Earlier this morning I circulated the following letter to TDs:
I am writing to inform you that I have submitted my nomination to seek the role of Ceann Comhairle of the 33rd Dáil.
The reason I am putting my name forward for the role of Ceann Comhairle is because one of the consistent messages I received on the doorsteps during the recent General Election was the public frustration with accountability.
In an open, questioning culture, we need an effective and questioning parliament. Getting straight answers to straight questions is becoming more difficult in Dáil Éireann. This is reflected by that public frustration.
While the office of Ceann Comhairle is very restrictive in terms of the reform of Dáil Éireann and the role of TDs, one of the primary functions of this office is to protect the existing rights of members.
In the past I have been involved in Dáil Reform and have participated on an informal committee supporting the rights of members of Dáil Éireann. This is something I would like to expand upon in cooperation with colleagues.
I have been more than happy over the years to provide advice and assistance to new members, regardless of political beliefs, because I firmly believe there is a responsibility on every member to support less experienced colleagues in doing the best job they can as a member of Dáil Éireann.
If I had the honour to be elected to the post of Ceann Comhairle I would only serve one term because my purpose for taking on this role is to re-establish the authority of individual parliamentarians in the interests of our democracy.
I intend to outline how I believe this can be achieved on the floor of the House and I would ask you to keep an open mind on which candidate you will be supporting until you have had the opportunity to hear my contribution.
Denis Naughten TD