Thursday, 27 June 2019
Gnó na Dála - Business of Dáil
I have sorted out a few things with the Leas-Cheann Comhairle about the times he pulled on me when he should not have done so and tried to shut me up before my time. I was not in here quite as long as Billy and thanks be to God for that. I can live with that. I start by thanking the people of Wexford for electing me in 2011 and 2016. In 2019, it was pretty emotional to get so much support in Wexford, Wicklow, Carlow, Kilkenny, Laois, Offaly, Waterford, Cork, Kerry, Limerick and Clare and Tipperary. It was probably more support than I deserved. If I never do anything else I will always appreciate it.
I have had an amazing time in here. It has been very frustrating and fulfilling in equal measure. It has been an incredible experience. I thank all of the staff and Members. I have probably been pretty merciless with many Ministers but I like to think that my criticism was never personal and I always respected the person I was taking lumps off. A few of them pushed me to the bone all right and I was threatening to go down those steps and across the floor after a couple of fellows but I stayed on this side.
I do not know what it will be like in Europe. From the couple of weeks I have been over there trying to organise things, it will be very challenging and difficult to make a difference but I was never afraid of hard work and I am going to work incredibly hard to try to make that difference and to rescue Europe from the hands of large corporations and the neoliberal philosophy. I see this as something the people who elected me want me to do.
There are two people I will mention and I am probably abusing my position. Catriona Lawlor and Conor Sugrue both work for the HSE. I have been pretty critical of the HSE in my time in here but both of them have done some very good work for someone very close to me. Thank you.