Friday, 16 December 2022
Election of Leas-Chathaoirleach
I do not think I have missed any of them either. I am really looking forward to the break. I will be leaving today and will not be back until 17 January.
It has always been a pleasure to work with Senator Mark Daly. He is full of enthusiasm. They were not always easy times because there were challenges. When one pushes out the parameters, there will always be challenges and resistance. I greatly admire the Seanad Office staff who worked with him and were - dare I say it - under administrative pressure because they did all the things he pushed for as well as their own work. I recognise that there is always that healthy tension present.
I say "Well done" to Senator Mark Daly. I have several stories to tell the House about him. The former Minister, Mary Hanafin, told me the story of when she was in Washington, a car pulled up and she stepped into it without thinking otherwise. The driver said "Hang on. Is Senator Daly there?" and then pushed Senator Daly into the back and drove off while leaving the Minister standing on the footpath. That is a measure of the interest in him.
I have two other memories I want to share of the Senator in his term as Cathaoirleach. One was the memorable trip to Belfast City Hall, to which Senator Currie referred earlier, which many of us, including Senator Ó Donnghaile, attended. It was about justice and what the British Government might have been considering in terms of an amnesty. It was a very moving time. There was cross-party support for the trip in both Houses. He again received an amazing reception in Belfast City Hall.
I was also in Washington as part of the observation process relating to the mid-term elections. Everywhere I went as part of that process, and during a subsequent visit to Capitol Hill, there was affection for Senator Mark Daly. Everyone talked about him, and I suddenly realised that there was a connection there. There is a style, a cleanness, and professionalism about everything he does. I really wish him well and thank him for his engagement. I hope he will be successful today.