Thursday, 27 June 2019
Gnó na Dála - Business of Dáil
I thank the Leas-Cheann Comhairle. I was not expecting this but I thank him for giving me the opportunity to say a few words on this very special day for me, which is the last day of my service in the Houses of the Oireachtas. I remember very clearly the first day I walked into the Dáil and the sense I had of what a fantastic privilege it was to be elected by the public to serve. Almost everyone here will have had that same feeling. It is a huge honour to have been elected by the public to serve in these Houses. I have been very lucky to have had the opportunity to serve as a Deputy, a Senator and as a Minister and to bring forward very important legislation and see it passed in the Houses, and, of course, to serve as Tánaiste.
I want to take this opportunity to say this and to thank my constituents in two constituencies in Dublin, namely, Dublin South-East, which is now Dublin Bay South, and Dublin Mid-West. I thank people from all sides of the House for the camaraderie I have experienced here and for the friendship. I have spent an extremely challenging, interesting and worthwhile time here and I have really enjoyed it. I also thank all of my colleagues in Fine Gael and the staff of these Houses, who give us such a fantastic service and I know everybody will agree with me on that.
When one is the point I am at, one becomes very conscious not just of one's own work because we do not do these things on our own and we do not serve here on our own. We have wonderful teams of people and parties behind us and we have constituents, families and friends. I say a very big thank you to everybody, including my family who have always supported me through the ups and downs of political life and we all know how challenging it can be. As I said, it is so worthwhile. I really look forward to becoming a Member of the European Parliament representing this great city and county of Dublin. I say a very big thank you to everyone. I will be back and forth. I am not disappearing. I will be back here linking and working with colleagues in the years ahead. I thank everyone. It has been a huge privilege. Particularly to my constituents, I say a very big thank you for the honour of having the opportunity to serve in the Houses of the Oireachtas.