Seanad debates

Friday, 16 December 2022

Election of Leas-Chathaoirleach


11:30 am

Photo of Lisa ChambersLisa Chambers (Fianna Fail) | Oireachtas source

I am not sure what he saw. Maybe he saw an opportunity to build a friendship. I recall when I was a local area representative for our party, I got a call from Senator Mark Daly. Obviously, I was thrilled to get the phone call. I was not expecting it and he was the only Senator who reached out through that period. He assisted with many representations I had in the constituency that I was not able to deal with at a local level. It shows the way he approaches the role of Senator, in that not only does he work on behalf of all councillors nationally, but he identifies those who may be trying to secure a council seat in a local election and does his best to assist them. It is a mark of his character that when he came in here, he sought not to pull up the ladder but to extend it down further, to bring others with him and support colleagues right across both Houses. Many colleagues have made speeches about the type of Cathaoirleach he has been but that is the type of Senator he has been to date as well, in that he is always seeking to work with people from all parties and none to build a consensus, work with others, build friendships and to find the possible where others might see the impossible. In his work over the last two and a half years as Cathaoirleach, he has exemplified that type of characteristic.

He has, as I have said previously, really expanded the role of Cathaoirleach. He did his very best to reform the Seanad within the constraints of Standing Orders. He looked to see what was possible without having to go to the electorate as such. Thanks to that work, we have had engagements here with MEPs and we have had the Seanad Public Consultation Committee, where we engaged extensively with issues such as, for example, Senator Ruane's debate around further education. These were things that had not happened in previous Seanaid. It allows all of us to come out of here and say we have done significant reforms of this House in the two and a half years and done so with the leadership and initiative of Senator Mark Daly coming from the Cathaoirleach's office.

I have no doubt he will continue to do that type of work in that type of way as Leas-Chathaoirleach of this House. I look forward to working with him in my role as incoming Leader of the Seanad, together with the new Cathaoirleach, Senator Buttimer, my colleague Senator Doherty in Fine Gael and with Senator Garvey, who is taking over from Senator Pauline O'Reilly as leader of the Green Party Members of the House. I am sure Senator Mark Daly will do a fantastic job as Leas-Chathaoirleach and be a huge support to the Cathaoirleach in his role because it will be a team effort and the period ahead will be a busy one for all of us. I conclude by saying on behalf of the Fianna Fáil group, I am very happy to commend this motion to the House and propose Senator Mark Daly for the position of Leas-Chathaoirleach.


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