Maureen O’Sullivan, Andrew Doyle eye Ceann Comhairle post

Independent and Fine Gael TDs to consult supporters before making decisions known

Fine Gael TD Andrew Doyle (left) and Independent TD Maureen O’Sullivan (right) are to consult  supporters before making their decisions known on Tuesday on whether to run for  Ceann Comhairle. Photographs: Dave Meehan/Gareth Chaney

Fine Gael TD Andrew Doyle (left) and Independent TD Maureen O’Sullivan (right) are to consult supporters before making their decisions known on Tuesday on whether to run for Ceann Comhairle. Photographs: Dave Meehan/Gareth Chaney

 

Fine Gael TD Andrew Doyle and Independent TD Maureen O’Sullivan are both poised to run for the position of Ceann Comhairle.

Mr Doyle and Ms O’Sullivan are to consult their supporters before making their decisions known on Tuesday.

Mr Doyle is said to have the support of two Fine Gael Ministers for the position and will seek support from his colleagues at a parliamentary party meeting on Wednesday.

Fine Gael will not support any single candidate in the election, which will take place when the Dáil resumes on Thursday.

Waterford TD John Deasy said he has not made up his mind yet but it is understood he is leaning towards not running.

There has been concern in Fine Gael that the election has become a party political decision, with Fianna Fáil and Sinn Féin both proposing a candidate.

Fianna Fáil TD Seán Ó Fearghaíl was chosen as the party’s candidate at a parliamentary party meeting on Monday afternoon.

The Kildare South TD was selected by the members over Brendan Smith, Michael Moynihan and Pat “the Cope” Gallagher.

Political divide

Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin said Mr Ó Fearghaíl was well-respected across the political divide.

Ms O’Sullivan has indicated she will be putting her name forward for the position and is said to have the support of a number of Independents.

“It would be very historic to have a first female Ceann Comhairle. It would have to be part of an overall reform agenda.”

Sinn Féin’s Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin is also in the running to replace incumbent Seán Barrett of Fine Gael, who has said he is not interested in retaining the post.

The election of a Ceann Comhairle is the first business for the new Dáil before it moves on to deal with the election of a Taoiseach. The post will be filled by secret ballot using the single transferable vote system.

Nominations must be received by the clerk of the Dáil not later than 6pm on Wednesday - the day before the new Dáil meets.

Nominees need the supporting signatures of at least seven other TDs. Deputies can only nominate one candidate.