Wednesday, 18 December 2019
Gnó na Dála - Business of Dáil
I join other leaders in wishing An Leas-Cheann Comhairle a restful and happy Christmas and I thank him for all his work during the year. I extend good wishes to the Ceann Comhairle and hope that he will rejoin us here in full health and vigour early in the new year. I wish every Member a restful sojourn over the Christmas break. As others have stated, we probably face into more challenging times early in the new year. I do not mind winter elections, we have had them in the past, and whatever comes, comes. I thank all the staff of the House, the Captain of the Guard and his team, all the ushers, the catering staff and everyone who works in this place to make it function. I always say that it is an extraordinary privilege to be elected to this House, the national assembly of the Irish people. We clash with each other during the year but it is an extraordinary privilege and I thank everyone who makes it work as well as it does. Sometimes we are critical of ourselves but when we look at the functioning of other places, we are not a bad democratic House and democratic forum for the people of Ireland. I look forward to reconvening here in the new year, early or late, and to carry on our collective work on behalf of the people of the country. I re-echo the view that there are people who find Christmas very difficult, who do not have homes to go to and who do not have what we all expect to have, such as a decent Christmas dinner. It is appropriate not only that we reflect upon them but that we resolve to ensure that things are better for all citizens of Ireland in the coming year.