Pattison favoured for Dail

 

THE Labour TD for Carlow, Mr Seamus Pattison, has emerged as one of the front runners for the job of Ceann Comhairle in the 28th Dail.

Mr Pattison, who has been a Deputy since 1961, is now the "father of the House" and would face no Labour Party leadership objections should the incoming Government offer him the post.

The election of Ceann Comhairle is the first task awaiting the 28th Dail when it meets on Thursday next.

After the election, the Government needs 83 seats to form a working majority.

The selection of a Ceann Comhairle from the Opposition benches would ease the Fianna Fail/Progressive Democrats voting situation, given their numerical strength of 81 seats.

Fine Gael has already indicated total opposition to allowing one off its deputies taking the job but this has not prevented speculation that Mr Jim Mitchell, Mr Austin Deasy and Ms Frances Fitzgerald would be regarded by the new coalition as potential candidates for the task.

The post carries an annual salary of over £80,000, a State car and automatic reelection to the Dail.