Thursday, 16 December 2021
Ceisteanna ó Cheannairí - Leaders' Questions
This is quite a remarkable event. It is the second time this week that we have concluded Leaders' Questions in the allocated time. Before proceeding to Questions on Promised Legislation, I will avail of the opportunity, since this is the last sitting of 2021 and it has been an inordinately difficult and challenging year for many of the people whom we have the great privilege to represent, to thank the Taoiseach, Tánaiste, members of the Government, leaders of the Opposition and all the Members for their unfailing courtesy and co-operation in the course of the year. I urge them all to take some downtime and time off during Christmas. Maybe those Deputies who never turn off their phones when they come to the Chamber might consider turning them off for a few hours over Christmas before they have to be surgically removed.
On behalf of Members, I extend our gratitude and respect to the Clerk of the Dáil and his Clerk Assistant, Elaine Gunn, who is with us in the Chamber, and to all the members of the Houses of the Oireachtas Service who are unfailingly helpful and supportive to us. I also thank Teresa Doolan, who is doing a superb job as Superintendent of the Houses, and all her staff of ushers who are unfailingly helpful and courteous. I cannot end without mentioning Darren Brady and John Walsh, their catering section team - I may make more use of the catering section than many Members - and the inimitable Julie Lyons. They deliver a fantastic service to all Members.
I acknowledge the work done by the press corps in the course of the year and the great support we all get from the political staff who work in the Houses. Guím Nollaig shona bheannaithe oraibh ar fad.