Barrett promises to be ‘firm but fair’ ceann comhairle
THE 31ST DAIL got down to business at noon with the reading of the 166 TDs elected before the election of the Ceann Comhairle.
Carlow Kilkenny's Ann Phelan was the first name announced while Wicklow's Stephen Donnelly was the last name called.
It was all hearts and flowers in the chamber at first with Enda Kenny proposing party colleague, Sean Barrett for the position talking him up to high heavens.
Across the room Micheal Martin from the endangered yet still unprotected species of Fianna Fáil supported the nomination of Barrett saying he was a ‘committed and fair parliamentarian'.
Next up was slightly deluded and patently over ambitious Eamon (remember Gilmore for Taoiseach) Gilmore who actually hails from the same constituency as Barrett, Dun Laoighaire, who also lavished praise on Barrett.
Next on his feet was Gerry Adams of Sinn Féin who, let's be frank, looked ever so slightly incongruous in Dail Eireann although to be fair to the man he was like an episode of Ros Na Run when he stood up to speak! He wished Barrett well but in true fighting spirit he had a little dig saying he felt the Ceann Comhairle should be picked from the Opposition. Finian McGrath of the technical group comprising of a large number of the Independents, the ULA and People before Profit also wished Barrett well but like Gerry had a little quip saying his first choice would have been for an Independent Ceann Comhairle - no surprise there then.
And so Sean Barrett was elected getting a bula bos and a standing ovation from the chamber.
As he assumed his position he thanked everyone and said he would be ‘firm but fair' and quoted Nelson Mandela saying ‘ it always seems impossible until it is done'.