Saturday 18 November 2017

Ceasefire greets nervous Ruth on Dail debut as the contest to replace Eamon begins to heat up

Sketch

Newly elected Socialist Party TD, Ruth Coppinger, with her daughter Sarah, aged 8, left, and cousins, Daire, 8, and Aliya, 7, on her first day in Leinster House. Picture: Damien Eagers
Newly elected Socialist Party TD, Ruth Coppinger, with her daughter Sarah, aged 8, left, and cousins, Daire, 8, and Aliya, 7, on her first day in Leinster House. Picture: Damien Eagers

THE arrival of a brand new TD into Dail Eireann inevitably brings about a brief ceasefire in the chamber, as all sides put down their catapults to welcome with a round of applause the latest deputy on the block.

And so it was when Ruth Coppinger of the Socialist Party who won the Dublin West by-election walked into the chamber for the first time yesterday afternoon. Fine Gael's Longford-Westmeath by-election winner, Gabrielle McFadden will make her debut this morning.

All sides of the House – and her family and friends in the public gallery – clapped as a slightly nervous-looking Ruth was carefully shepherded down the steps by her clearly chuffed colleague Joe Higgins and taken on the round of introductions to the Ceann Comhairle, the Finance Minister Michael Noonan who was taking Leaders' Questions in the absence of a Brussels-bound Taoiseach, Gerry Adams and Micheal Martin.

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