Carthy commends Ó Caoláin, endorses MaryLou for Taoiseach in maiden speech to Dáil
In his maiden speech to the Dáil last Thursday, newly elected Cavan Monaghan TD, Matt Carthy, commended his predecessor, Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin for his contribution to the Sinn Féin party and to Irish politics.
In his speech during the debate preceding the first votes on the nominations for Taoiseach, Carthy strongly endorsed the candidature of his party leader, Marylou McDonald, saying she brought much hope to the Irish people.
Deputy Carthy said:
“Go raibh maith agat a Cheann Comhairle agus comhghairdeas duit féin agus do chlann tar éis do toghchán inniu.
“Tá mé an bhródúil a bheith ag caint inniu mar ionadaí do muintir Cabhán Muineachán.
“I am honoured and privileged to stand here as a representative of the Cavan Monaghan constituency.
“Cavan Monaghan was the constituency that returned the Hunger Striker Kieran Doherty as a TD in 1981.
Ó Caoláin legacy
“It was also the constituency that elected Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin as the first Sinn Féin representative to take their seat in this house in 1997.
“I stood on Kildare Street on the day that Caoimhghín first walked through the gates of this building as a sole TD; how I would have answered anyone who suggested that 23 years later I would be one of two Cavan Monaghan TDs alongside Pauline Tully and that we would be part of 37 Sinn Féin Deputies that followed Caoimhghín’s pathway, I can’t imagine.
“The notion that I would be making a maiden speech as part of a Sinn Féin team that had the same number of seats as Fianna Fáil, a greater number than Fine Gael and that our party would have won the popular vote at the General Election would have been considered fanciful throughout much of the time that Caoimhghín spent on these benches.
“Ceann Comhairle, today I want to commend Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin for his service to the people of Cavan Monaghan and to our country and to our party.
“The growth of Sinn Féin over the past three decades is a testament to Caoimhghín’s work and dedication and I thank him and his wife Briege, their children Aisling, Sinead, Clindona, Deirbhaile and Oran once again for their contribution to Irish public life and to republican politics.
“I want also to commend all those others, far too numerous to mention, who played a part in building our party over so many years. Some are no longer with us and I know that for their families this is an emotional and poignant day.
Irish politics changed forever
“The General Election of 8th February 2020 will be marked in history as the day Irish politics changed forever. And while the architects of that change were many, there is one person that personifies the mandate for change that the people have endorsed at the ballot box.
“That person is Marylou McDonald, before us today as a nominee for Taoiseach. I am pleased to have an opportunity, on behalf of the people of Cavan Monaghan, to support that nomination.
“Marylou has offered solutions to the failures of successive Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael governments. She has led and built a team that has outlined how we can support workers and families, giving them a much needed break while investing in public services, sorting out the crisis in healthcare and building the homes for the generations that have been locked out.
“She has offered answers to the challenges faced by struggling renters, overburdened parents, hard-pressed family farmers and communities crying out for a new dispensation.
“Above all, Ceann Comhairle, Marylou McDonald has offered hope among a huge cohort of the electorate that we can build a better, fairer and united Ireland.
“Deputies can embrace the mandate for change that was entrusted to us by electing Marylou McDonald as our Taoiseach. That is the choice I will proudly make today.
“Go raibh maith agat Ceann Comhairle”.