New Dublin West TD Ruth Coppinger welcomed to the Dáil

Taoiseach to welcome Longford-Westmeath TD Gabrielle McFadden tomorrow

Newly elected Socialist Party TD Ruth Coppinger has taken her seat in the Dáil. With her family and friends watching from the public gallery, the Dublin West TD was accompanies in the chamber itself by party leader Joe Higgins and was welcomed by Ceann Comhairle Sean Barrett.

Ms Coppinger won the byelections seat caused by the resignation of former Labour TD Patrick Nulty over sending inappropriate messages on Facebook.

She was applauded as she walked down the steps and into the chamber to shake hands with party leaders. She also shook hands with Minister for Finance Michael Noonan who, standing in for the Taoiseach, and Ministers for Enterprise Richard Bruton and Communications Pat Rabbitte before crossing the floor to shake hands Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin and a number of frontbench colleagues as well as Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams and frontbench colleagues and two former Labour TDs Róisín Shortall and Tommy Broughan.

The Ceann Comhairle, also welcoming her family and supporters said he hoped her time in Dáil Éireann would be “a productive and a happy one”.


Mr Noonan said “I hope she has a long and distinguished career in this House”.

Mr Martin, also congratulating Ms Coppinger, told her “you have demonstrated a long-standing commitment to public life and public affairs” and he said he looked forward “to many a spirited and engaging debate”.

Mr Adams, speaking in Irish, welcomed Ms Coppinger on behalf of Sinn Féin and said that “with the help of God we will be able to work together on behalf of the people of the State and of the island”.

Longford-Westmeath TD Gabrielle McFadden will be welcomed to the Dáil tomorrow by Taoiseach, Enda Kenny, who is Brussels today with Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore.

In the Dáil, Mr Higgins thanked the people of Dublin West for voting for the Socialist Party and offered then “deepest appreciation of the Socialist Party and the Anti-Austerity Alliance” for their vote.

He said he was sure the days following today would not be “as serene and friendly as this moment, but sufficient for this day is the joy thereof”.

He said Ms Coppinger had been a sterling fighter for the ordinary people of Dublin West for a very long time.

Later Mr Noonan told Independent TD Clare Daly that the Government had no intention of calling a general election. When the Opposition jeered he told them none of them wanted an election. "You'd all run a mile from it."

Ms Daly had called for a general election in the wake of the local and European election results.

Marie O'Halloran

Marie O'Halloran

Marie O'Halloran is Parliamentary Correspondent of The Irish Times