Fianna Fáil TD Seamus Kirk has been elected to succeed John O'Donoghue as Ceann Comhairle.

Mr Kirk, who is chairman of the Fianna Fáil Parliamentary Party, was nominated by Taoiseach Brian Cowen and seconded by Tanáiste Mary Coughlan.

He defeated Fine Gael's Dinny McGinley by 87 votes to 51 votes. Mr McGinley had been nominated by his party leader, Enda Kenny.

Deputy Kirk, 64, was first elected to the Dáil in the November 1982 election and has been returned in each subsequent election.

He was a Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture from 1987 to 1992, with special responsibility for horticulture, and has been Chairman of the Fianna Fáil Parliamentary Party since 2002.

He becomes the 16th Ceann Comhairle since the meeting of the first Dáil 90 years ago.

Mr Kirk thanked the Dáil for his election and asked for the co-operation of all members to carry out the job of Ceann Comhairle.

Trevor Sargent of the Green Party had also expressed an interest in the position.

Labour Party leader Eamon Gilmore said his party would not propose a candidate as the position of leas Ceann Comhairle is held by Brendan Howlin of Labour.

Mr O'Donoghue said last week that he would resign after criticism of the expenses he incurred both as a Minister and Ceann Comhairle.

O'Donoghue makes statement on expenses

John O'DonoghueIn his statement to the Dáil today, Mr O'Donoghue said the position of Ceann Comhairle should remain above political controversy and that it was inappropriate for him to respond to the issues about his expenses.

Watch his statement
Read his statement

The Kerry South TD said he did so to ensure the office did not become the subject of political controversy.

However, when the public mood changed, he was determined to put his case to the Oireachtas Commission but was denied the opportunity by members of the house who decided to act.

Mr O'Donoghue said he leaves office without his side being heard and that he leaves office as a symbol of the expenses regime that had fallen into disrepute.

He said he regrets not being in office to see the implementation of changes to expenses and they must be radical in nature.

The former Minister for Arts, Sports and Tourism said he will accept fair judgment, but will not allow his public life to be stained by half-truth. He said accounts were approved by statutory officers.

Mr O'Donoghue said he never acted in secret or sought to conceal the expenditure, and never exceeded guidelines, was not guilty of corruption or abused his office for his own enrichment.

He said that all the costs incurred on his travels were in connection with his official duties.