Friday 19 January 2018

Red-letters day approaches for timekeeper Sean

As if Ceann Comhairle Sean Barrett (inset) hasn't enough on his hands this new term, what with having to deal with new splinter groups materialising in the chamber and being handed longer sitting days in the Dail, now he has to clock-watch as well.

Big screens with countdown clocks have been installed in the chamber, ready for next week. They're to inform in large red letters and numerals how much time a speaker has left.

It's supposed to make Sean's life easier, particularly during the sessions most prone to windbaggery, such as Leaders' Questions. But what happens when a deputy demands extra time, his/her speechifying having been disrupted by heckling?

Should Sean blow the whistle, or just go with the flow like referee Brian Gavin in last week's Cork-Clare cliffhanger?

I predict a schemozzle.

Irish Independent

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