Independent TD Denis Naughten will be granted official speaking rights in the Dail as part of a reshuffle of the speaking system in Leinster House.
The Ceann Comhairle informed non-alighned TDs in the Dail who are outside the main parties and the Technical Group last night that they would be facilitated in new arrangements.
The move will apply to members of the Reform Alliance, composed of former Fine Gael TDs, including Roscommon/South Leitrim Denis Naughten.
Naughten told the Westmeath Independent yesterday that the Reform Alliance would not become a political party.
Although the move has been welcomed by the TDs concerned, it sparked a scathing response from former Senator Joe O'Toole, who is a founder member of the new lobby group Democracy Matters, which is campaigning for the retention of a radically reformed Seanad.
Senator O'Toole said: "What is the state of our democracy when the first item on our morning news is that constitutionally elected TD’s are going to be given permission to speak in the Dail chamber to which they were elected to represent their electorate?"
"These same non party TDs are now going to have to get down on their knees again to plead for time to have their motions debated in the Dail. As for being allowed membership of any of the Leinster House Parliamentary Committees, that is out of the question," he said.
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