New Dail clocks to stop TDs rambling

Niall O'Connor

THE days of rambling TDs could be numbered as Dail bosses prepare to splash out on new time-keeping equipment.

The Oireachtas has published a notice expressing its interest in rolling out new time-keeping software in the Dail chamber, to stop deputies speaking for longer than their allotted times.

Bosses are keen to learn how the timed speaking slots that govern debates in the Dail can be better managed.

The current system alerts the Ceann Comhairle when a TD has spoken beyond their allocated speaking time through a PC.

And it also makes deputies in other parts of Leinster House aware that a vote is taking place by sounding a bell.


Now the Oireachtas has put out a feeler to companies who make time-keeping software.

An Oireachtas source said that the current system is operated on a "manual basis" and that the body is looking to see how it can "boost efficiency".

Deputies often blatantly ignore warnings that they are out of time – much to the dismay and annoyance of the Ceann Comhairle.

"Making sure deputies stay within their time is more of a matter of control within the chamber but I'm sure any proposals put on the table will be considered," a source said.

Oireachtas officials want to meet interested parties within the next few weeks.