Friday, 16 December 2022
Election of Leas-Chathaoirleach
I sincerely congratulate Senator Buttimer on his election as Cathaoirleach. A lot of words have been spoken, but Senators Doherty and Wilson spoke volumes about Jerry when proposing him. I think every single person in this Chamber would acknowledge that. Jerry has shown a lot of emotion today. I am one person who thinks that emotion is good. Men are not great at showing emotion at times and are sometimes ashamed of doing so. I really thought Jerry showed a beautiful sense of emotion earlier. It is a very proud day for him and his family. He will have my full co-operation throughout his term as Cathaoirleach. Like others, I trust him 100% in what he will do as Cathaoirleach of Seanad Éireann.
I wish to comment on the wonderful work done by Senator Mark Daly over his period here. He has been absolutely outstanding. We had the referendum on the future of Seanad Éireann and, thankfully, the general public voted to keep it. It is very important that reform and new things happen. Today, after the past two and half years, the people of Ireland are speaking far more favourably about Seanad Eireann and the role it is playing. That is down to Mark's leadership. I wish him well.
Of course, it is a double act. In all of these things, there are Roscommon people involved. My neighbour down the road is Grace Coyle, and my family have been friendly with her family for years. Grace has been very much part of Mark’s campaign, and Mark will be the first to admit that. I wish Grace and her family well and I wish Mark and his family well.
I have to keep the Roscommon theme going because Senator Joe O'Reilly played a fantastic part here as Leas-Chathaoirleach. Of course, Joe's wife Mary comes from Roscommon and is another friend of mine. Joe did a fantastic job throughout, and I really appreciate it. He gave me a bit of leniency now and again because of the old connection, which I also appreciate.
I pay tribute to our own team and to Senators Chambers, Gallagher and Senator Pauline O'Reilly. It is always a pleasure to work with Pauline. I thank her so much. Senator Kyne was also very easy to work with from my perspective and, of course, I spoke yesterday about Senator Doherty and the great job she did. I wish the incoming people the best of luck. I wish everybody a good Christmas. We are all rooting for Senator Moynihan over the next couple of weeks and wish her the very best of luck.