Fine Gael’s John Deasy has emerged as a front-runner for the position of Ceann Comhairle in the 32nd Dáil.
However the West Waterford TD remains tight-lipped about the possibility of throwing his hat into the ring, commenting that he “had to get elected by the people first – that’s my only priority at this time,” he told The Munster Express this week.
Under a series of new reforms brought in by Taoiseach Enda Kenny in recent weeks, all future cinn comhairligh are to be elected by a secret ballot of TDs, with any deputy qualifying to stand for the position if he or she is proposed by seven other deputies.
Previously, the Ceann Comhairle has been elected by the Dáil following nomination by the government of the day.
Speculation is already rife on the corridors of Leinster Hall as to which TD could garner the support of Government and Opposition TDs alike in a secret ballot and John Deasy’s name has been mooted by several national publications as a front runner, should Fine Gael secure the number of seats it anticipates.
Deasy has been a long-time critic of the Taoiseach’s in the past and his history of speaking out against his party leader and Government policy on numerous occasions would certainly curry favour with Opposition parties, should he decide to put his name forward.