Monday 27 March 2017

FG to hold a meeting over nomination 'blunder'

Bernard Durkan was unsuccessful in his Ceann Comhairle bid. Photo: Tom Burke
Bernard Durkan was unsuccessful in his Ceann Comhairle bid. Photo: Tom Burke
Niall O'Connor

Niall O'Connor

Fine Gael will today discuss whether to put forward a candidate for the Leas Ceann Comhairle position, which comes with the same salary as a junior minister.

The party failed to nominate a candidate for the post when the deadline closed last week.

The Leas Ceann Comhairle operates as the Dáil's deputy chairperson.

The successful candidate will receive an extra €34,381 on top of their Dáil salary.

Fianna Fáil has put forward former minister and Donegal TD Pat 'The Cope' Gallagher, who is seen as the frontrunner in the contest.

Sinn Féin has nominated Dublin South West TD Sean Crowe and Independent TD Mattie McGrath has also put his name forward.

However, there was widespread confusion within Fine Gael as to why the party did not select a candidate before the close of nominations.

It has been suggested that the party blundered and missed Friday's deadline and that attempts have been made for the process to be reopened in order to facilitate a candidate.

The matter is due to be discussed by the party later today.

There is some suggestion that Kildare North TD Bernard Durkan, who was unsuccessful in his bid for the Ceann Comhairle position, is interested in running for the post.

However, Fine Gael will have to secure an agreement from the Ceann Comhairle's office for the facilitation of one of its own candidates.

Irish Independent

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