Friday 9 December 2016

Public's impatience will propel FG and FF into an alliance

Published 11/03/2016 | 02:30

Cartoonist: Scratch
Cartoonist: Scratch

Two weeks post-election and all we have are vague mutterings about the formation of a possible government comprising the two big parties down the road.

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However, the election of a Ceann Comhairle by secret ballot is a refreshing change from the traditional sinecure and may strengthen both the office itself and the primacy of the Dáil in holding the government of the day to account. For the public, the Ceann Comhairle is that embattled, red-faced figure on the TV news trying to control unruly deputies in the chamber. But the role is much wider than that.

The Ceann Comhairle and his office essentially manage the business of the Dáil, legislation and motions and adjudicates on the admissibility of parliamentary questions. He does so under the Standing Orders of the House and his office at times mediates with government departments on the affairs of the Dáil.

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