Big doubts about FF's belief in Dáil reforms
Published 07/03/2016 | 02:30
Micheál Martin followed a good election campaign with a call for major Dáil reforms. It was first blood to Fianna Fáil in what will be a long game.
But all the signals emanating from Leinster House now suggest the party merely wants the position of Dáil chairman, or Ceann Comhairle, for itself. When the Dáil reconvenes on Thursday, that post will be elected by a secret ballot of TDs for the first time ever, replacing a practice which saw it given as a plum to the Taoiseach's favourite candidate.
However, Fianna Fáil will be nominating and backing a single party candidate. This is hardly in keeping with the spirit of throwing the selection process open so a genuinely impartial candidate with support from all sides, gets the role.
Word is that Micheál Martin favours Michael Moynihan, a diligent but low-key deputy for Cork North West since 1997. Moreover, Moynihan is a strong Martin loyalist, who worked on the party's election candidate selection committee.
Surely if Fianna Fáil was serious about reform, it would not adopt such a partisan approach. Or is Fianna Fáil to continue with its default position as a "do as I say" party?