Thursday, 27 June 2019
Gnó na Dála - Business of Dáil
It is always nice to be able to pay tribute to yourself in the House and to listen to others paying tribute to you when you sit at home watching it on the television. In one sense, it is nice to leave the Houses of the Oireachtas on your own terms. It is something that is very unusual in this very precarious occupation.
First and foremost, it is a huge honour to have served in the Houses of the Oireachtas since 1993. I came in here when I was 24 years of age and it has been a hugely enjoyable journey filled with honour and privilege on many occasions. I served under numerous taoisigh from various parties. I worked in a collegial manner with most people in the House. I would like to think I have made friends along the way and learned an awful lot. From this perspective, I thank everybody in the Dáil, the previous incumbents of previous Dáileanna and Seanaid I have served in. I also thank each and every one of the previous Leas-Chinn Comhairle and Cinn Comhairle for their courtesy, co-operation and support.
On the issue of family, friends and supporters, a huge team of people give of their time and service in a voluntary capacity to put every one of us in here and very often this is forgotten. I thank each and every one of them. The people of Cork North-Central in particular have been very supportive of me over many years. It has been a privilege and an honour to represent them and I hope I never took that privilege or honour for granted. I thank each and every Member, my wife, Liza, and my family. I look forward to playing a representative role with dignity in the European Parliament on behalf of the people of Ireland South.