New Socialist TD formally welcomed
FAMILY and friends watched proudly from the public gallery as the new Socialist TD Ruth Coppinger took her Dail seat.
The Dublin West TD was accompanied into the chamber by party leader Joe Higgins and was formally welcomed by Ceann Comhairle Sean Barrett.
Ms Coppinger had won the by-election caused by the resignation of independent and former Labour TD Patrick Nulty.
In the Dail, Mr Higgins thanked the voters of Dublin West for supporting the Socialist Party. He said Ms Coppinger had been a sterling fighter for the ordinary people of Dublin West for a very long time.
There was applause as the newest TD walked down the steps and into the Dail chamber and shook hands with various deputies, including Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams and Fianna Fail leader Micheal Martin.
On the government side, she was welcomed by Finance Minister Michael Noonan, standing in for the Taoiseach who was in Brussels for an EU summit. Others who welcomed her were Enterprise Minister Richard Bruton and Communications Minister Pat Rabbitte.
"I hope she has a long and distinguished career in this House," Mr Noonan said.