Seanad Éireann - Volume 98 - 19 May, 1982

Election of Leas-Chathaoirleach.

Professor Dooge: Tairgim:

Go dtoghfar an Seanadóir Cathal Mac Domhnaill mar Leas-Chathaoirleach.

Is seanóir é mar Seanadóir. Thainig sé isteach sa Teach seo níos mó ná fiche bliain ó shin. Tá cleachtadh mór aige ar chursaí an Tí agus mar sin is an-oiriúnach é don phost atá chun líonadh againn inniu.

I have pleasure in proposing Senator McDonald as Leas-Chathaoirleach. He was elected first to this House in 1961. Indeed, I first met Senator McDonald in the campaign for election to the House in 1961. He has been a Member since except for four years when he went off to [85] investigate circumstances in another place and then returned to us, evidently finding the Seanad more to his satisfaction than that other place. He has held the position of Leas-Chathaoirleach in this House. He has held the position of Cathaoirleach in this House. He has also held the position of Vice-President of the European Parliament and, as such, a member of the extended bureau of the European Parliament. He is, therefore, a parliamentarian of great experience. He has shown himself, when acting in the Chair in this House, to have a command of the business of the House and also an ability to conduct business smoothly. He is, in my opinion, in every way suitable to be Leas-Chathaoirleach. I propose that the House should elect him as such.

Mr. P. Reynolds: I wish to second the name of Senator Charlie McDonald as Leas-Chathaoirleach.

Mr. Ferris: I would like to support the candidature of Senator Charles McDonald. He has been a long serving Member of this House. We have served under his jurisdiction as Cathaoirleach and as Leas-Chathaoirleach. He is eminently suited to and qualified for the post and I am pleased to support his candidature. I am also pleased that it has now been established again, as it was in the last Seanad, that the Leas-Chathaoirleach would come from the Opposition side of the House. I welcome that and hope it will be continued as a precedent in future situations in the House. I welcome his nomination.

Professor Murphy: Ba mhaith liom cabhrú leis an moladh. Faoi mar atá ráite ag Senator Dooge, tá taithí ag Senator McDonald ar obair an tSeanaid agus fad is a mhair an Seanad deireannach d'fheidhnigh sé go héifeachtach mar Chathaoirleach, agus sa mhéid is a bhí taithí agam féin air bhí sé ciallmhar i mbun coistí. Deirim arís, áfach, faoi mar a dubhairt mé an tseachtain seo caite, go bhfuil sé fíor-thábhachtach go mbeadh Gaeilge líofa acu siúd a thoghaimid chun dul i bhfeidhm ar ghnó an tSeanaid. Muna [86] bhfuil níl aon bhrí ar bith in ár ghnó nuair a deirimid go bhfuilimid dáiríre faoi Ghaeilge a chur chun cinn.

Mr. McGlinchey: I was interested in the comment made by Senator Ferris that it has now been established again that the post of Leas-Chathaoirleach should go to the Opposition. I would remind the House that that tradition existed for many years. I can recall Senator Lindsay as Leas-Chathaoirleach of this House, also Senator Dooge and Senator McDonald, but that tradition was broken in 1973, not by this side of the House, but when Senator Dooge was elected Cathaoirleach of this House and Senator Evelyn Owens of the Labour Party was elected Leas-Chathaoirleach. It is important to place on the record that on the one occasion that was broken it was done so by the Coalition in this House.

Question put and agreed to.

Mr. McDonald: Is mian liom mo bhuíochas a ghlacadh libh as ucht na honóra seo atá sibh taréis a bhronnadh orm agus mé a thoghadh mar Leas-Chathaoirleach Sheanaid Éireann. I would especially like to thank my proposer, the Leader of the Opposition in the House, Senator James Dooge, my seconder Senator Reynolds and also Senator Ferris and Senator Murphy for the kind words they have spoken. It is difficult sometimes to keep one's head from expanding when listening to speeches like that. However, I shall do my best to exercise the duties as Leas-Chathaoirleach in as fair a manner as possible. I hope that the office will not lie too heavily upon me. Arís, gabhaim buíochas ó mo chroí libh as ucht na honóra móire atá taréis a bhronnadh orm.

An Cathaoirleach: On my own behalf I would like to congratulate you and to wish you well. I am sure I will be calling on you for your assistance which I would be deeply grateful for.

Mr. E. Ryan: Senator McDonald has been selected and approved by the House and I would like to congratulate him. He [87] has been in the Chair on many occasions in the past and has always shown himself to be a fair and impartial holder of that position. I wish him well in the future and certainly we will do our best to make his life a fairly easy one.

Mr. McDonald: I thank the Senator.