Thursday 18 January 2018

Former Ceann Comhairle Sean Barrett dispells myth that it's a boring job

Sean Barrett. Photo: Tom Burke
Sean Barrett. Photo: Tom Burke

John Brennan

Former Ceann Comhairle, Sean Barrett has spoken of his experiences seeing the Dail from a different perspective.

Mr Barrett served as Ceann Comhairle during the 31st Dail and did not have to contest the general election having received an automatic bye.

The current Fine Gael TD for Dun Laoghaire said, “I have always maintained that once you go into that chamber that it’s a debating chamber.

“Sometimes that debate will get heated but when you leave that chamber you leave the disagreements behind you,” he explained.

Mr Barrett said that he felt the rise of independent TD’s and the increased number of parties made for livelier debate.

He dispelled the myth that it was a boring job saying he found it very “rewarding” and “very stimulating”.

During the last Dail Mr Barrett had to ask several TDs to leave the Dail chambers.

He added, “I don’t think you’ll ever get a chamber where everybody rigidly sticks to rules – that’s why you have a Ceann Comhairle.”

He did however explain that he felt there was no place for incorrect language in the Dail chambers.

“I’m very much against the use of incorrect language, equally I think it’s a respect to the electorate that people would accept certain codes of conduct whether verbally or by conduct or by clothing,” he added.

He called the job of Ceann Comhairle as “rewarding” and “very stimulating” citing his role in establishing the Oireachtas television channel as one of the highlights of his five years serving the Dail.

He claimed that only 20pc of his job was spent in the chambers, while 80pc of his time was spent involved in things like the North-South Parliamentary forum and his role in bringing back the bravery awards back.

Online Editors

Promoted Links

Today's news headlines, directly to your inbox every morning.

Promoted Links

Editor's Choice

Also in Irish News