‘It’s like Freshers’ Week’: First day in Dáil for new Sinn Féin TDs
Debut deputies line up for family photo with Mary Lou McDonald and Michelle O’Neill
Paul Donnelly, Gerry Adams and Pauline Tully arrive for a meeting of Sinn Fein’s new parliamentary team at Buswells Hotel, Dublin, on Thursday. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire
Paul Donnelly (Dublin West):
“It’s one of those days you try to put in your memory bank and enjoy the day because you know the work that’s going to come is phenomenal.
“The past always matters. I know my history and I understand it, but I don’t live in it. I live in the present and I want to create a better future.
“A lot of terrible things happened, but they’ve happened, and we have to ensure that any of the victims feel they get a sense of justice no matter who they are. I think it’s really hurtful to a lot of victims that we’ve got a really politicised view at the moment.”
Mairéad Farrell (Galway West):
“It’s a very exciting day for all of us in the Sinn Féin TD team, and it’s about hitting the ground running for myself and doing the best I can for the constituency, so I’m looking forward to the days and weeks ahead.
“I think the electorate has made it very clear they are looking for a change. They are looking at Sinn Féin to deliver that change.
“People have spoken. They’ve entrusted us with 37 TDs and I look forward to seeing how that will work over the next while.”
Pa Daly (Kerry):
“It’s a bit like Freshers’ Week in college, I suppose. But it’s exciting and I’m looking forward to getting to know everyone, getting to know my way around, getting to know the staff and we’ll see how it goes.
“I got a list of questions from one constituent asking me was I in favour of a united Ireland. I think the people are looking to the future and what’s relevant to them are the policies in relation to housing, health, pensions, issues that matter nowadays.”