Suígí síos le bhur dtoil. This is certainly a very effective demonstration of social distancing that we have here today.
A Thaoisigh, a chomhghleacaithe, fáilte romhaibh ar fad go dtí an ionad iontach seo don chruinniú stairiúil den Tríocha-Tríú Dáil. A dhaoine uaisle, tá a lán stair leagtha síos ón am a tharla an t-olltoghchán i mí Feabhra. Táimid inniu tagtha trasna na Life chun Rialtas nua a chur ar bhun. Tá práinn leis an ngnó atá le déanamh againn.
Taoiseach, colleagues, it has taken us a long time to get here, but we have crossed the river and in this superb venue we must fulfil our constitutional obligation of electing a Taoiseach and a new Government. All of us, whether in government or in opposition, know the challenges that lie ahead. We know that we must continue to protect our people, to promote the societal developments that have emerged from the pandemic crisis and once again rebuild our damaged economy.
We must act to effect the change which the country needs and to conserve that which requires preservation. Together, I firmly believe we are up to the challenge.
On your behalf I want to extend my sincere gratitude to the directors, management and the entire team here at this wonderful national convention centre for facilitating this historic Dáil meeting. I want also to acknowledge the outstanding initiative and hard work of our Oireachtas Service team led by the Clerk of the Dáil, Mr. Peter Finnegan, and in particular I want to mention Mr. Charles Hearne and Ms Breda Burke from the Service, who invested an inordinate amount of time and effort in making this event happen. Go raibh míle maith agaibh go léir.