Senator Darragh O’Brien has expressed disappointment with the decision of Taoiseach Enda Kenny to ignore long-standing precedent and announce the date of the by-election caused by the death of colleague Brian Lenihan.
Senator O’Brien commented, “It has been a well established practice that when a member of the Dáil passes, it is the prerogative of the Leader of his or her party to establish the date of the by-election to replace them. This convention is a simple mark of respect for the deceased. It is very disappointing that in this case, especially given the immense contribution of Brian Lenihan to Irish public life and his legacy in Dublin West that the Taoiseach has ignored this convention and chose to make the announcement at a Fine Gael party political event.
“Fianna Fáil Leader Micheál Martin had already stated that he did not see the need to have the by-election on a different day to the Presidential election, so it is not clear why the Taoiseach decided to behave in this way.
“However, the date has now been announced and Fianna Fáil will be contesting a vigorous campaign throughout the constituency.”