Ceann Comhairle Seán Barrett: No easy task

If anybody has the right to be upset by the constant bickering going on around him, it is the Ceann Comhairle of Dáil Éireann, Seán Barrett.

Ceann Comhairle Seán Barrett: No easy task

Considering the unedifying performances staged by members of the House in recent times, is it any wonder he wants to change the rules?

In future, if he achieves his aim, disorderly TDs who break them will face more severe penalties.

Central to the role of Ceann Comhairle is the importance of striking a delicate balance somewhere between a subtle blend of fairness and a degree of firmness in how Dáil business is managed.

In the cut and thrust of sometimes rowdy debate, it would take a paragon to bring such qualities to every occasion.

In face of behaviour often more in keeping with an unruly classroom or a Christmas pantomime than the parliament of the people of Ireland, it is fair to say Mr Barrett has a lot to contend with.

In carrying out this difficult and occasionally frustrating role, he has tended to steer with an even keel.

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