It’s a new Dáil, it’s a new day...
LAST WEDNESDAY 76 newly elected deputies entered the Dáil for their first official day of work.
For the 166 deputies sitting in the 31st Dáil they had to negotiate their way past protestors and photographers outside the gates of Leinster House before they even got to work, one gang was welcome, one not so much.
The restaurant and catering workers took a novel approach to their protest so much so that it didn't even look like a protest. Instead of shouting or chanting they gave the deputies ‘a power breakfast for their first day in power'.
But just like there is no such thing as a free lunch there is no such thing as a free brekkie either and if you got a tasty treat you also got a leaflet calling on the Government to protect the ‘ minimum wages and conditions' of restaurant workers.
Once inside the hallowed grounds of Leinster House there was a surreal sense of occasion. The day had all the hallmarks of a wedding complete with embarrassing uncle ( hello Michael Healy Rae) and for the first part of the morning all eyes were on the gate to check out the style.
Many family members decked out in their Sunday best or in a more adventurous few their Saturday night glitz which, in the cold light of day, was perhaps a sequin too far.
A flash of pink sent the media pack into a frenzy thinking it was arrival of Wexford's Mick Wallace but alas they were left wanting when Mary Lou McDonald waltzed in wearing a rather fetch- ing pink mac. They were not disappointed a second time and close to noon Wallace walked through the gates of Leinster House alone wearing a deep pink shirt, open at the neck, and a blue dangly earring, his nod to the wave of Fine Gael blue perhaps?
But it seems not as one witty bystander quipped ‘ you can borrow my tie' to which Mick quickly retorted ‘ I'm not into blue!'
In the Chamber there was little evidence of the red of Labour except from Wicklow's Anne Ferris who had a new frock for the occasion and from another Labour TD, possibly Kathleen Lynch.
Evel knievel Mary Mitchell O'Connor donned the blue of Fine Gael wearing a blue and white stripped ensemble while Michelle Mulherin of Mayo sported an eye catching purple number with a slate grey jacket.
There was a nod to Catholic Ireland too with several people sporting penitential ashes on their foreheads and in the Dail Chamber there were references to Ash Wednesday too.
Mick Wallace, TD.