Séamus Kirk Is New Ceann Comhairle

Members of the Dáil Éireann have elected the replacement Ceann Comhairle.

Fianna Fail TD Séamus Kirk will now become the sixteenth speaker of the house since the meeting of the first Dáil 90 years ago.

Mr Kirk represented the constituency of Louth since November 1982 and previously served as Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture and Food from March 1987 to February 1992 and was appointed Chairman of the Fianna Fáil Parliamentary Party in 2002.

He is a former Chairman of the Joint Oireachtas Committee on European Affairs and is a member of the British-Irish Parliamentary Assembly.

After the results of the Daíl vote yesterday, the new Ceann Comhairle said: “I am by nature progressive and will readily embrace and faithfully implement any change to Dáil procedures made by Members themselves through the Dáil Reform Sub-Committee.

"I look forward as incoming chair of the Houses of the Oireachtas Commission to continue and encourage further modernisation of the parliamentary administration within the current programme of cutbacks already adopted by the Commission, to ensure the support services for the running of this House are of the highest standards in keeping with the best international practice and governance."

The Daíl was forced to make the appointment following the resignation of John O'Donoghue from the post, who left under a blaze of pressure form opposition parties over "excessive" expenses claims.

Speaking in the Dáil yesterday afternoon after Deputy John O'Donoghue's resignation and expenses speech, the Labour Leader Eamon Gilmore TD said he regretted having to pressure the outgoing Ceannn Comhairle to resign.

"I believe, however, I had an obligation no matter how unpleasant it may have been and whatever the consequences may have been. I believe I had a duty to do that. I carried out that duty and I believed I did so fairly."


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