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  • Senator Sharon Keogan

Senator Sharon Keogan — Election of Cathaoirleach

Updated: Feb 15, 2023

It is wonderful for me to address Senator Buttimer as Cathaoirleach. I wish him and his husband, Conchobar, all the best. I am sure that it is a very proud moment for them both.

Senator Boyhan was one of the first people that I came to know when I walked in these doors. He is leader of the Independent group of which I am a member. Today was not his day to shine but he has shone every day for me since I came into these Houses. The adversity that he has overcome to sit in these seats in Seanad Éireann has been spectacular. He deserved to have that moment today in the sun. I congratulate him on challenging here today.

Senator Joe O'Reilly is the outgoing Leas-Chathaoirleach. He is a Cavan man and he has been very lenient with me at times when he was in the Chair. I thank him most sincerely for his encouragement and wit that he brings to this Chamber. I also thank him for all of the great work that he has done for his constituency in Cavan. He is very well liked and loved by many in County Cavan.

I thank Senator Mark Daly. He is probably one of the finest Senators that I have ever met and I say that with my hand on my heart. He is a wonderful ambassador for the Seanad both nationally and internationally. I thank him most sincerely for making my role here very easy over the last couple of years. He is a poll topper among the county councillors in this country. He is a poll topper for a reason and it is because of his work ethic and how he looks after his people. He has looked after his people in the Seanad very well for the last two years. I thank him for what he has done for this Seanad office.

I thank Senators Regina Doherty and Lisa Chambers. When one walks into these Houses there are very few people that one looks up to in life. As a female politician I have always looked up to Senator Doherty. In the last couple of years I have gotten to know Senator Chambers but Senator Doherty has been a tyrant when it comes to work. I mean that she is an unbelievable worker and displays great stamina. She has now moved into Fingal and I know that if she does decide to run in the constituency of Fingal that she will work for and deliver for the people who live in that area. She is an incredibly hard working politician and brings something special to politics. Although the Senator and I may not share the same politics and values I appreciate all of the work that she does and the same for Senator Chambers. It is great to have women that one can look up to and follow in politics. I admire them both greatly.

Senator Pauline O'Reilly has been a pleasure to deal with over the last number of years as leader of the Green Party. I hope to God that Senator Garvey meets Senator Mark Daly more often to bring a sense of calm to her before she comes in here to fight her battles. I am sure that Senator Garvey will make a wonderful leader of the Green Party in the Seanad.

Senators Gallagher and Kyne have been absolute gentlemen in their roles as Deputy Leaders and Whips of their parties. It is a great responsibility to be in here. We all know that responsibility. The country is facing some tumultuous times, and I thank everyone who elected me to this Chamber to do the best I can for the county councillors around the country and the people I represent in the constituency in which I live.

I know the Cathaoirleach will be fair. I did not really know him over recent years, but I have got to know him in the past six or seven months. I did not know that he studied for the priesthood in his early life. That says a lot about a person. It says a lot that the Cathaoirleach is a man of faith and a man of God. He is also a man of fairness and equality. I wish him all the best in the two and a half years ahead of him. Anything I can do to make his job better, I will try to do. It is great to have him in the Chair, where he cannot shout me down. I wish him the best of luck.

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