Monday 23 October 2017

Barrett gives rebel TDs more speaking time

Fiach Kelly and  Fionnan Sheahan

CEANN Comhairle Sean Barrett has changed Dail rules to give TDs who lost the Fine Gael and Labour whips more speaking time.

In a remarkable move that is being seen by some as a snub to the Government, Mr Barrett has agreed to give the TDs speaking slots in the Dail.

The 'Reform Alliance' group of Fine Gael rebels, including Lucinda Creighton, tweeted last night that they welcomed the changes "allowing all non-aligned TDs to avail of speaking rights in debates".

The Dail will return today after the two-month summer break.

The changes are understood to be the most radical the Ceann Comhairle can do on his own, coming after the Coalition ignored requests from Fine Gael and Labour TDs for greater speaking rights.

A government source said: "This is the most he (Mr Barrett) can do; he would see this as a win".

An email to TDs from an Oireachtas official last night read: "I am instructed by the Ceann Comhairle to inform you that... on government business, some speaking slots for 'others' will be incorporated in the rotation of Dail speakers, after the initial spokespersons round."

Irish Independent

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