Republic of Ireland news

Newly elected Ivana Bacik takes seat in Dáil

 Screengrab taken from Oireachtas TV of newly elected Dublin Bay South TD Ivana Bacik taking her seat in the Dáil today
Cate McCurry, PA

Ivana Bacik took her seat in the Dáil for the first time days after her victory in the Dublin Bay South by-election.

The Labour TD was welcomed by government and opposition parties, who praised her campaign work on public and social issues.

Her election to the Dail makes her the 37th woman to take a seat in the House, as pointed out by Sinn Fein leader Mary Lou McDonald.

Before taking her seat, Ms Bacik signed the register as a TD and was welcomed by Ceann Comhairle Sean O Fearghail.

Ms Bacik was confirmed as the winner in the by-election on Friday night, topping the poll on the first count and clinching victory on the ninth count, securing 13,382 votes.

She saw off stiff competition from Fine Gael councillor James Geoghegan, who finished on 9,235 votes.

Taoiseach Micheal Martin said today: “First of all I want to take the opportunity to congratulate Ivana on the election to Dail Eireann and to welcome you warmly.

“I think you’ve been a long-standing activist on public and social issues. I think people in Dublin Bay South recognised that and reflected that in their affirmation of your role.

“I know that from your previous parliamentary experience that you will add value.

“I want to pay tribute to your party for its success in the by-election and know that we will have the occasional engagement and debate on issues pertaining to the society and to the future of our country.”

Ms McDonald said: “Can I just extend a very warm welcome to Deputy Bacik, well done on a very convincing and wonderful victory for you.

“You’re the 37th woman in this House, so that’s good news for all of us.

“Congratulations Ivana, and we all look forward very much to working with you.”

Labour leader Alan Kelly said: “Firstly, I’ll welcome my colleague Ivana Bacik into Dail Eireann and congratulate her on her proud achievement.

“We’re very proud of her at the Labour Party. She’s an incredible legislator and thanks for your kind words, Taoiseach and leader of Sinn Fein.

“I can assure you Taoiseach that Ivana is certainly somebody who’s going to hold you and your government to account over the coming days, weeks and years and you’re going find out relatively quickly.”

The new TD used her maiden address in the Dáil to raise her Renters Bill, which provides protections to renters and tenants against rent hikes and evictions.

She added: “Taoiseach, thank you for your kind and gracious words and to all of those who gave me such a warm welcome today.

“My first day in big school as it feels. I’m really grateful and honoured to have been elected last week to represent my home constituency in Dublin Bay South.

“I’m really just over the moon to be here and just to thank all of those who supported me, my amazing campaign team and director of elections, Duncan Smith.”

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