WHILE expressing disappointment that he was not re-elected as cathaoirleach of Seanad Éireann, Bantry-based Fianna Fáil Senator Denis O’Donovan said he had good innings during his term as the head of the Upper House.
Speaking to The Southern Star on Monday after Senator Mark Daly (FF) was elected to the role, Senator O’Donovan said he has no regrets.
‘I’ve had great innings and it was a close contest and I only lost by a whisker,’ he said.
‘I’m taking it on the chin and I wish Senator Daly who hails from across the border in Kerry the best of luck in the chair.’
Senator Daly won an internal contest between himself, O’Donovan and Diarmuid Wilson and was nominated by Senator Lisa Chambers and seconded by Senator O’Donovan. He was then elected by 46 votes to six votes. Sen O’Donovan said it was ‘brazen’ of himself to seek a second term as cathaoirleach.
‘It hasn’t happened since the 1960s when someone was re-elected to the position of cathaoirleach so I didn’t do too bad. I was comforted by fellow senators like David Norris who were sorry to see me leave the position.’
Senator O’Donovan was first elected cathaoirleach in 2016 when Fianna Fáil entered a supply and confidence agreement with Fine Gael following the general election that year. The former TD had previously served as leas cathaoirleach (deputy chairman) in 2011 when he was returned to the Seanad.
Seanad Éireann held its first meeting in the Convention Centre in Dublin on Monday since the formation of the coalition government, with Fine Gael’s Regina Doherty being appointed leader of the Upper House.