Eire/Leader of the Opposition
| Eire/Leader of the Opposition |
(Leader of the Opposition)
|Leader of the Opposition in the Irish Parliament; the leader of the largest political party party that is not in government|
The Leader of the Opposition in Ireland is a term sometimes used to describe the politician who, de facto, leads the largest party in the Parliamentary Opposition in the lower house of the Irish Parliament, Dáil Éireann. In the Dáil, the Leader of the Opposition sits on the right-hand side of the Ceann Comhairle and directly opposite the Taoiseach. The role is not an official one and is not recognised in the Irish constitution, nor in legislation.
The Leader of the Opposition is, by convention, the leader of the largest political party party in the Dáil that is not in government. Opposition leaders leading a political party with five members or more have full speaking rights under Dáil standing orders; smaller parties and independent politicians are allowed to speak less often.
Historically the two largest parties have nearly always been Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael, and so the position of Leader of the Opposition has alternated between them. However, immediately following Irish secession from the UK in 1922, the leader of the Labour Party acted as Leader of the Opposition as Sinn Féin, and later Fianna Fáil, refused to take their seats in Dáil Éireann.
Office Holders on Wikispooks
|Michael Noonan||9 February 2001||5 June 2002|
|John Bruton||26 June 1997||9 February 2001|
|John Bruton||20 November 1990||15 December 1994|
|Garret Fitzgerald||10 March 1982||14 December 1982|
|Garret Fitzgerald||5 July 1977||30 June 1981|