Seán Barrett may resign as Ceann Comhairle before election

Minister for Communications Alex White to stand in Dublin Rathdown

 

Ceann Comhairle Seán Barrett said he may resign from his position and return to the Fine Gael backbenches before the next general election.

Mr Barrett said he would not like to retire from politics as Ceann Comhairle and may decide against taking the free run available to holders of his office.

If he were to resign as Ceann Comhairle and subsequently retire as a TD, Fine Gael might also have to find a replacement candidate in Dún Laoghaire.

South Dublin

Dublin South

Mr Barrett ruled out taking on a second term as Ceann Comhairle but said he had yet to decide if he would retire from politics at the next election. “The only reason I’d step down is that I felt I’d like to spend some time back on the backbenches to get involved more and that’s if I decide I wasn’t going to stand or avail of the free run,” he said. “That’s a decision I have to take. I wouldn’t like to leave here without having the experience of saying what I thought about certain things. And I can do that on the backbenches.”

Next election

Richard Boyd BarrettEamon GilmoreLabour

Former Fianna Fáil minister Mary Hanafin, a councillor on Dún Laoghaire Rathdown County Council, is also competing for her party’s nomination in the constituency.

Ms Hanafin was involved in a high-profile row with party headquarters over her local elections candidacy earlier this year and while Fianna Fáil has held numerous selection conventions in recent weeks, the Dún Laoghaire ticket is expected to be one of the last to be finalised.

Meanwhile, Minister for Communications Alex White also said he will stand in Dublin Rathdown, ending speculation that he might switch to neighbouring Dublin South-West, which goes from a four- to a five-seater.