Saturday 1 October 2016

Chief Whip Regina Doherty 'never got email to submit candidate for deputy Dail chairman job'

Published 18/05/2016 | 20:51

Government Chief Whip: Regina Doherty. Photo: Tom Burke
Government Chief Whip: Regina Doherty. Photo: Tom Burke

Government Chief Whip Regina Doherty told a Fine Gael parliamentary party meeting she was not sent an email alerting her to the deadline for submitting a candidate for the position of deputy chairman of the Dáil.

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Ms Doherty and Justice Minister France Fitzgerald came under fire today for seeking to extend the deadline to submit a candidate for the Leas Ceann Comhairle position.

During fiery exchanges in the Dáil, Independent TD Michael Healy Rae said it was “disgraceful” for the Government to force through a candidate for the position which comes with the same pay and perks as a junior minister.

However, Ms Doherty told colleagues tonight she did not receive an email last week from the Ceann Comhairle’s office which was sent to the whips of the other political parties notifying them of a 24 deadline for submitting a candidate for the role.

She said after missing the deadline she learned it was her office’s responsibility to issue the deadline notification.

Kildare North TD Bernard Durkan and Clare TD Joe Carey are being tipped for the role within Fine Gael

Fianna Fáil will put forward Donegal TD Pat ‘The Cope’ Gallagher and Sinn Féin nominated Dublin South West TD Sean Crowe.

At the parliamentary party meeting, Fine Gael TDs also raised concerns about Independent ministers attending events in their constituency without alerting them to the functions.

Meanwhile, Labour TDs will meet for a fouth day in a row tomorrow in effort to overcome the deadlock surrounding the leadership contest.

The party met tonight but agreement was not reached.

They seven elected members of the Dáil have spent this week locked in talks over who should lead the party after the resignation of Joan Burton.

Labour deputy leader Alan Kelly publicly declared his interest in the position but is struggling to find a party member to nominate him for the leadership election.

Brendan Howlin is being urged by party members to put his name forward but is reluctant to enter an election contest.

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