It gives me great pleasure to welcome Deputy Gabrielle McFadden to the Chamber on what is a very special occasion for her and her family. We remember her late sister, Nicky, who was loved and respected by all sides of the House and who was taken from us recently. I know I speak for all of us when I wish the Deputy a very happy stay as a Member for Longford-Westmeath. I congratulate her on her successful election.
Introduction of New Member
I welcome Deputy Gabrielle McFadden as an elected Member for Longford-Westmeath. She replaces her late sister Nicky. This must be a day of nostalgia and emotion for Gabrielle but also one of great excitement in receiving the continued trust of the people of Longford-Westmeath in fulfilling her mandate. I wish her very many years of quality representation which I know she will give to all of the people of Longford-Westmeath without fear or favour. I can testify that she is a person of exceptional qualities who will do a wonderful job in the representation of all the people of her constituency.
Ar mo shon féin agus ar son mo pháirtí, cuirim fáilte roimh Gabrielle McFadden go dtí Dáil Éireann. Is léir gur éirigh go maith léi san fho-thoghchán agus go raibh muintir na dúiche sin sásta í a chur go dtí Dáil Éireann. Is rud iontach é sin di féin agus dá clann.
I welcome Deputy McFadden to the House personally and on behalf of the Fianna Fáil Party. I hope she will enjoy the experience here. Today is tinged with sadness as we remember her late sister, Nicky, who gave great commitment to the House and to politics in general. I hope Deputy McFadden and her family will be sustained in the weeks and months to come by the fact that the people have elected her to represent them in Dáil Éireann. Hopefully, that will help them in some way to cope with their sad loss.
Ba mhaith liom freisin, ar son Shinn Féin, fáilte mhór a chur roimh an Teachta McFadden. I have no doubt that Deputy McFadden's victory in the by-election was a bittersweet one for her and her family. On behalf of Sinn Féin, I extend the warmest of welcomes to her and join in the sentiments expressed in relation to her late sister, Nicky, who was genuinely regarded, respected and loved right across the Dáil. I welcome Deputy McFadden. It is great to have another woman in this place and I look forward to working with her. I wish her and her family the very best.
On behalf of the Technical Group, I welcome Deputy Gabrielle McFadden to the House. She described her victory as a bittersweet one and we can all understand that sentiment. I contested and won a by-election in 2005 and know how daunting it is to come in mid-term. I am sure the Deputy will get great support from her organisation. It is great to see that both by-elections were won by women and that it appears we will have more women than men going to the European Parliament. Many new women were elected at local government level, which is a significant and welcome change. I wish Deputy McFadden the very best for the term ahead.
On behalf of the Labour Party, I wish to be associated with the congratulations to Deputy Gabrielle McFadden on her election. It must be a time of sadness on the passing of her sister but also a time of hope due to her own election and the fact that she continues the legacy so ably carried on by her sister here. I am happy to recognise that Deputy Gabrielle McFadden's husband Brian is in the Distinguished Visitors Gallery with her mother-in-law and Ms Kate McFadden. It is a moment of great pride for them. I congratulate Deputy McFadden on behalf of the Labour Party and wish her well in the years to come as a Member of Dáil Éireann.
It is with a degree of both sadness and delight that I rise to welcome my colleague, Deputy Gabrielle McFadden, to the House. I acknowledge the presence in the Distinguished Visitors Gallery of her husband, Brian, her aunt, Kay, whom I have known for a very long time, and her mother-in-law. I have known the McFadden family for many years and contested my first ever convention with Deputy Gabrielle McFadden's father, Brendan. Indeed, the late Nicky McFadden and I shared many experiences as, together, we represented the people of Longford-Westmeath nationally on the Fine Gael ticket since 2007.
The McFadden family is dedicated to public service as evidenced by the dedication of Nicky McFadden who refused to let her illness get in the way of serving the constituency as well as through Deputy Gabrielle McFadden who has worked tirelessly on the ground for the Longford-Westmeath constituency since Nicky was confronted with her terrible illness in 2012. Deputy Gabrielle McFadden is not only a strong representative, she is an extremely intelligent, hard-working individual who understands the issues facing the people of Longford-Westmeath.
To understand the issues is one thing, but it is another thing to have the determination and drive to stand on the national stage and pursue the important issues we are passionate about. Nicky McFadden had great passion for her people and I have no doubt her sister Gabrielle, who joins us today, will not be found wanting in that area. I sincerely wish her many years of success in Dáil Éireann.
I concur with what previous speakers said and I welcome my new constituency colleague to Leinster House. I congratulate her on her victory, which, as previous speakers said, was a bittersweet one. We remember her late sister fondly. She served her constituents in Longford-Westmeath so well in her time in the Seanad and in the Dáil. I look forward to working with Deputy Gabrielle McFadden for the rest of the term in Leinster House and to working collectively to meet the challenges that face so many of our constituents in these challenging times. I look forward to working in the best interests of the constituency.
We welcome, with the warmest and best wishes, Deputy Gabrielle McFadden. We hope she has a happy and successful career.