Election of Cathaoirleach.

Wednesday, 21 April 1948

Seanad Éireann Debate
Vol. 35 No. 1

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Micheál Ó hAodha: Information on Michael Hayes  Zoom on Michael Hayes  Tairgim:—

Go dtoghtar an Seanadóir Tadhg Ó Donobháin mar Chathaoirleach agus go dteighe sé i gceannas an tSeanaid.

Corcaigheach is ea an Seanadóir agus duine go bhfuil Gaeilge aige chomh maith le Béarla. Tá taithí aige ar ghnóthaí Párlaiminte mar bhí sé tamall fada sa Dáil agus blianta anso mar Leas-Chathaoirleach. Dhein sé an obair go slachtmhar anso. Tá na tréithre aige atá ag teastáil ó Chathaoirleach. Bhí sé foidhneach, múinte, cúirtéiseach agus dob fhéidir leis bheith láidir daingean nuair ba ghá. Ina dhiaidh sin, is dóigh liom gur éirigh leis gach Seanadóir do shásamh. Má toghtar anois é, is deimhin go dtabharfaidh sé cothrom na Féinne do gach éinne. Mar sin, is dóigh liom gurbh é ár leas an Seanadóir Tadhg Ó Donobháin do thogha mar Chathaoirleach.

I move:—

That Senator T.J. O'Donovan be elected Cathaoirleach of the Seanad and do now take the Chair.

Senator T.J. O'Donovan is a West Cork man, a farmer, a representative of the most important section of our community, and an Irish speaker with a voice and a clarity which commends itself in both languages. He has long experience of Parliamentary affairs from his membership of the Dáil and from his period here in the last House as Leas-Chathaoirleach. He has the qualities and the qualifications and the experience necessary for the Chair. He has shown in the Chair patience, impartiality and, as well, on occasion, the strength without which a chairman cannot transact efficiently his business. As Leas-Chathaoirleach, he satisfied Senators with his behaviour and with his impartiality in the Chair and it is entirely in the interests of the House and for the better transaction of the business of the House that I suggest his name to the Seanad now.

Mr. Duffy: Information on Luke Joseph Duffy  Zoom on Luke Joseph Duffy  I have much pleasure in seconding the motion moved by Senator Hayes. He has told you that Senator Tadhg O'Donovan is a West Cork man. I can assure the House that, so far as I am aware, there is nothing else can be said against him. He has been in this House for a number of years and occupied the position of Leas-Chathaoirleach in my time. I can say without any hesitation that he discharged the duties of that office with credit to himself and with advantage to the House and to those who took part in the business of the House.

As Senator Hayes has said, his experience of public affairs is very wide. His knowledge of procedure is very considerable, and I have perfect confidence that the House will agree with me that their experience of Senator Tadhg O'Donovan will confirm anything said about him here. I do not think this is an occasion for speech-making, and, for those who know the Senator for a long period, it is entirely unnecessary to add anything to what has been said by Senator Hayes in commending the motion to the House.

Mr. Quirke: Information on William Quirke  Zoom on William Quirke  I must say I was rather [9] surprised to find that any name was put forward for the position of Cathaoirleach other than the name of the outgoing Cathaoirleach, but since Senator Hayes and those associated with him, to whom I might refer as a coalition or combination of Parties now generally favourable to Government policy, saw fit to propose another name, I have to say, on behalf of the people for whom I speak, that I do not propose to divide the House on the issue. I feel, however, that we should not let this opportunity pass without paying tribute to the outgoing Cathaoirleach. During the years he held that honoured position, the House will agree with me that he discharged his duties in a most impartial manner. He had patience which surprised even those opposed to him politically. During those years, he discharged his duties in a manner which was a credit to himself, a credit to the Party of which he has been a member for a good many years and a credit to the country.

All I can say is that, if Senator T. J. O'Donovan is elected to fill that position, we on this side promise him our wholehearted support and every possible assistance we can give him in carrying out his duties. We regret very much that the people on the other side saw fit to propose another name, but, since that has been decided on, and since the coalition or combination of Parties have the votes to elect the Cathaoirleach, I do not think it is in the interests of the House or the country that we should divide on the issue. All we can do is to wish the new Cathaoirleach the best of luck.

Mr. M. Hayes: Information on Michael Hayes  Zoom on Michael Hayes  May I say that I entirely appreciate the attitude taken up by Senator Quirke? I should like to join with him in paying tribute to the impartiality and unfailing courtesy which all of us experienced from the Cathaoirleach in the previous Seanad. I entirely agree with those sentiments.

Question—“That Senator T.J. O'Donovan be elected and do now take the Chair of the Seanad as Cathaoirleach”—put by the Clerk and agreed to unanimously.

Whereupon Senators rose in their places and remained standing while the Cathaoirleach proceeded to the Dais.

[10] Standing beside the Chair, the Cathaoirleach addressed the House as follows:—

Gabhaim mo mhór-bhuíochas lem chomh-Sheanadoirí as ucht na honóra a bhronnadar orm nuair a thoghadar im Chathaoirleach mé. Is mór agam oirearcas na honóra sin agus, le cúnamh an chomhair a fuair an Fear Ceannais ariamh sa Tigh seo, tá súil agam a chruthú gur fiú mé an iontaobh atá mo chomh-Sheanadóirí a chur ionam anois agus déanfad mo dhícheall chun dualgais an Chathaoirligh a chomhlíonadh mar chomhlíon na Cathaoirligh a chuaigh romham iad. Go raibh míle maith agaibh.

I have to return my sincere thanks to my fellow-Senators for the honour they have conferred on me in electing me Cathaoirleach. It is an honour I deeply appreciate and with the co-operation which has always been extended to the Chair in this House I hope I will justify the trust which my fellow-Senators are now reposing in me and will endeavour to carry out the duties of the Chair in the tradition in which they have always been fulfilled. Go raibh míle maith agaibh.

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