The role of the Leas-Chathaoirleach

Immediately after the election of the Cathaoirleach, the Seanad fixes a date for the election of a deputy Chairman, who is designated and addressed as the Leas-Chathaoirleach. The term of the Leas-Chathaoirleach is the term of the Seanad existing at the time of his or her election. The Seanad may, however, at any time, by resolution of which seven clear days’ notice of motion has been given, remove the Leas-Chathaoirleach from office.

During the absence of the Cathaoirleach through illness or other cause, the Leas-Chathaoirleach performs the duties devolving upon and exercise the authority conferred upon the Cathaoirleach by the Standing Orders of Seanad Éireann. While the Leas-Chathaoirleach is in the Chair he or she performs the duties devolved upon, and exercises the authority conferred upon, the Cathaoirleach by Standing Orders.

The Leas-Chathaoirleach is an ex officio Chairman of the Committee on Procedure and Privileges (Seanad Éireann), which considers matters of procedure generally and recommends any additions or amendments to the Standing Orders. The committee may also consider and report to the House as to Members' privileges.