Ceann Comhairle hopeful on ‘substantial’ reforms in next Dáil sitting

Seán Ó Fearghaíl to chair reform committee of 15 deputies from various parties

 Ceann Comhairle Seán Ó Fearghaíl: “I hope that at our first meeting on Wednesday we will quickly agree a number of substantial reforms that could be brought to the House for agreement on 6th April,” he said. Photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

Ceann Comhairle Seán Ó Fearghaíl: “I hope that at our first meeting on Wednesday we will quickly agree a number of substantial reforms that could be brought to the House for agreement on 6th April,” he said. Photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

 

Ceann Comhairle Seán Ó Fearghaíl has said he is hopeful substantial reforms can be put in place when the Dáil sits again on April 6th.

The first meeting of the Dáil reform committee takes place today and Mr Ó Fearghaíl said he had read all 22 submissions. There was a “substantial amount of commonality” in the proposals for change.

“I hope that at our first meeting on Wednesday we will quickly agree a number of substantial reforms that could be brought to the House for agreement on 6th April,” he said.

The Ceann Comhairle will chair the committee of 15 members, whose names he confirmed in the Dáil as: Regina Doherty, Eoghan Murphy and David Stanton of Fine Gael; Thomas Byrne, Eamon Ó Cuív and Darragh O’Brien of Fianna Fáil; Louise O’Reilly and Aengus O Snodaigh of Sinn Féin; Brendan Howlin of Labour; Catherine Murphy of the Social Democrats; Paul Murphy of PBP-AAA; Independent Thomas Pringle; Shane Ross of the Independent Alliance; and Eamon Ryan of the Green Party.

In a two-sentence update on talks on the formation of a new government, acting Taoiseach Enda Kenny had earlier said: “The issues of the nomination of a taoiseach and the formation of a government will be addressed at the next sitting of the House on 6th April.”

Exchanges

During exchanges on the ordering of Dáil business, Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams said it was only the second Dáil sitting in 47days and standing orders should be suspended to allow debate on issues such as water charges. Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin accused Sinn Féin of “showboating”.

Independent John Halligan asked: “What is the point of being here at all if we are just going to talk about homelessness, unemployment agriculture and migration . . . and not even be in a position to vote on them or make a decision on them?”

However, the Mr Fearghaíl said the House had spoken about reform for 40 years. “Tomorrow we are going to meet and I hope begin the process of reform,” he added.