It is a great honour for me to have been elected as Cathaoirleach of Seanad Éireann and I look forward to working with all members of the House to ensure our business is conducted in a fair and effective manner.
We live in a time of unprecedented challenges, financial, economic, social, environmental and political. In the face of these challenges, there has been much discussion about the relevance of politics in providing solutions to our problems. There has been much discussion about the future role of the Seanad.
Whatever the future holds for this House, it is incumbent on us as Senators in the 24th Seanad to demonstrate how we can contribute in a meaningful way to the democratic life of the State, meet and overcome the sizeable challenges we face, play a part in the regeneration of the country and thereby help to improve the lives of all citizens.
The Seanad has an important role to play in Irish politics and I am keen that the 24th Seanad will form an effective and relevant part of the Oireachtas alongside the President, Dáil Éireann and Oireachtas committees.
Cathaoirleach of the Seanad, Senator Paddy Burke