Report reveals how often local representatives speak in Dáil

Roscommon-Galway representative, Eugene Murphy, is one of the TDs who has most regularly contributed to Dáil debates this year, an analysis of Oireachtas speeches has found.

The analysis is taken from KildareStreet.com, a searchable database of everything said in the Oireachtas.

Deputy Eugene Murphy has been recorded as speaking 217 times by the KildareStreet.com, but as a Leas-Cheann Comhairle any time he has to remind Deputies of their responsibilities in the house or has to interrupt them on the floor it is taken down as part of the record.

Longford-Westmeath TD Robert Troy is recorded as the 27th most frequent speaker, with 129 contributions.

Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment, Denis Naughten, spoke 55 times, while Minister for the Office of Public Works and Flood Relief, Kevin “Boxer” Moran, made the third fewest contributions, with just 15 mentions in the record.

The average number of contributions for a TD is 85. Heckling or shouting in most cases is not recorded in the speaking count, but if a TD interrupts another Deputy to make a point in the Dáil that is counted in the number of times they have spoken in the chamber.

Fianna Fáil accounts for a larger portion of speaking time than its seat tally. It has around 25 per cent of seats but made up 28 per cent of spoken contributions so far this year.

Deputy Murphy said that Fianna Fáil is looking to change the speaking arrangements in the Dáil to give the larger parties more speaking time.

“Currently, when the Dáil takes opening statements on a Bill or motion each party or technical group gets an equal amount of time to put forward their views on the issue,” he commented. “All other speaking arrangements, including Leaders’ Questions, private members’ time, priority questions, and the introduction of motions, are allocated proportionally according to the size of each party.

“Fianna Fáil is seeking Fine Gael’s support to make speaking time on opening statements also proportional to the size of each party. The rule changes are planned to come into effect when the Dáil comes back after the summer break.”

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