Here’s the first in what I hope will be a regular feature: a simple recording of what Kildare North’s TD’s are up to in the Dail, in the aftermath of “GE16”.
The 32nd Dail has only been alive and well for a few weeks at this point, but there are still a few things to note despite it only sitting one day. The most important is easily Fine Gael’s Bernard Durkan’s candidacy for the Ceann Comhairle. He gave an impassioned speech, with an emphasis on everyone’s responsibility to the people that elected them:
“The outgoing Ceann Comhairle introduced one very important innovation to this House in introducing and facilitating live broadcasting of its proceedings. It has changed and should change completely the way we do things. It has brought us under the microscope to a far greater extent. It has allowed members of the public the length and breadth of the country to observe at first hand the performances of their elected public representatives. That is as it should be. We need to be able to conduct our business in a dignified way without rancour and bitterness in order to accommodate each other’s opinions at all times, even though we might hold differing opinions. That is part of the democratic process established in many Parliaments all over the world, none more so than this one. If I am successful, I hope I can contribute in some way to the fulfilment of the rights of individual Members of the House in a way that is meaningful to them and the people who elected them. The people who elected every one of us sent us here as messengers and we bear a huge responsibility for them in that we need to be able to respond to them in a meaningful, substantive and responsible way.”
O’Fearghaill’s election was a bit of a surprise, following Maureen O’Sullivan’s unexpected failure to be transfer friendly. Durkan finished dead last in the first count, well behind other Fine Gael candidate Andrew Doyle. Still, there’s a perverse fascination in wondering how Kildare North would have turned out if it was a one-time three seater constituency, with Durkan’s vote up for grabs.
Aside from that, it was quiet day for Kildare North’s TD’s. They all voted as you would expect for the Taoiseach nominations – Durkan for Kenny, Lawless and O’Rourke for Martin, and Murphy for no one (she, in fact, went do far as to vote against all four offered candidates, instead of just abstaining) – and none of them took part in the interminable waffling that occurred over the rest of the Dail’s first day back.
The Dail returns next week.