Ceann Comhairle announces four experts for forum on Dáil privilege

The Ceann Comhairle, Sean O'Fearghaíl, has announced the establishment of an expert forum on Dáil privilege.

Four individuals from different professional backgrounds have been selected by Deputy O'Fearghaíl to sit on the forum.

The announcement comes after recent comments in relation to the Jobstown trial were called into question as to whether or not Dáil privilege was abused.

The new expert forum on Dáil privilege will examine issues surrounding the Constitutional right to freedom of debate.

It will also offer advice and recommendations to the Ceann Comhairle which will be brought to the Committee on Procedure of Dáil Éireann.

Ceann Comhairle Sean O'Fearghaíl says there is a need for balance between the freedom of debate during Parliamentary proceedings, and the right of private individuals to their good name.

He has also asked the group to examine possible sanctions for breaches of privilege and appropriate mechanisms for those adversely affected to vindicate their good name.

The forum is made up of Former government chief whip Mary Hanafin, former editor of Irish Times Conor Brady, senior counsel Conleth Bradley and UCD’s Professor David Farrell.

They will meet for the first time next week and detailed work will start in September.

Their first report is due to the Ceann Comhairle by the end of November.

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