It's not a rainbow coalition . . . but it sure will be colourful nonetheless
REAL men wear pink . . . just ask sartorial rebel Mick Wallace who lit up the Dail on his first day at work yesterday.
The colourful Wexford builder arrived at Leinster House sporting a vibrant, fuchsia pink shirt, spurred on by his mum, no less.
"I actually put on a very fancy shirt at my mother's request today," he said as he bounded on to the Dail plinth.
In a sea of dark suits and sharply tailored silhouettes, Mick's casual attire and grey chinos stood out like a beacon, but he showed no fear of the Oireachtas fashion police.
"Sure, I don't wear jackets," he said, clearly anticipating that he wouldn't be blocked from entering the chamber for being in shirt sleeves.
"I think they'll be fair about it. I think they will respect the fact that I don't wear jackets and I'm not showing any disrespect to the house or anything."
It was a day of cool movers and conscientious shoppers as the new faces in Leinster House fessed up to last-minute dressing nerves and 11th-hour shopping expeditions.
Fine Gael's Nicky McFadden made a last-minute dash to buy a Quin & Donnelly coat and dress.
A keen supporter of Irish fashion brands, her leopard print heels were exceedingly high but the former senator was philosophical.
"We have to suffer for our glamour," she said, with a nod to the shoes.
Dapper in his new M&S Collezione suit, Wicklow's Simon Harris (24) told how he received a call the night before from Enda Kenny, inviting him to nominate his party leader for Taoiseach. It was a nice touch linking the youngest and longest serving TDs.
Mary Mitchell-O'Connor, the Fine Gaeler who made the headlines last week after driving over the plinth, yesterday tried to navigate the same ground in seriously high heels.
The vertiginous gold heels bought from Fran & Jane caught lots of women's eyes and her ensemble included a new coat from Audrey Taylors in Glasthule and a glamorous gold handbag from House of Shoes, which later dazzled TV viewers when Mary sat behind Enda Kenny during his opening words to the Dail.
A new purple Coast dress which beckoned to her from the shop window was Michelle Mulherin's choice for her first day in the Dail.
Fine Gael's 'blonde bombshell' Lucinda Creighton opted for a short navy coat.
Her equally glamorous constituency colleague -- Fine Gael's poster boy from Dublin South-East Eoghan Murphy -- arrived looking exceedingly well-turned out in a Louis Copeland wool suit in royal blue and lilac accessories.
"It was a generous gift," he said, but declined to say who gave it to him.
If Wexford's Mick Wallace can sport a blue earring in his left ear, Joan Collins from Dublin South-Central wore her nose stud and Brian Walsh's daughter Lisa got a new dress from Next for her dad's first day in the Dail.
Arriving tieless, in casual black, Luke 'Ming' Flanagan said he wasn't even thinking about fashion rules and a tie or jacket requirement.
"I'm someone who believes that substance is more important than style. I'm here to concentrate on the fact that Ireland is in a hole and we need to get out of it and I don't give a damn about dress sense."
It's a good job.