Thoughts of new TDs on their first day in the Dáil

Leinster House ‘feels much smaller than it looks on the television,’ says Bríd Smith

TDs sat to elect a Ceann Comhairle and Taoiseach for the 32nd Dáil. But first day nerves and the challenges ahead were foremost on their minds.


Maria Bailey, Fine Gael TD for Dún Laoghaire:

“It is surreal and extremely humbling to be here. I still can’t really believe it but it feels like a home from home.

“It is like the council on a bigger level. But it is a great honour to be here. My parents, my husband and mother-in-law are here with me.”

Louise O’Reilly, Sinn Féin TD for Dublin Fingal:

“I am surprised at the level of haranguing and harassment that goes on in the chamber. Today is a bit unreal.

“I am not going to bring my mam, dad, husband and daughter to work every day. But it is a great day and my daughter is so proud of me.

“I can already see scope for where I can make a contribution.”

Jack Chambers, Fianna Fáil TD for Dublin West:

“It is a very changed Dáil. I am looking at a full Fianna Fail bench and it is nice to see the level of representation for Fianna Fail.

“It is a great honour. I am the youngest TD in the Dáil, I am the eldest in my family but the youngest TD in Leinster House. It has been a great day and I am thrilled to be here.”

Bríd Smith, Anti-Austerity Alliance-People Before Profit TD for Dublin South Central:

“To remark on this place, it feels much smaller than it looks on the television, I have to say. Maybe it is because there are lots of people in the seats but it does feel a good deal smaller than the image that is portrayed.

“However, I feel quite tall in being here, first, in representing the people that elected us and, second, in nominating Deputy Richard Boyd Barrett (for taoiseach.)”