The Ceann Comhairle, Mr Séan Ó Fearghaíl TD, established a Forum on Parliamentary Privilege on 21 July 2017. The forum will examine matters around the fair balance to be struck between freedom of debate for Members of the Dáil and the rights of individuals.

The Forum will offer advice and recommendations to the Ceann Comhairle, who will bring a report to the Dáil Committee on Procedure for its consideration.

Forum Members
Mr Conleth Bradley, Professor David Farrell, Ms Mary Hanafin and Mr Conor Brady

Members of the forum

Conleth Bradley SC is a practising barrister specialising in constitutional and administrative law.

Professor David Farrell holds the Chair of Politics at UCD where he is Head of Politics and International Relations. He is a member of the Royal Irish Academy, Speaker of the Council of the European Consortium for Political Research, and a former President of the Political Studies Association of Ireland.  His research focuses on the study of parties, elections and parliaments. He is currently the ‘research leader’ of the Irish Citizens’ Assembly, and a member of the Welsh Assembly’s Expert Panel on Electoral Reform.

Mary Hanafin was a TD from 1997-2011. She held a number of Ministerial appointments, including Government Chief Whip, where she developed knowledge of the rules and procedures of Dáil Éireann. She is currently a Councillor on Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council.

Conor Brady was editor of The Irish Times from 1986 to 2003, having held senior roles in print and broadcast journalism. He was a founding Commissioner of the Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission and serves on a number of state boards. He writes weekly on current affairs and politics for The Sunday Times.

Call for submissions

The Forum is currently accepting submissions from all interested parties. Submissions should address certain questions, as applicable in Dáil Éireann, and should be submitted before the deadline of 11 September 2017.

Relevant documents

Terms of reference have been defined for the Forum and a data protection policy is in place for handling all submissions received.

Further information

Press enquiries:
Ciarán Brennan
Press Officer
Leinster House
Kildare St
Dublin 2
D02 XR20
ciaran.brennan@oireachtas.ie
+353 (0) 1 618 3903
+353 (0) 86 0496518

General enquiries:
Journal Office
Leinster House
Kildare Street
Dublin 2
D02 XR20
journal.office@oireachtas.ie
+353 (0) 1 618 3201
+353 (0) 1 618 3385

I am acutely aware of the need to balance the Constitutional right to freedom of debate during Parliamentary proceedings and the right of private individuals to their good name.

Séan Ó Fearghaíl, Ceann Comhairle