At Leinster House
UNDER a canopy of Spring sunshine, the seven elected TDs from both Limerick Ciy and County have embarked on their journey as part of the 32nd Dail opens at Leinster House.
Glistening on the Plinth outside Leinster House, the 166 TDs gathered at various stages of the morning outside and spoke to reporters as camera flashes and mini media scrums unfolded with the centre spotlight on the men and women who make up the 32nd Dail.
“A day for the family”, was the most common message resonating from the new TDs as partners, wives, husbands, children and grandparents supported the elected on the last run to the doors of the country’s governing house.
“First time TDs will long remember this day”, was the message included in one of the opening addresses by Ceann Comhairle nominees, but one that Limerick’s newest TDs, Sinn Fein’s Maurice Quinlivan and Fine Gael’s Tom Neville, both returned to the second seat in their respective constituencies.
Supported by his wife Sue, mother Marie and his sister Eimear, Deputy Quinlivan spoke of his pride and the thanks for the people of Limerick City who returned him for his first term at the Dail, adding that he hopes to do his best.
For those gathered outside, the pride in Deputy Quinlivan’s eyes as he brought his mother, sister and wife into his new place of representative work was only echoed by newly returned Deputy Tom Neville when he stood with family also.
Former TD and proud father, Dan Neville, said that he was pleased that the people of Limerick gave his son Tom, the opportunity to bring the concerns of people and the community to Leinster House. Tom himself said that he wanted to keep the suicidology work of his father going as well as strive to bring jobs to County Limerick.
Poll-topping Fianna Fáil deputies Niall Collins and Willie O’Dea said that they were “ready to do business” for their party and the people of Limerick as both thanked their constituents for their return.
Labour’s Jan O’Sullivan, who was in a battle with former Fine Gael TD Kieran O’Donnell for the fourth and final seat in Limerick City, said that while her party didn’t fair well at the last election, she was delighted to be returned and was keen to represent the people of Limerick.