Independents day will come - but at a cost
At 2.20pm today, all sides of the chamber will suspend the usual hostilities and welcome the two newest members of the 31st Dail with the customary round of applause.
But - despite many of the predictions made before the by-elections - neither of the new TDs will be taking their place among the mainstream political parties. In Roscommon-Leitrim, Independent candidate Michael Fitzmaurice won at the expense of Fianna Fail, while in Dublin South-West short-odds favourite Sinn Fein's Cathal King was beaten by Paul Murphy of the Anti-Austerity Alliance (AAA).
Instead, both Fitzmaurice and Murphy will bring to 28 the number of deputies who are either Independent or aligned to smaller parties, an increase of nine since this Dail first sat in March 2011.