Election of Leas-Cheann Comhairle

Four proposals have been received. I call on Deputy Gerry Adams or any Deputy representing Sinn Féin to move motion No. 1, nomination of Deputy Seán Crowe.

I move:

That Deputy Seán Crowe be elected Leas-Cheann Comhairle.

Molaim an Teachta Seán Crowe mar Leas-Cheann Comhairle. Tá mé lánsásta go mbeadh Seán in ann dualgais na hoifige sin a chomhlíonadh i ngach slí agus i slí ina mbeadh baill na Dála seo ina iomláine sásta. Tá Seán ina Theachta le deich mbliana anuas agus tá a fhios agam go bhfuil sé lán-ábalta an jab a dhéanamh.

Teachta Seán Crowe was first elected to the Dáil in 2002. He has served in the Twenty-ninth, Thirty-first and the Thirty-second Dáileanna, representing the constituency of Dublin South-West. For many years, he was a member of South Dublin County Council. When the peace process was initiated, he was the head of the Sinn Féin mission to the Forum for Peace and Reconciliation in Dublin Castle. He represented the party in multi-party negotiations that led up to the Good Friday Agreement in 1998. Therefore, he is a very experienced Teachta Dála. He has served diligently as our party spokesperson on foreign affairs for a number of years and has contributed positively to numerous Dáil committees, particularly the Joint Committee on the Implementation of the Good Friday Agreement.

If elected, Deputy Seán Crowe will work to the best of his ability as Leas-Cheann Comhairle to the benefit of all Teachtaí Dála and at all times will act in an impartial and fair manner. He will work with the Ceann Comhairle on the initiatives necessary to drive forward the reform of the Dáil. A Cheann Comhairle, he is a very fine singer and might lighten the darkness of your evenings.

Hard luck, Finian.

The only crow that can sing.

You are coming back, Finian.

(Interruptions).

I recommend Deputy Seán Crowe for the position and call, in particular, on those who have suddenly discovered new politics to demonstrate there really is new politics by electing Seán to represent all of us and assist the Ceann Comhairle in the important work he does.

We will proceed to motion No. 2, nomination of Deputy Mattie McGrath. Deputy Michael Collins will move the motion.

The Ceann Comhairle is looking in the wrong direction. I am moving it.

I move:

That Deputy Mattie McGrath be elected Leas-Cheann Comhairle.

It gives me great pleasure to nominate Deputy Mattie McGrath from County Tipperary for the position of Leas-Cheann Comhairle. He has vast experience of politics, having been first co-opted to South Tipperary County Council in 1990 and subsequently elected in 1999. He became a Member of this House in 2007. He has served on three Oireachtas committees, covering agriculture, community and natural resources, and health and children. He is still a member of the British-Irish Parliamentary Assembly.

The one thing I want to say about Deputy Mattie McGrath, which everybody in this House knows to be a fact, is that he would be extremely fair, like the Ceann Comhairle. He would bring his experience of politics to the fore in this regard. That is why I ask earnestly that Members see fit to vote for him and support him. He would be an excellent man for the job. In his political career, not only has he proved to be an excellent representative of County Tipperary but he has also been excellent on national issues. For instance, he has been to the fore in highlighting the circumstances of people with distressed mortgages and businesses and farmers being victimised and penalised by banking institutions. The Deputy was to the forefront in highlighting all these kinds of circumstances. His all-round ability has to be recognised, be it in respect of rural crime or the post office network. Such matters are very close to his heart. He is very knowledgeable and he would be an excellent man for the job. He is ably supported by his family. In particular, I have to mention Tríona, Máirín and, of course, his son Edmond, who are of tremendous support to him all the time, as is his wife, Margaret.

Deputy Mattie McGrath is a man of deep faith and was never shy about showing that and standing up for what he believed in. He is a man of conviction, for which I always admired him. The proof is that he managed to get me going to mass at 6 p.m. on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Not many would have believed I would do this, but the Deputy roped me in. Others have talked about excellent singers. The last thing I would say about Deputy Mattie McGrath is that he possesses all-Ireland medals for dancing. While others can sing, our Deputy can dance.

The Dáil has talent.

The Dáil has talent.

He would be able to dance around Deputy Brendan Howlin.

(Interruptions).

I sincerely hope people will see that, by electing Deputy Mattie McGrath, they would be electing a completely impartial Leas-Cheann Comhairle who would want to allow Deputies to get the most out of their time. Members all realise how restricted they are in raising matters of importance to their constituencies. Deputy Mattie McGrath would co-operate in a way that only he could in allowing Deputies to have sufficient time to raise matters in the best way they could and represent their constituencies. He would do that excellently. His experience would allow him to do so. I take great pleasure in formally nominating him for the position of Leas-Cheann Comhairle and hope he will be successful in his endeavours.

I move:

That Deputy Pat The Cope Gallagher be elected Leas Cheann-Comhaire.

Is pribhléid an-mhór domsa an Teachta Pat the Cope Gallagher a ainmniú mar Leas-Cheann Comhairle. Fear cumasach éirimiúil é atá clú agus cáil air ní hamháin ar fud na tíre ach ar fud na hEorpa chomh maith. Is fear é a oibríonn go dian dícheallach, Domhnach is Dálach, ar son a mhuintire féin, a chontae féin agus ar son na tíre seo. Mar is eol do Bhaill na Dála, is é seo an naoú uair ina bhfuil sé tofa mar Theachta Dála. Thosaigh sé sa Dáil in 1981 agus ansin bhí sé ina ball den scoth de Pharlaimint na hEorpa chomh maith. Is léir go bhfuil taithí faoi leith aige maidir le cúrsaí a bhaineann leis an Dáil agus le cúrsaí parlaiminte i gcoitinne.

It is my great privilege to nominate Deputy Pat The Cope Gallagher for the position of Leas-Cheann Comhairle. He is an outstanding parliamentarian by any yardstick. He has enjoyed enormous support in election after election to Dáil Éireann and the European Parliament. This is the ninth occasion on which he has been elected to Dáil Éireann. He has extraordinary and very considerable experience of parliamentary work and working with colleagues of all political persuasions and none. That experience is important in a position such as that of Leas-Cheann Comhairle. The Deputy has very considerable European experience. European politics works differently because of the imperative to build consensus and work with people from all political persuasions and backgrounds. The idea, of course, is that one brings people from diverse backgrounds together to work towards a common agenda and conclusion. The Deputy’s experience from the European Parliament will stand him in good stead in the position of Leas-Cheann Comhairle.

Deputy Pat The Cope Gallagher is a former Minister of State and particularly committed to the marine life of what is an island nation and also to the rural areas he has represented so well. It is noticeable that when he was in the European Parliament, he wore the green jersey. He was an Irish parliamentarian, not just a parliamentarian of one political party. It is fair to say members of other political parties in the European Parliament can testify that it was not the individual political party that mattered to the Deputy but what was best for the country and its people. The Deputy put the country first on many occasions in that regard.

His experience, intelligence, sensitivity and commitment to parliamentary life make him a stand-out candidate for the position of Leas-Cheann Comhairle. I am nominating him for the position and seeking the broadest possible base of support for him.

I move:

That Deputy Bernard J. Durkan be elected Leas-Cheann Comhairle.

I am honoured to nominate my colleague and fellow Kildare man, Deputy Bernard J. Durkan, for the position of Leas-Cheann Comhairle, which is more important in this Thirty-second Dáil than it has ever been. The Leas-Cheann Comhairle is charged with the responsibility of protecting, on behalf of the House, the rights of individual Members, and ensuring the business of Parliament is progressed in an orderly and dignified manner. I have no doubt Deputy J. Durkan would perform this role with enthusiasm, collegiality, fairness and responsibility.

Deputy Bernard J. Durkan is known to all from his extensive experience in Leinster House, having been a Deputy for almost 35 years. Born outside Swinford, County Mayo, in 1945, he has been well established in County Kildare for more than 50 years. He was first elected to Kildare County Council in 1976 and served as a member until 1994, having been chairman from 1986 to 1987. He was first elected to Dáil Éireann in June 1981 and lost his seat for a brief period in February 1982, at which point he served as a Senator until he won back the seat at the subsequent election in November 1982. He has been re-elected in every subsequent election, which is a notable achievement by any measure. He served as Minister of State with responsibility for social welfare from 1994 to 1997 and was the chief whip of the Fine Gael Party from June 2002 until October 2004. During his career, he has held front bench positions in the Fine Gael Party, including health; food; trade and industry; insurance; overseas development aid and human rights; and communications and natural resources.

Married to Hilary, with two sons, Brian and Tim, who is a councillor, Deputy Bernard J. Durkan has a the support of a great family network. As the Ceann Comhairle will be aware, he is known on Kildare County Council as the champion of the underdog and, in some cases, the champion of what some would describe as hopeless cases. He always fights for those who need it most. He is passionate about social justice and an advocate for the marginalised. He is known for not backing down from an issue and is feared by most officials in Departments and the county council. HIs passion is for people and Deputies will be aware from the large number of parliamentary questions he tables that they cover a large geographical area that extends beyond his constituency. The reason I am aware that he represents people beyond his constituency is that when Kildare South did not have a Fine Gael Deputy between 2002 and 2011, as the only Fine Gael Deputy in the county, he assumed responsibility for looking after the southern part of the county. Much to the confusion of local people, he still holds regular clinics in Allenwood, which has not been in the Kildare North constituency for years.

It is important to note that Deputy Bernard J. Durkan believes passionately in the rights of Deputies to have their questions answered and is a strong proponent of the power of Parliament, as distinct from the power of the Government and Executive. Having won and lost a seat, he has held his seat since regaining it 35 years ago. He has served as a Senator, backbench Deputy, Minister of State, party Whip, committee Chairman, member of the Committee of Public Accounts and Front Bench spokesperson. I do not know if he can sing or dance but, by God, he is one of the best orators in the House.

The package of Dáil reforms agreed by Members since the start of the Thirty-second Dáil will strengthen Parliament and help to make its work more efficient and effective. It has been the tradition in the House to strike a balance between the Government and Opposition in respect of the positions of Ceann Comhairle and Leas-Cheann Comhairle. This tradition is well worth keeping. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan would make an excellent Leas-Cheann Comhairle and would serve every Member of the House without fear or favour.

We now have a further 30 minutes for additional contributions.

I second the nomination of Deputy Mattie McGrath to fill the vacant position of Leas-Cheann Comhairle. It would be fitting if an Independent Deputy were elected to this most important post in view of the widespread power sharing that is taking place in the House. It is equally important that the offices being distributed should not be confined to the main parties but distributed in an impartial manner to others who represent minority points of view. As Deputy Michael Healy-Rae noted, Deputy Mattie McGrath would be fiercely independent in the post of Leas-Cheann Comhairle. He has served this House very well since 2004, during which time he has been a member of the most prominent committees of the House and one of the most active Deputies in introducing Bills, asking questions and contributing to topical issues.

Deputy Mattie McGrath has been controversial in the Dáil, as he was as a member of Tipperary County Council, but he has been constructive. I am proud that he asked me to support him in this particular mission and I ask Deputies, in particular Independents, to consider doing likewise. I also appeal to the main parties to allow a free vote on this issue in order that the position of Leas-Cheann Comhairle is not viewed as a position that is distributed as a result of a deal between the larger parties but one on which the House can be inclusive of all those who may have different points of view, including those who contribute from an independent perspective. Independent Deputies have an important role to play in debates and the make-up of the Oireachtas. It would be appropriate that Deputy Mattie McGrath, who has played such a distinguished role in the Dáil, would act as its impartial Chair.

I note from Deputy Mattie McGrath's curriculum vitae that he has a diploma in communications. This does not mean that he speaks at a rate of 1,000 words per minute but that he can, with great impartiality, contribute and communicate with all Members. That he has been in the past and will be in the future such a vigorous and controversial contributor should stand in his stead. We should give him the opportunity to take the post of Leas-Cheann Comhairle.

I am pleased to have an opportunity to say a few short words in support of the nomination of my colleague, Deputy Mattie McGrath, for the position of Leas-Cheann Comhairle. As previously stated, Deputy Mattie McGrath has been a Member of the House for the past nine years and has served with distinction on a number of committees, specifically the Joint Committees on Health and Children and Agriculture, Fisheries and Food. He was also a member of the British-Irish Parliamentary Association for five years.

Deputy Mattie McGrath is well known for taking a stand on issues of conscience and fighting for what he believes in. He has introduced five Private Members' Bills across a wide range of legislative areas. He would make an excellent Leas-Cheann Comhairle and would be fair to all Deputies. He is without doubt committed to protecting and strengthening the rights of all Deputies based on a clear vision.

Is onóir é dom tacaíocht a thabhairt agus a lorg le haghaidh mo chara agus mo chomhghleacaí, an Teachta Pat The Cope Ó Gallachóir. It is a pleasure and an honour to second the nomination of Deputy Pat The Cope Gallagher for the position of Leas-Cheann Comhairle. He would bring considerable experience of the Oireachtas, European Parliament and ministerial office to the job. More important, he would bring a passion for democracy and the rights of Members and a work ethic that few could expect to match.

Not many Deputies are known positively by a nickname. "The Cope" is known all over the country and throughout Europe as someone who works hard and fights for various groups, including fishing and regional communities. He would bring this spirit to the office of Leas-Cheann Comhairle and fight on behalf of Deputies and the rights of the House. In a Dáil that will be considerably changed from previous Dáileanna, his experience in the European Parliament, as a former chairman of an EU-EEA delegation, and as a former Minister will be essential in negotiating and implementing this change. Deputies of all parties and none need not worry if he becomes Leas-Cheann Comhairle because he will defend Members before parties and fight for their rights and the interests of those they represent.

I am honoured to support the nomination of Deputy Mattie McGrath to the position of Leas-Cheann Comhairle. First elected to Dáil Éireann in 2007, Deputy Mattie McGrath has been a champion of ordinary people. His involvement in organisations such as Muintir na Tíre tells us what type of person he is. He supports the principles of care, neighbourliness, self-help and self-reliance. He has supported the concept of active community participation and championed the idea of community development. Since his election to the Dáil, he has fought for ordinary men and women and I am pleased to play my part in supporting him. I ask my fellow Deputies to support him for the position of Leas-Cheann Comhairle.

Cuireann sé áthas orm tacú leis an mholadh go gceapfaí an Teachta Pat The Cope Gallagher mar Leas-Cheann Comhairle ar an Dáil seo. Nuair atáimid ag breathnú ar an bpost seo, caithimid breathnú ar na cáilíochtaí a theastódh ó dhuine a bheadh sa phost. Orthu sin tá taithí, críonnacht agus, ar ndóigh, eolas ar an dá theanga oifigiúil sa Stát seo. Chomh maith le sin, teastaíonn duine a bheadh údarásach sa Chathaoir.

I support the nomination of Deputy Pat The Cope Gallagher for the position of Leas-Cheann Comhairle and to recommend that he be appointed. When we consider this position, we need someone with experience. Deputy Pat The Cope Gallagher has long experience, both here and in the European Parliament, which gives him a good perspective on how a well-run parliament should operate. The second requirement is wisdom. I suggest that like good referees, the Leas-Cheann Comhairle should be conspicuous by being able to impose his will on the Dáil in terms of order, without having to cause controversy in doing so. The national and international experience of Deputy Pat The Cope Gallagher would add greatly to his contribution to this job. I believe it would be a great advantage that, like the Ceann Comhairle, Deputy Pat The Cope Gallagher as Leas-Cheann Comhairle would be fluent in both official languages of this State, as it is the right of Members to conduct their business in both those languages. It is an advantage when the Chair is competent to deal with the business of the House in either language with equal facility, which I know Deputy Pat The Cope Gallagher can do.

I compliment all the other candidates for the position, who are very good candidates, but for me the stand-out candidate is Deputy Pat The Cope Gallagher.

I support the nomination of Deputy Bernard J. Durkan. He is one of the most principled Deputies in this House and has been for many years. He understands the procedures of the House, having been a Member for so many years. One quality I admire in him is that when a new Deputy is elected, particularly a Fine Gael Deputy, he takes that person under his wing and introduces him or her to House procedures and explains how the House works. He always looks out for that new Deputy, as he did when I was first elected in 2002. I admire him for that and I have seen since that he has treated every new Member in the same way.

Deputy Bernard J. Durkan has significant experience as he has been Opposition Whip, a committee Chairman and a Minister of State in his time in the House. I concur with Deputy Martin Heydon that Deputy Bernard J. Durkan will defend the rights of every Member of the House. Whether a Member is from the Opposition or the Government side, he will not be deterred from defending him or her. For that reason, I support his nomination as Leas-Cheann Comhairle.

I support the nomination of Deputy Bernard J. Durkan for the position of Leas-Cheann Comhairle. I support this nomination because I believe strongly that it is important that the positions of Ceann Comhairle and Leas-Cheann Comhairle should come from different groupings in the House, as in the last Dáil when Deputy Sean Barrett and former Deputy, Michael Kitt, carried out their roles with dignity and brought significant respect to the Chamber. It would establish a bad precedent to elect both Ceann Comhairle and the Leas-Cheann Comhairle from the same party or grouping in the House. That would not lead to good politics, particularly in an era of new politics in the House. While some Members might disagree with me on this, that is my view.

Few people in this House command the same respect as Deputy Bernard J. Durkan. He has served both the people of Kildare and the broader area in his role as a Deputy for a number of years and in the House he is a strong advocate and defender of parliamentary procedure. He is a particularly strong defender and advocate of parliamentary questions, which provide Members with their strongest ability to hold the Government to account. Above anybody else, he has shown the capability to do this. In the past few years, he has acted as an Acting Chairman in the House and as anybody who has participated in debate when he has been in the Chair would say, he commands respect and treats people, be they from the Government or Opposition benches, with respect. He always treats Members fairly and carries out the role with dignity.

Deputy Bernard J. Durkan is an excellent parliamentarian. As the Minister of State, Deputy Paul Kehoe, said, as a new young Deputy in the last Dáil, Deputy Bernard J. Durkan was, and continues to be, a huge support to me. If any Member, regardless of the group or party he or she belongs to, asks him for his advice or opinion on an issue, he will always treat him or her with respect and provide the best advice he has from his experience in the long time he has served the people of County Kildare in this House. I add my support to his nomination for the position of Leas-Cheann Comhairle.

As a new Deputy, I echo the sentiments expressed by Deputies Martin Heydon and Patrick O'Donovan in regard to Deputy Bernard J. Durkan being an excellent facilitator for new Deputies through his knowledge of the procedures of this House and helping new Deputies learning the mechanisms of the Oireachtas. He does this on a cross-party basis. We need a Leas-Cheann Comhairle who will be generous with his time and who will include everybody.

Deputy Bernard J. Durkan has a wealth of experience and we must all agree that he would bring his own individual style and personality to the House. He has an authoritative grasp of Standing Orders that would stand him in good stead in the Chair and ensure the smooth running of the House. He will be impartial and fair and I would like to see him as Leas-Cheann Comhairle.

Ba mhaith liom tacú le hainmniúcháin an Teachta Seán Crowe mar Leas-Cheann Comhairle mar cheapaim go dtabharfaidh sé fuinneamh breise chuig an ról sin. Tuigfidh éinne a bhfuil aithne aige nó aici ar an Teachta Crowe thar na blianta sa Teach seo gur parlaiminteoir an-chothrom é agus go dtabharfaidh sé faoin obair go díchealleach, mar a rinne sé thar na blianta. Bheadh sé an-ábalta sa phost lárnach mar Leas-Cheann Comhairle.

Mar a luaigh an Teachta Adams, tá an Teachta Crowe tar éis a bheith gafa thar na blianta le nithe móra sa pholaitíocht, go háirithe ina ról lárnach i bpróiseas na síochána sna 1990í. Tuigfidh éinne a bhfuil cuimhne acu ar na laethanta nua sin, go raibh ról lárnach aige ag déanamh iarrachta teacht timpeall ar choscanna a chuir an Stát i gcoinne Shinn Féin chun a dhéanamh cinnte de go mbeadh deis againn an próiseas síochána sin a phlé. D'eagraigh sé ardfheis spéisiúil ina cheantar fein, i dTamhlacht, a rinne plé ar dhoiciméad rí-thábhachtach ag an am agus ó shin a leag an bhunchloch don phróiseas a tháinig ina dhiaidh agus bunchloch do Chomhaontas Aoine an Chéasta.

Bheadh an Teachta Crowe an-mhaith mar Leas-Cheann Comhairle. Féach ar an stair atá aige sa Teach seo ó thoghadh ar dtús é i 2002 agus ó 2011 ar aghaidh. Bhí cur chuige an-mhaith agus an-dícheallach aige sa Teach agus ar na coistí ina ról mar pharlaiminteoir. Ghlac sé ról tábhachtach i bpáirtí Shinn Féin mar urlabhraí ar ghnónna éagsúla, go háirithe mar ionadaí coistí éagsúla thar lear thar cheann na Parlaiminte ar fad agus thar ceann na Dála. Duine é atá tar éis dul i dtaithí ar an áit seo agus tá an taithí cuí aige a bheadh mar bhuntáiste dúinn dá mbeadh sé mar Leas-Cheann Comhairle, ní dúinne mar Shinn Féin ach do na Teachtaí Dála ar fad sa Teach.

Molaim an t-ainmniúchán seo agus tá súil agam go mbeidh daoine in ann teacht salach ar na difríochtaí parlaiminte atá i gceist agus go mbeidh siad in ann vóta a chaitheamh leis an Teachta Seán Crowe.

I join colleagues in recommending Deputy Pat The Cope Gallagher for the position of Leas-Cheann Comhairle. His record goes before him and is well known by many Deputies. His experience is not only in the domestic Parliament; he also has served in the European Parliament where he gained tremendous experience of European affairs. He has distinguished himself in all of these roles and was previously chairperson of Donegal County Council, which role gives a good grounding for the position of Leas-Cheann Comhairle in the Dáil. I, therefore, highly recommend him as the Ceann Comhairle's assistant and to work with him to lead this Parliament. He will carry out the role to the best of his ability and to great effect if he is chosen by the House. I urge all Members to choose him.

I advocate support for Deputy Seán Crowe who has all the abilities to be a very good Leas-Cheann Comhairle. He is a human rights advocate, both nationally and internationally. I first met him in the late 1970s at the beginning of the drugs epidemic in this city and the emergence of drug barons. He stood with communities, addicts and parents to defend them against the scourge which was taking over the city at the time. He was also a very high profile activist in the H-Block-Armagh Prison protests in 1980-81, standing with the prisoners in their quest for justice. Internationally, he has been very supportive of human rights for the Palestinian people, both in the West Bank and Gaza, and has visited both places to promote human rights and propose a settlement. He has also been very helpful in the Basque territory where people were discriminated against in their quest for national recognition and rights. He served on the Joint Committee on the Implementation of the Good Friday Agreement, of which I was also part, and travelled into loyalist and Unionist areas of the Six Counties where he negotiated with communities to promote the implementation of the Good Friday Agreement for the benefit of all. I support him wholeheartedly as he would make a wonderful Leas-Cheann Comhairle. As a human rights activist, he has the ability to fill the post.

I join my colleagues in supporting Deputy Bernard J. Durkan's nomination. A common theme in the House today is that there are many Members who are new and have only come into the House in the past few years. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan is a font of wisdom and there is very little of what goes on in the House with regard to public policy about which he does not know. He has been very gregarious and kind to all of us and has shared his knowledge of things we did not understand when we first came into the House. There is probably not a position to which he has not taken with gusto in his 25 or 27 years in the House and it would be fitting to see him in the role as he has chaired many sessions in the past few years.

I support the nomination of Deputy Bernard J. Durkan for numerous reasons. His vast experience has been mentioned, but I support him as a new Deputy. It can be quite daunting to come through the doors of Leinster House, but Deputy Bernard J. Durkan's door is always open if one needs advice or guidance. We were neighbours for my first couple of weeks in Leinster House and, while people often jokingly say they will give someone a cup of sugar if they call in, Deputy Bernard J. Durkan would give them a bag of sugar. As politicians, we are very precious about our own seats, but he has given me his seat many times. He is always magnanimous and hugely helpful to Deputies of all parties. He is also very respectful of the role of politicians. It is, therefore, with great pride and humility that I support him today. He has been a politician for longer than I have been alive and his wealth of experience and knowledge has been very helpful to many in this Chamber of all parties.

I wish all candidates the very best. I am not sure how many swing voters there are in the Chamber because from listening to the contributions made it seems everyone is more or less committed. Last night I was going to suggest a last-minute leaflet drop around Leinster House to see if we could swing the adequate numbers required.

I express my support for Deputy Bernard J. Durkan. I came into the House as a fresh-faced, young, inexperienced Deputy in 2011 and there was a big gang of us at the time, but Deputy Bernard J. Durkan was brilliant with all of us. He showed us around and advised us and was always generous with his time. More importantly, he sees the Parliament as being at the very centre of everything we do as Deputies and holds it above all else in the performance of our duties. He is a man who would do an excellent job as Leas-Cheann Comhairle. I agree with the sentiments expressed on the importance of there being a balance between the Government and the Opposition in the positions of Ceann Comhairle and Leas-Cheann Comhairle. For these reasons, I believe Deputy Bernard J. Durkan is the best candidate for the job. If there is deadlock at the end of the vote, agreement should be reached on the way forward.

One would think all of the new Deputies were on one side of the floor, but there are some new Deputies on this side of the House, too. It is with great honour that I support my colleague, Deputy Pat The Cope Gallagher, in his nomination to be Leas-Cheann Comhairle. I wish all those who have put their names forward the best of luck, but I support my gentleman, Deputy Pat The Cope Gallagher, who has given of his time in directing me and my newly elected colleagues on the workings of the Dáil. I find him to be fair and a person needs to be fair to take the hot seat. He needs to be able to listen in conducting our business. We are not always the most orderly of people, but the chair has to be impartial and fair to all those who contribute. Deputy Pat The Cope Gallagher is best positioned to do this.

Question put: "That Deputy Seán Crowe be elected Leas-Cheann Comhairle."
The Dáil divided: Tá, 33; Níl, 106.

  • Adams, Gerry.
  • Boyd Barrett, Richard.
  • Broughan, Thomas P.
  • Buckley, Pat.
  • Collins, Joan.
  • Connolly, Catherine.
  • Crowe, Seán.
  • Cullinane, David.
  • Daly, Clare.
  • Doherty, Pearse.
  • Ellis, Dessie.
  • Ferris, Martin.
  • Funchion, Kathleen.
  • Kenny, Gino.
  • Kenny, Martin.
  • Martin, Catherine.
  • Mitchell, Denise.
  • Munster, Imelda.
  • Murphy, Paul.
  • Nolan, Carol.
  • Ó Broin, Eoin.
  • Ó Caoláin, Caoimhghín.
  • Ó Laoghaire, Donnchadh.
  • Ó Snodaigh, Aengus.
  • O'Brien, Jonathan.
  • O'Reilly, Louise.
  • O'Sullivan, Maureen.
  • Pringle, Thomas.
  • Quinlivan, Maurice.
  • Ryan, Eamon.
  • Smith, Bríd.
  • Tóibín, Peadar.
  • Wallace, Mick.

Níl

  • Aylward, Bobby.
  • Bailey, Maria.
  • Barrett, Seán.
  • Brassil, John.
  • Breen, Pat.
  • Brophy, Colm.
  • Browne, James.
  • Bruton, Richard.
  • Burke, Peter.
  • Burton, Joan.
  • Butler, Mary.
  • Byrne, Catherine.
  • Byrne, Thomas.
  • Cahill, Jackie.
  • Calleary, Dara.
  • Canney, Seán.
  • Cannon, Ciarán.
  • Carey, Joe.
  • Casey, Pat.
  • Cassells, Shane.
  • Chambers, Jack.
  • Chambers, Lisa.
  • Collins, Michael.
  • Collins, Niall.
  • Corcoran Kennedy, Marcella.
  • Coveney, Simon.
  • Cowen, Barry.
  • Creed, Michael.
  • Curran, John.
  • Daly, Jim.
  • D'Arcy, Michael.
  • Deasy, John.
  • Deering, Pat.
  • Doherty, Regina.
  • Donohoe, Paschal.
  • Dooley, Timmy.
  • Doyle, Andrew.
  • Durkan, Bernard J.
  • English, Damien.
  • Farrell, Alan.
  • Fitzgerald, Frances.
  • Fitzpatrick, Peter.
  • Fleming, Sean.
  • Grealish, Noel.
  • Griffin, Brendan.
  • Harris, Simon.
  • Harty, Michael.
  • Haughey, Seán.
  • Healy-Rae, Danny.
  • Healy-Rae, Michael.
  • Heydon, Martin.
  • Howlin, Brendan.
  • Humphreys, Heather.
  • Kehoe, Paul.
  • Kelleher, Billy.
  • Kelly, Alan.
  • Kenny, Enda.
  • Kyne, Seán.
  • Lahart, John.
  • Lawless, James.
  • McConalogue, Charlie.
  • McEntee, Helen.
  • McGrath, Mattie.
  • McGrath, Michael.
  • McGuinness, John.
  • McHugh, Joe.
  • McLoughlin, Tony.
  • MacSharry, Marc.
  • Madigan, Josepha.
  • Martin, Micheál.
  • Mitchell O'Connor, Mary.
  • Moran, Kevin Boxer.
  • Moynihan, Aindrias.
  • Moynihan, Michael.
  • Murphy O'Mahony, Margaret.
  • Murphy, Dara.
  • Murphy, Eoghan.
  • Murphy, Eugene.
  • Naughten, Denis.
  • Naughton, Hildegarde.
  • Neville, Tom.
  • Ó Cuív, Éamon.
  • O'Brien, Darragh.
  • O'Callaghan, Jim.
  • O'Connell, Kate.
  • O'Dea, Willie.
  • O'Donovan, Patrick.
  • O'Dowd, Fergus.
  • O'Keeffe, Kevin.
  • O'Loughlin, Fiona.
  • O'Rourke, Frank.
  • O'Sullivan, Jan.
  • Penrose, Willie.
  • Phelan, John Paul.
  • Rabbitte, Anne.
  • Ring, Michael.
  • Rock, Noel.
  • Ross, Shane.
  • Ryan, Brendan.
  • Scanlon, Eamon.
  • Smith, Brendan.
  • Smyth, Niamh.
  • Stanton, David.
  • Troy, Robert.
  • Varadkar, Leo.
  • Zappone, Katherine.
Tellers: Tá, Deputies Carol Nolan and Aengus Ó Snodaigh; Níl, Deputies Regina Doherty and Michael Moynihan.
Question declared lost.
Question put: "That Deputy Mattie McGrath be elected Leas-Cheann Comhairle."
The Dáil divided: Tá, 20; Níl, 117.

  • Broughan, Thomas P.
  • Canney, Seán.
  • Collins, Michael.
  • Connolly, Catherine.
  • Daly, Clare.
  • Donnelly, Stephen S.
  • Grealish, Noel.
  • Halligan, John.
  • Harty, Michael.
  • Healy-Rae, Danny.
  • Healy-Rae, Michael.
  • McGrath, Finian.
  • McGrath, Mattie.
  • Moran, Kevin Boxer.
  • Naughten, Denis.
  • O'Sullivan, Maureen.
  • Pringle, Thomas.
  • Ross, Shane.
  • Wallace, Mick.
  • Zappone, Katherine.

Níl

  • Adams, Gerry.
  • Aylward, Bobby.
  • Bailey, Maria.
  • Barrett, Seán.
  • Brassil, John.
  • Breen, Pat.
  • Brophy, Colm.
  • Browne, James.
  • Bruton, Richard.
  • Buckley, Pat.
  • Burke, Peter.
  • Burton, Joan.
  • Butler, Mary.
  • Byrne, Catherine.
  • Byrne, Thomas.
  • Cahill, Jackie.
  • Calleary, Dara.
  • Cannon, Ciarán.
  • Carey, Joe.
  • Casey, Pat.
  • Cassells, Shane.
  • Chambers, Jack.
  • Chambers, Lisa.
  • Collins, Niall.
  • Corcoran Kennedy, Marcella.
  • Coveney, Simon.
  • Cowen, Barry.
  • Creed, Michael.
  • Crowe, Seán.
  • Cullinane, David.
  • Curran, John.
  • Daly, Jim.
  • D'Arcy, Michael.
  • Deasy, John.
  • Deering, Pat.
  • Doherty, Pearse.
  • Doherty, Regina.
  • Donohoe, Paschal.
  • Dooley, Timmy.
  • Doyle, Andrew.
  • Durkan, Bernard J.
  • Ellis, Dessie.
  • English, Damien.
  • Farrell, Alan.
  • Ferris, Martin.
  • Fitzgerald, Frances.
  • Fitzpatrick, Peter.
  • Fleming, Sean.
  • Funchion, Kathleen.
  • Griffin, Brendan.
  • Harris, Simon.
  • Haughey, Seán.
  • Heydon, Martin.
  • Howlin, Brendan.
  • Humphreys, Heather.
  • Kehoe, Paul.
  • Kelleher, Billy.
  • Kelly, Alan.
  • Kenny, Enda.
  • Kenny, Martin.
  • Kyne, Seán.
  • Lahart, John.
  • Lawless, James.
  • MacSharry, Marc.
  • McEntee, Helen.
  • McGrath, Michael.
  • McGuinness, John.
  • McHugh, Joe.
  • McLoughlin, Tony.
  • Madigan, Josepha.
  • Martin, Catherine.
  • Martin, Micheál.
  • Mitchell O'Connor, Mary.
  • Mitchell, Denise.
  • Moynihan, Aindrias.
  • Moynihan, Michael.
  • Munster, Imelda.
  • Murphy O'Mahony, Margaret.
  • Murphy, Dara.
  • Murphy, Eoghan.
  • Murphy, Eugene.
  • Murphy, Paul.
  • Naughton, Hildegarde.
  • Neville, Tom.
  • Nolan, Carol.
  • Ó Broin, Eoin.
  • Ó Caoláin, Caoimhghín.
  • Ó Cuív, Éamon.
  • Ó Laoghaire, Donnchadh.
  • Ó Snodaigh, Aengus.
  • O'Brien, Darragh.
  • O'Brien, Jonathan.
  • O'Callaghan, Jim.
  • O'Connell, Kate.
  • O'Dea, Willie.
  • O'Donovan, Patrick.
  • O'Dowd, Fergus.
  • O'Keeffe, Kevin.
  • O'Loughlin, Fiona.
  • O'Reilly, Louise.
  • O'Rourke, Frank.
  • O'Sullivan, Jan.
  • Penrose, Willie.
  • Phelan, John Paul.
  • Quinlivan, Maurice.
  • Rabbitte, Anne.
  • Ring, Michael.
  • Rock, Noel.
  • Ryan, Brendan.
  • Ryan, Eamon.
  • Scanlon, Eamon.
  • Smith, Brendan.
  • Smyth, Niamh.
  • Stanton, David.
  • Tóibín, Peadar.
  • Troy, Robert.
  • Varadkar, Leo.
Tellers: Tá, Deputies Michael Collins and Michael Healy-Rae; Níl, Deputies Jim Daly and Regina Doherty.
Question declared lost.
Question put: "That Deputy Pat The Cope Gallagher be elected Leas-Cheann Comhairle."
The Dáil divided: Tá, 52; Níl, 83.

  • Aylward, Bobby.
  • Brassil, John.
  • Browne, James.
  • Burton, Joan.
  • Butler, Mary.
  • Byrne, Thomas.
  • Cahill, Jackie.
  • Calleary, Dara.
  • Casey, Pat.
  • Cassells, Shane.
  • Chambers, Jack.
  • Chambers, Lisa.
  • Collins, Niall.
  • Connolly, Catherine.
  • Cowen, Barry.
  • Curran, John.
  • Dooley, Timmy.
  • Fleming, Sean.
  • Gallagher, Pat The Cope.
  • Haughey, Seán.
  • Howlin, Brendan.
  • Kelleher, Billy.
  • Kelly, Alan.
  • Lahart, John.
  • Lawless, James.
  • MacSharry, Marc.
  • McConalogue, Charlie.
  • McGrath, Michael.
  • McGuinness, John.
  • Martin, Micheál.
  • Moynihan, Aindrias.
  • Moynihan, Michael.
  • Murphy O'Mahony, Margaret.
  • Murphy, Eugene.
  • Ó Cuív, Éamon.
  • O'Brien, Darragh.
  • O'Callaghan, Jim.
  • O'Dea, Willie.
  • O'Keeffe, Kevin.
  • O'Loughlin, Fiona.
  • O'Rourke, Frank.
  • O'Sullivan, Jan.
  • O'Sullivan, Maureen.
  • Penrose, Willie.
  • Pringle, Thomas.
  • Rabbitte, Anne.
  • Ryan, Brendan.
  • Scanlon, Eamon.
  • Smith, Brendan.
  • Smyth, Niamh.
  • Troy, Robert.
  • Wallace, Mick.

Níl

  • Adams, Gerry.
  • Bailey, Maria.
  • Barrett, Seán.
  • Breen, Pat.
  • Brophy, Colm.
  • Bruton, Richard.
  • Buckley, Pat.
  • Burke, Peter.
  • Byrne, Catherine.
  • Canney, Seán.
  • Cannon, Ciarán.
  • Carey, Joe.
  • Collins, Michael.
  • Corcoran Kennedy, Marcella.
  • Coveney, Simon.
  • Creed, Michael.
  • Crowe, Seán.
  • Cullinane, David.
  • Daly, Jim.
  • D'Arcy, Michael.
  • Deasy, John.
  • Deering, Pat.
  • Doherty, Pearse.
  • Doherty, Regina.
  • Donohoe, Paschal.
  • Doyle, Andrew.
  • Durkan, Bernard J.
  • Ellis, Dessie.
  • English, Damien.
  • Farrell, Alan.
  • Ferris, Martin.
  • Fitzgerald, Frances.
  • Fitzpatrick, Peter.
  • Funchion, Kathleen.
  • Grealish, Noel.
  • Griffin, Brendan.
  • Halligan, John.
  • Harris, Simon.
  • Harty, Michael.
  • Healy-Rae, Danny.
  • Healy-Rae, Michael.
  • Heydon, Martin.
  • Humphreys, Heather.
  • Kehoe, Paul.
  • Kenny, Enda.
  • Kenny, Martin.
  • Kyne, Seán.
  • McEntee, Helen.
  • McGrath, Finian.
  • McGrath, Mattie.
  • McHugh, Joe.
  • McLoughlin, Tony.
  • Madigan, Josepha.
  • Martin, Catherine.
  • Mitchell O'Connor, Mary.
  • Mitchell, Denise.
  • Moran, Kevin Boxer.
  • Munster, Imelda.
  • Murphy, Dara.
  • Murphy, Eoghan.
  • Naughten, Denis.
  • Naughton, Hildegarde.
  • Neville, Tom.
  • Nolan, Carol.
  • Ó Broin, Eoin.
  • Ó Caoláin, Caoimhghín.
  • Ó Laoghaire, Donnchadh.
  • Ó Snodaigh, Aengus.
  • O'Brien, Jonathan.
  • O'Connell, Kate.
  • O'Donovan, Patrick.
  • O'Dowd, Fergus.
  • O'Reilly, Louise.
  • Phelan, John Paul.
  • Quinlivan, Maurice.
  • Ring, Michael.
  • Rock, Noel.
  • Ross, Shane.
  • Ryan, Eamon.
  • Stanton, David.
  • Tóibín, Peadar.
  • Varadkar, Leo.
  • Zappone, Katherine.
Tellers: Tá, Deputies Michael Moynihan and Fiona O'Loughlin; Níl, Deputies Jim Daly and Regina Doherty.
Question declared lost.
Question put: "That Bernard J. Durkan be elected Leas-Cheann Comhairle."
The Dáil divided: Tá, 49; Níl, 89.

  • Bailey, Maria.
  • Barrett, Seán.
  • Breen, Pat.
  • Brophy, Colm.
  • Broughan, Thomas P.
  • Bruton, Richard.
  • Burke, Peter.
  • Byrne, Catherine.
  • Cannon, Ciarán.
  • Carey, Joe.
  • Corcoran Kennedy, Marcella.
  • Coveney, Simon.
  • Creed, Michael.
  • Daly, Jim.
  • D'Arcy, Michael.
  • Deasy, John.
  • Deering, Pat.
  • Doherty, Regina.
  • Donohoe, Paschal.
  • Doyle, Andrew.
  • Durkan, Bernard J.
  • English, Damien.
  • Farrell, Alan.
  • Fitzgerald, Frances.
  • Fitzpatrick, Peter.
  • Griffin, Brendan.
  • Harris, Simon.
  • Heydon, Martin.
  • Humphreys, Heather.
  • Kehoe, Paul.
  • Kenny, Enda.
  • Kyne, Seán.
  • McEntee, Helen.
  • McHugh, Joe.
  • McLoughlin, Tony.
  • Madigan, Josepha.
  • Mitchell O'Connor, Mary.
  • Murphy, Dara.
  • Murphy, Eoghan.
  • Naughton, Hildegarde.
  • Neville, Tom.
  • O'Connell, Kate.
  • O'Donovan, Patrick.
  • O'Dowd, Fergus.
  • Phelan, John Paul.
  • Ring, Michael.
  • Rock, Noel.
  • Stanton, David.
  • Varadkar, Leo.

Níl

  • Adams, Gerry.
  • Aylward, Bobby.
  • Boyd Barrett, Richard.
  • Brassil, John.
  • Browne, James.
  • Buckley, Pat.
  • Burton, Joan.
  • Butler, Mary.
  • Byrne, Thomas.
  • Cahill, Jackie.
  • Calleary, Dara.
  • Canney, Seán.
  • Casey, Pat.
  • Cassells, Shane.
  • Chambers, Jack.
  • Chambers, Lisa.
  • Collins, Joan.
  • Collins, Michael.
  • Collins, Niall.
  • Connolly, Catherine.
  • Cowen, Barry.
  • Crowe, Seán.
  • Curran, John.
  • Daly, Clare.
  • Doherty, Pearse.
  • Dooley, Timmy.
  • Ellis, Dessie.
  • Ferris, Martin.
  • Fleming, Sean.
  • Funchion, Kathleen.
  • Gallagher, Pat The Cope.
  • Grealish, Noel.
  • Halligan, John.
  • Harty, Michael.
  • Haughey, Seán.
  • Healy-Rae, Danny.
  • Healy-Rae, Michael.
  • Howlin, Brendan.
  • Kelleher, Billy.
  • Kelly, Alan.
  • Kenny, Martin.
  • Lahart, John.
  • Lawless, James.
  • MacSharry, Marc.
  • McConalogue, Charlie.
  • McGrath, Mattie.
  • McGrath, Michael.
  • McGuinness, John.
  • Martin, Catherine.
  • Martin, Micheál.
  • Mitchell, Denise.
  • Moran, Kevin Boxer.
  • Moynihan, Aindrias.
  • Moynihan, Michael.
  • Munster, Imelda.
  • Murphy O'Mahony, Margaret.
  • Murphy, Eugene.
  • Murphy, Paul.
  • Naughten, Denis.
  • Nolan, Carol.
  • Ó Broin, Eoin.
  • Ó Caoláin, Caoimhghín.
  • Ó Cuív, Éamon.
  • Ó Laoghaire, Donnchadh.
  • Ó Snodaigh, Aengus.
  • O'Brien, Darragh.
  • O'Brien, Jonathan.
  • O'Callaghan, Jim.
  • O'Dea, Willie.
  • O'Keeffe, Kevin.
  • O'Loughlin, Fiona.
  • O'Reilly, Louise.
  • O'Rourke, Frank.
  • O'Sullivan, Jan.
  • Penrose, Willie.
  • Pringle, Thomas.
  • Quinlivan, Maurice.
  • Rabbitte, Anne.
  • Ross, Shane.
  • Ryan, Brendan.
  • Ryan, Eamon.
  • Scanlon, Eamon.
  • Smith, Brendan.
  • Smith, Bríd.
  • Smyth, Niamh.
  • Tóibín, Peadar.
  • Troy, Robert.
  • Wallace, Mick.
  • Zappone, Katherine.
Tellers: Tá, Deputies Jim Daly and Regina Doherty; Níl, Deputies Michael Moynihan and Fiona O'Loughlin.
Question declared lost.

That means we have failed to elect a Leas-Cheann Comhairle. I suggest it is perhaps now a matter for the party Whips to discuss how we move forward. There has been a very significant delay to date in electing a Leas-Cheann Comhairle and I express the personal hope that the matter could be attended to by the interested parties as a matter of some urgency.