FIANNA Fáil senator Mark Daly, who was sacked as the party’s deputy Seanad leader less than two years ago, is set to become the new Cathaoirleach of the upper house.
r Daly will land the prestigious role of Seanad chair – which comes with a salary of €114,000 – under the coalition deal when the chamber meets and votes on the position for the first time later on Monday.
Mr Daly won an internal vote among Fianna Fáil senators, beating the outgoing cathaoirleach Denis O’Donovan and senator Diarmuid Wilson who were also in contention for the post.
Mr Daly will be elected as chair with the votes of Fianna Fáil’s 20 senators, Fine Gael’s 16 and the Green Party’s four when the upper house meets in the Convention Centre later on Monday.
The outcome of the internal Fianna Fáil vote was not revealed to senators but is said to have been very tight. Some senators expressed surprise that Mr Daly won the vote. But one senator said the view was that there was a need for Fianna Fáil “to assert a new identity” in the Seanad.
Mr Daly was sacked as the party’s deputy Seanad leader and spokesperson for foreign affairs after participating in an unsanctioned election launch for Fianna Fáil election candidate in Northern Ireland in 2018.
He has taken a keen interest in the issue of a united Ireland in recent years, producing several reports on the matter and calling for the Government to make more preparations for a border poll.
Separately, former Mayo TD and newly-elected senator Lisa Chambers has been appointed by Micheál Martin to lead the Fianna Fáil group in the Seanad.
Source: Irish News