Tuesday 24 January 2017

Ceann Comhairle gets more power to make Taoiseach and Ministers answer questions properly

Barry Lennon

Published 18/05/2016 | 18:35

Seán Ó Fearghaíl
Seán Ó Fearghaíl

Ceann Comhairle Seán Ó Fearghaíl will have more power to make the Taoiseach and Ministers answer questions properly, under new draft Dáil reforms.

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His position will be able to correct Cabinet members on the floor if he feels the questions were not answered “adequately.”

“There is a further power – the Ceann Comhairle will report to the Houses of the Oireachtas any Minister who has repeatedly refused to answer questions,” Mr Ó Fearghaíl said.

However, he added: “I don't envisage that we'll ever have to use it but the provision is there.”

Mr Ó Fearghaíl chaired the Oireachtas sub-committee on Dáil Reform came up with new proposal and raft of other reforms.

This will include better oversight of budgets using a special Dáil committee, rearrangement of working days and more legal advice for bank bench TDs.

The Anti-Austerity Alliance will become a technical group allowing it speaking time under the new rules – as five will become the minimum number.

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