By Dan Walsh
As the long-awaited new government gets down to the serious business of running the country the 60-member lower chamber, Seanad Éireann, will also be out of the starting blocks with large amounts of legislation to be considered and recommendations passed for Dáil Éireann to conduct its business.
There has been considerable ‘noise’ surrounding the fact that the new Taoiseach, Michéal Martin, failed to award any Wexford Teachta Deala with a ministry or a junior role at the cabinet, but there is some compensation from his lapse and omission as two Gorey representatives will be part of the 26th Seanad Éireann. And both were elected through the existing electoral parliamentary system. No Taoiseach nominations!
Senator Malcolm Byrne was elected on the Culture and Education Panel in April having lost his seat in the February General Election after only 71 days in the Dail. He had secured a seat in the November by-election and in the 2019 European Parliament elections he was unsuccessful but performed extremely well on the Fianna Fail ticket before elimination on the 16th count.
Senator Michael D’Arcy also takes his seat in the Seanad having been elected on the Agricultural Panel last April. The Fine Gael representative served in Dail Éireann from 2007 to 2011 and again 2016 to 2020 and was Minister of State at the Department of Finance until losing his seat in the February General Election.
Both Byrne and D’Arcy represent the Gorey district and are members of the government partners (with the Greens) and it can be expected that both will work diligently for the good of Co. Wexford within the power base of their new political careers and it is imperative that the people of the constituency use their good offices and influence to bring progress and growth to the ‘sunny South East’.