Election of Ceann Comhairle (Resumed)

Item No. 4 is the nomination of Taoiseach and I will receive nominations-----

Ba mhaith liom rud éigin a rá fút, a Cheann Comhairle.

Go raibh maith agat, a Thaoisigh.

Nóiméad amháin, más maith leat.

Ceart go leor.

Ba mhaith liom mo chomhghairdeas a dhéanamh leat tar éis duit a bheith tofa mar Cheann Comhairle. Is é seo an chéad uair ó bunaíodh an Stát gur toghadh Ceann Comhairle cosúil leat le vóta rúnda neamhspleách ó chuile Theachta atá anseo. Is é sin an fáth go bhfuil cumhacht níos difriúla agat mar Cheann Comhairle ná mar a bhí ag duine ar bith eile sa ról sin riamh. Tréaslaím leat as ucht é sin. Agus tú a bheith tofa mar Cheann Comhairle, labhair tú faoi na hiarrthóirí eile a bhí san fheachtas seo. Tá mé thar a bheith buíoch díot, a Cheann Comhairle, go mbeidh tú mar stiúrthóir ar choiste uile-pháirtí na Dála ar fad, agus iadsan gan pháirtí san áireamh, a dhéanfaidh scrúdú ar an athrú gnó gur féidir linn cur i bhfeidhm anseo sa Dáil, i dtreo is go mbeidh glacadh níos doimhne ag chuile Theachta ó thaobh stiúradh na Dála, ó thaobh gnó na Dála, ó thaobh díospóireachta sa Dáil aguis ó thaobh an dualgais a bheidh ar chuile dhuine as seo amach glacadh leis an obair atá ar siúl anseo.

It is really important in a changed political landscape that you are the first Ceann Comhairle since the foundation of the State to draw your authority from the vote by secret ballot of all the Members of this Chamber. In itself, that is an historic change in what is now an historic and changed landscape. I value greatly the fact that the Members of the House agree that you should chair and direct, with your independence and your voted authority, the standing committee that can deal with the many queries and proposals that parties and independent Deputies have in regard to the way in which we do our business here. I assure the Ceann Comhairle that in so far as the Government and the Government Members are concerned, we will comply with his rulings. We will work with you as Ceann Comhairle and will work diligently in what is a changed political landscape to make the business of the House far more meaningful and engaging but also to develop and deliver a far more responsible accountability on all the Members in the work we must do here. Congratulations again, a Sheáin, a chara; tá tú ann le fada an lá. Good luck to you in your term as Ceann Comhairle. I hope it is all as calm, benign, serene and exciting as it is here today. I wish you, your wife and family good fortune in the time ahead.

I thank the Taoiseach for his kind remarks.

I dtús báire, a Cheann Comhairle, ba mhaith liom comhghairdeas a dhéanamh leat as ucht a bheith tofa don oifig thábhachtach seo. Ta sé soiléir dúinn gur lá stairiúil agus ócáid stairiúil é seo. Tá gach uile dhuine sa Teach seo sásta a chuid nó a cuid tacaíochta a thabhairt duit, a Cheann Comhairle, agus vóta rúnda a bhí i gceist ó thosach. Níl aon amhras orm ach go mbeidh tú in ann cothrom na Féinne a thabhairt do gach éinne sa Teach seo mar dhuine cumasach a bheidh toilteanach bunathruithe ar an gcóras a chur i bhfeidhm, go háirithe bunathruithe maidir leis an ngaol idir an Rialtas agus an Pharlaimint. Is é sin an rud is tábhachtaí ar fad. Tá a fhios agam go dtuigeann tú é sin agus go bhfuil tú sásta déileáil linn go léir chun na bunathruithe sin a chur i bhfeidhm agus a thabhairt isteach.

A Cheann Comhairle, I congratulate you warmly on your selection and indeed your family, namely, your wife Mary Clare and Caoimhe, Nessa, Aoife and Eoghan because they have toiled and worked with you in many elections. It is a momentous occasion for them that you have reached this historic office in such an historic way with a secret ballot and then through unanimous declaration and acclamation from the House itself. You are a committed and skilled parliamentarian and always have been, as well as a person with a strong social conscience who is committed to the issues of housing, agriculture and many others. I believe you will bring an open and accommodating style to the House and given the skill sets you have, you are ideally positioned to grasp the historic opportunity that presents itself in respect of altering the fundamental relationship between the Executive and the Parliament. This is essentially what the people want and require. You now enjoy the confidence of the full House and I believe you will bring those skill sets to bear and that by the end of its term, the 32nd Dáil will be a much different place than it was at the outset. A Cheann Comhairle, I simply will quote your opening remarks to the House this afternoon when you stated you will serve the Members as opposed to being a slave of the system and of that, I have no doubt.

I thank Deputy Micheál Martin.

Ar an gcéad dul síos, ba mhaith liom comhghairdeas a dhéanamh leat féin agus le do chlann. I also wish to take a moment to thank the outgoing Ceann Comhairle, Deputy Barrett, for all his work during the past five years and to congratulate all those who offered themselves as candidates in what has been a first for the Dáil, namely, the election by secret ballot of the Ceann Comhairle. I know you, as a politician, to be a man of decency and integrity who is dedicated to the public interest and to that of your constituents. It would appear from reading the tallies that not only did you attract the support of your own party, but you also attracted significant support from other parties and most likely from Independents in the House.

I express good wishes to you. As the chairperson and speaker of this Parliament, it will be a productive Parliament under your guidance. We have a large national agenda with which to proceed and it will fall to you to steer the reform process I think everyone has agreed is required in respect of the workings of the Dáil and its relationship with the Executive. We must also look to outcomes that are good for people and that help to generate greater improvements not just in the workings of the Dáil but in the outcomes for the people of this Republic.

Thank you, Tánaiste. Your remarks are appreciated.

Déanaim mo chomhghairdeas leat, a Cheann Comhairle, faoi do cheapachán ag an Dáil. Is onóir mhór duit agus dod' theaghlach. Táim cinnte go ndéanfaidh tú do dhícheall do chuid ghnó a dhéanamh go cruinn agus é sin ina iomlán. Ar mo shon féin agus ar son Shinn Féin, ach go háirithe ar son an Teachta Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin, déanaim ár gcomhghairdeas leat. Gabhaim mo bhuíochas leis an Teachta Seán Barrett, arís ar mo shon féin agus ar son an Teachta Mary Lou McDonald.

I have no doubt your job will be a difficult one. There are deeply divisive issues that have yet to be tackled by this Dáil. We will give you every support and I look forward to working with you as does our enlarged team. As you said in your opening remarks, I am sure you will ensure every single Teachta Dála will be given his or her right to argue the mandate that has sent us here on behalf of the people we represent. I also look forward to you bringing back reforms in your capacity as Ceann Comhairle and that you will chair a sub-committee that will deal with Dáil reform. That should be done smartly. It should be done within the next two or three weeks. It should not wait as other things may wait. We will give you every assistance and support. Go n-éirí an t-ádh leat agus le do chlann.

A Cheann Comhairle, on behalf of the Healy-Rae party-----

Healy-Rae nua.

-----I take this opportunity to wish you every good luck in this important role. It is an historic day for you and your family and we appreciate it is a great day for you. You are a very safe pair of hands. I also take this opportunity to thank sincerely the outgoing Ceann Comhairle for the courteous way he dealt with us. At times we had small rows but we never had a bad row and there is an awful difference. One can have a fight with a person but five minutes later be good friends again. That is how I like to look on our relationship in the past. I look forward to meaningful reform of the Dáil to ensure that everyone has more participation in this Parliament. We all appreciate that. We know that you will work towards it. I appreciate that the parties will work towards it and that it will be put in place as soon as we have a government. I thank you and wish you well.

I appreciate that.

Déanaim comhghairdeas leat, a Cheann Comhairle. Go n-éirí an t-ádh leat. On behalf of the Independent Alliance, I congratulate you and your family on winning this historic election on this historic day. It is the first time we have had a secret ballot on the election of a Ceann Comhairle. I congratulate you and wish you and your family all the best for the future. I also thank and commend our previous Ceann Comhairle, Deputy Seán Barrett, for the work he has done over the past five years during a very difficult time. We had many rows but he never personalised the issue and always handled it in a professional and impartial manner. I also commend and thank the other candidates today, namely, my friend and colleague Deputy Bernard Durkan as well as Deputies Maureen O'Sullivan, Andrew Doyle and Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin. They were all excellent candidates. We have all been talking about it over the past week or so and we knew they would have been up for the job. Again, I congratulate you for winning the election.

A Cheann Comhairle, as you said yourself during your introductory remarks, it is important to note, given we now have a new Dáil, many new Deputies and fresh energy in the Chamber, that now is the time to change the whole system. There is an opportunity for all of us, across different parties, to work together in the national interest. We in the Independent Alliance will do that. We have a vision for change. We have a vision to do something practical to help our people. I wish everyone well and, once again, congratulate the Ceann Comhairle.

On behalf of the Green Party, I also extend our best wishes to you, a Cheann Comhairle, in this office. The words you used about serving were used earlier in one of the readings at the service this morning in Westland Row. They apply to all of us. This is a diverse Dáil but you will have the respect of the House, certainly that of this side of the House. We wish you good luck as a servant, as servants we all are.

I thank you very much. Your remarks are much appreciated.