FG to seek candidate for Leas-Cheann Comhairle
Published 23/05/2016 | 02:30
Government Chief Whip Regina Doherty has strongly rejected accusations of "gerrymandering" in a row of the position of the Dáil's Leas-Cheann Comhairle.
Ms Doherty said the Oireachtas is to blame for Fine Gael missing the deadline to nominate candidates for the position, which comes with the same salary as a junior minister.
There were furious scenes in the Dáil last week after it emerged Fine Gael sought to extend the deadline.
Kerry TD Michael Healy-Rae slammed down his fist with rage and accused Fine Gael of "gerrymandering of the lowest type".
But Ms Doherty said she was not alerted to the deadline for nominations, and does not know why this occurred.
The Meath East TD confirmed Fine Gael has secured an extension and will be putting forward its own candidate.
"I was accused of gerrymandering and that's not true. It was never on the order paper," Ms Doherty said.
"I can't get to the root of where the misunderstanding came from… How could I miss a deadline I didn't know was there?," she added.
The Leas-Cheann Comhairle post comes with a salary of €121,500 - the same as a junior minister.
Fianna Fáil's Pat 'The Cope' Gallagher, Sinn Féin's Sean Crowe and Independent Mattie McGrath have been nominated.