”. The party is understood to be meeting Taoiseach Leo Varadkar on Tuesday.

Fianna Fáil’s Seán Ó Fearghaíl, Ceann Comhairle in the last Dáil, is putting himself forward for re-election. Other names mentioned include Independent Roscommon TD Denis Naughten and Fine Gael Kildare North TD Bernard Durkan.

Nominations for the position close at 6pm on Wednesday evening. A statement from the Houses of the Oireachtas said: “The election of Ceann Comhairle is conducted in two parts. First, he or she will be selected by way of a secret ballot, which will take place under the supervision and direction of the Clerk of the Dáil. Once selected by secret ballot, the Ceann Comhairle is formally elected by an open vote in the Dáil.”

Anyone standing for the position must get seven TDs to sign their nomination papers. TDs can only nominate one person for Ceann Comhairle. Once nominations close on Wednesday, ballot papers will be prepared for Thursday’s Dáil sitting. Voting in the election for the Ceann Comhairle takes place under proportional representation/single transferable vote.