Fianna Fáil Party Whip Seán Ó Fearghaíl has called on Ceann Comhairle Sean Barrett to clarify whether he intends to resign his position before the end of this Dáil term.  It follows ongoing speculation and media reports that he may step aside before the General Election.

Deputy Ó Fearghaíl commented, “This ongoing conjecture surrounding the post of the Ceann Comhairle is deeply worrying.  Reports this morning suggest that Labour is now vying to fill the role if it becomes vacant. This is not a position that should be offered up as a “sweetener” to keep a Government coalition partner happy or to repair internal disagreements.  It is a position that is integral to the smooth running of administrative and other business in Leinster House and for ensuring impartiality in Dáil debates.

 “I am anxious to ensure that the reputation and independence of this important constitutional position is maintained and is not tainted by political manoeuvrings or platitudes.

“It is essential that the continuing speculation surrounding the Ceann Comhairle position is brought to an end and as someone with great personal respect for Seán Barrett, I am calling on him to clarify his intentions and to put the issue to rest”.