|Appointer||Elected by the members of Seanad Éireann at start of a new term after a general election.|
|Term length||No term limits are imposed on the office.|
|Inaugural holder||Lord Glenavy|
|Formation||6 December 1922|
Cathaoirleach (//; Irish for "chairperson"; plural: Cathaoirligh) is the title of the chair (or presiding officer) of Seanad Éireann, the sixty-member upper house of the Oireachtas, the legislature of Ireland. The current Cathaoirleach is Senator Denis O'Donovan.
Powers and functions
The Cathaoirleach is the sole judge of order and has a range of powers and functions namely:
- Calls on members to speak and all speeches must be addressed to the Chair.
- Puts such questions to the House as are required, supervises Divisions and declares the results.
- Has authority to suppress disorder, to enforce prompt obedience to Rulings and may order members to withdraw from the House or name them for suspension by the House itself for a period.
- In the case of great disorder can suspend or adjourn the House.
The Cathaoirleach's deputy is the Leas-Chathaoirleach. The position is currently vacant following the election of the previous Leas-Cathaoirleach Denis O'Donovan as Cathaoirleach on 8 June 2016. The next Leas-Chathaoirleach will be elected on 15 June 2016.
List of office-holders
|Portrait||Term of office||Party||Panel||Seanad|
|6 December 1922||6 December 1928||Independent||N/A||1922|
|2.||Thomas Westropp Bennett
|6 December 1928||19 May 1936||Cumann na nGaedheal||N/A||1928|
|27 April 1938||8 September 1943||Fianna Fáil||Agricultural Panel||2nd|
|8 September 1943||21 April 1948||Fianna Fáil||Industrial and Commercial Panel
|21 April 1948||14 August 1951||Fine Gael||Agricultural Panel||6th|
|6.||Liam Ó Buachalla
|14 August 1951||22 July 1954||Fianna Fáil||Cultural and Educational Panel||7th|
|22 July 1954||22 May 1957||Clann na Talmhan||Agricultural Panel||8th|
|(6)||Liam Ó Buachalla
|22 May 1957||5 November 1969||Fianna Fáil||Cultural and Educational Panel||9th|
|5 November 1969||3 January 1973||Fianna Fáil||Cultural and Educational Panel||12th|
|3 January 1973||1 June 1973||Fianna Fáil||Nominated by the Taoiseach|
|1 June 1973||27 October 1977||Fine Gael||Industrial and Commercial Panel||13th|
|27 October 1977||8 October 1981||Fianna Fáil||Labour Panel||14th|
|8 October 1981||13 May 1982||Fine Gael||Agricultural Panel||15th|
|13 May 1982||23 February 1983||Fianna Fáil||Administrative Panel||16th|
|14.||Patrick J. Reynolds
|23 February 1983||25 April 1987||Fine Gael||Industrial and Commercial Panel||17th|
|25 April 1987||1 November 1989||Fianna Fáil||Administrative Panel||18th|
|1 November 1989||23 January 1992||Fianna Fáil||Administrative Panel||19th|
|23 January 1992||12 July 1995||Fianna Fáil||Industrial and Commercial Panel|
|12 July 1995||16 November 1996||Fine Gael||Agricultural Panel|
|16 November 1996||27 November 1996||Fianna Fáil||Labour Panel|
|19.||Liam T. Cosgrave
|27 November 1996||17 September 1997||Fine Gael||Industrial and Commercial Panel|
|17 September 1997||12 September 2002||Fianna Fáil||Labour Panel||21st|
|12 September 2002||13 September 2007||Fianna Fáil||Agricultural Panel||22nd|
|13 September 2007||25 May 2011||Fianna Fáil||Agricultural Panel||23rd|
|25 May 2011||8 June 2016||Fine Gael||Agricultural Panel||24th|
|8 June 2016||Incumbent||Fianna Fáil||Agricultural Panel||25th|
The term Cathaoirleach is also used in a generic sense for chairs of various organisations and local authorities. Many voluntary organisations, associations and clubs also employ this term, for example county boards and clubs of the Gaelic Athletic Association.
- Ceann Comhairle (Chairperson of Dáil Éireann)
- Politics of the Republic of Ireland
- History of the Republic of Ireland
- Seanad Éireann (Irish Free State)
- Leader of the Seanad
- For the pronunciation in Irish, see here.
- "Role of the Cathaoirleach". Houses of the Oireachtas. Retrieved 17 June 2012.
- "Cathaoirleach - Chairman - Seanad Éireann". Houses of the Oireachtas. Retrieved 17 June 2012.
- The final sitting of Seanad Éireann of the Irish Free State was held on 19 May 1936. The Seanad was abolished on 29 May 1936. The election for the new Seanad, set up in accordance with the 1937 Constitution of Ireland, was held on 28 March 1938, and the first sitting was held on 27 April 1938.