Friday, 17 December 2004
Order of Business.
Mary O'Rourke (Fianna Fail)
It has been suggested to me that Christmas wishes be conveyed with the Order of Business, rather than having everyone getting up twice or three times. I am very pleased to echo the Cathaoirleach's felicitations for Christmas and for 2005. I wish every Member of the House a very happy Christmas, and particularly time to be with their families and enjoy one another. We all look forward very much to that. I pay tribute to the Cathaoirleach. It is not always easy to keep an even temper in a House of varied contributions and characters, different as we all are. He keeps great order as well as maintaining friendship with everybody, which can be difficult.
I thank particularly the staff, led by Deirdre Lane. I doubt there is a legislative chamber in Europe or the world which is run in such an efficient but also friendly manner. We wander in and out of the offices and one wonders where else one would be allowed to do that. When we all go home tonight, laden with our parcels and presents in our cars and so on, the mopping-up operation after a busy term must be done in those offices. The term was especially busy in the past three to four weeks dealing with a significant intensity of legislation. Each one of the staff in the offices is friendly, approachable and professional. They make us all feel very welcome when we wander freely in and out of their offices, which is due to the influence exerted by Deirdre Lane and Jody. We are very happy Jody is back with us in good health.