Stephen McNeice
Stephen McNeice

12.04 20 Feb 2020


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TDs have been arriving at Leinster House for the first day of the 33rd Dáil - with plenty of lively scenes as both veteran politicians and newcomers made their entrances at Leinster House.

Newly-elected Limerick County TD Richard O’Donoghue arrived in style - saying the vintage car he drove in was used in the convoy for JKF when he was in Ireland:

There were also some musical scenes on Kildare Street thanks to Kerry's Danny Healy Rae and his family:

Sinn Féin TDs arrived at Leinster House together, led through the gates by leader Mary Lou McDonald.

The party will be the second-largest party in the new Dáil, with 37 deputies - just one seat fewer than Fianna Fáil.

Other TDs were joined by supporters and family members as they prepared to take their seats in the Dáil chamber:

TDs will be inducted from midday before a Ceann Comhairle is elected via a secret ballot.

There will then be nominations for Taoiseach - although nobody is likely to win enough votes to be elected, as government formation talks have yet to fully get underway.

The Sinn Féin leader says she hopes today's sitting will kick start further talks.

Deputy McDonald said: "I suspect I'm going to have 37 [votes] anyway - unless something very dramatic happens.

"Beyond that, we'll just have to wait and see how people cast their vote.

"I think there's general agreement that today is not going to be the conclusive day... but I certainly hope that it can be the first step in a process that won't be too long and drawn out, to arrive at a government, policy and change."

Main image: Michael Healy Rae with Cian O Sullivan on his knee, Johnny Healy Rae and Elaine Healy Rae (Tin Whistle) with Maura Healy Rae and Danny Healy Rae as he plays the accordion. Photo: Leah Farrell/RollingNews.ie

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