FINE GAEL HAS welcomed Gabrielle McFadden to the Dáil after the new TD for Longford-Westmeath’s election last weekend.
In truth, McFadden would rather not be here given she is taking the seat of her late sister Nicky McFadden who died earlier this year after a battle with motor neurone disease.
But nonetheless she received the warmest of welcomes from her new parliamentary party colleagues in Fine Gael this morning.
Here’s how you welcome a new TD to Leinster House the Fine Gael way in seven easy steps:
1. Gather on the plinth (bonus points for bringing the sun)
TDs, Senators and Ministers gathered outside the Kildare Street entrance of Leinster House from around 10.30am as they prepared to welcome McFadden. The sun was shining and spirits were high despite the difficult weekend for the party at the polls:
2. Be prepared to wait for the main man
Enda Kenny is, at this stage, famed for running late. While McFadden and her posse disappeared into a hotel across the road, TDs and Senators waited it out on the plinth as Enda ran more than a few minutes late:
3. Approach the edge, but don’t go too far
As McFadden prepared to make her entrance the Fine Gael parliamentarians were ordered to move forward to the edge of the plinth. But not too far otherwise it could be complete photo-op disaster:
4. Get clapping
Some good, efficient, Fine Gael clapping here:
5. Make sure you get Bannon’s face in
If the Taoiseach wants the face of James Bannon, McFadden’s constituency colleague, in the picture then photographers had better comply:
6. Say a few words for the media
Enda Kenny said it was a “privilege and an honour” to welcome McFadden to Leinster House noting the difficult circumstances in which her election came about.
“I know it’s a day of emotion for Gab,” he said “To be elected in a by-election at a difficult time is a measure of he integrity and trust that people of Longford-Westmeath have always seen in the McFadden family.”
For her part, McFadden said: “I’m very honoured by I’m very emotional, I have to say.”
7. Hang around for pictures and chats
Sure it’d be rude not to: