8 Apr 2020, 17.27

At its meeting today the Business Committee considered proposals from the Houses of the Oireachtas Service Business Continuity Working Group regarding alternative venues for sittings of Dáil Eireann. The context of those proposals was the necessity to maintain social distancing during the current Covid-19 pandemic vis-à-vis occasions on which it would be necessary for all members of Dáil Éireann to be present together and voting on significant Parliamentary occasions such as the Election of An Taoiseach.

The Working Group considered 13 venues and proposed that the Convention Centre was the best choice when considering both size, availability and cost.

Speaking after today’s meeting, Ceann Comhairle and Chair of the Business Committee Seán Ó Fearghaíl TD said: "Following a detailed discussion and consideration of the proposals and costings presented to us today, we have agreed that the Convention Centre is the most appropriate venue available which will allow the 159 democratically elected members of Dáil Éireann to meet and vote on the election of Taoiseach. The Committee envisages that other sessions of Dáil Éireann will continue to meet in Leinster House with restricted numbers present. We wish to thank the management and staff of the Convention Centre for their cooperation in enabling this to happen."

ENDS

Note to Editors

Detailed costs will not be available until after the sitting. However, costs will be approx. €50k for a sitting day, with initial €110k once-off set up costs primarily relating to equipping the CCD auditorium with mics for use as a Chamber, and also broadcasting costs. There is no cost for the hire of the venue.

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