Election of Vice Chairman

We have one item of business to attend to before we go into private session, which is the election of a Vice Chairman.

I nominate Deputy Durkan.

I second that nomination.

Are there any other nominations?

I nominate Senator Higgins.

Is there a seconder? No.

It would not be the first vote I have lost.

Two names have been put forward, namely, those of Deputy Durkan and Senator Higgins.

Senator Higgins is speaking in the Seanad at the moment.

I suggest that, as we have both the joint committee and the select committee, we elect Deputy Durkan and that Senator Higgins agrees to work with us on a joint committee basis. Members can decide.

For clarity, because I am new, what does the Chairman mean by on a joint committee basis?

The select committee that deals with legislation is made up of Deputies only and general business is done by the joint committee, which includes Senators.

I think that is reasonable and a good compromise.

Is what I have proposed agreed?

It is agreed. During the committee's previous term of four or five years, former Senator Gerry Horkan was Vice Chairman and so was Deputy Peter Burke. They managed that quite well because we sometimes had to go to the Chamber for votes, the Seanad might be sitting or whatever. It works well. They would share their pay and expenses as well. I declare both Deputy Durkan and Senator Higgins to be elected as Vice Chairmen.

The joint committee went into private session at 2.03 p.m. and resumed in public session at 3.32 p.m.