Independent Galway West TD, Catherine Connolly, regarded as one of the most outstanding performers in the current Dáil, will seek election as Leas-Cheann Comhairle today.
Dep Connolly received the endorsement of the Independent Group to put her name forward for the election, which will take place in the Dáil today [Thursday July 23]. She is the first woman to be nominated for the position of Leas-Cheann Comhairle under the new rules, adopted in 2016, to fill both the positions of Ceann Comhairle and Leas-Cheann Comhairle by secret ballot.
'It has to be a competent person first, and there is no doubt that Catherine has shown that competence in spades' - Dep Marian Harkin
“Catherine has a wealth of experience that she can bring to the role, during the last Dáil she served as chair of the Committee on the Irish Language, the Gaeltacht and the Islands and has regularly stood in for the Ceann Comhairle over the last five years," said Donegeal TD Thomas Pringle.
Roscommon-Galway independent Michael Fitzmaurice said, “We’ve all seen Catherine perform this role exceptionally well in the past, there’s no doubt about that. We should be putting people forward for these positions who have shown their skills, or is it to continue to be an old boys club in here.”
Former MEP and now TD, Marian Harkin said, “We need more women in these roles within the Dáil, but it can’t just be women for the sake of women: just to tick an equality box as they say. It has to be a competent person first, and there is no doubt that Catherine has shown that competence in spades.”