On June 29th I was honored to be elected as the Cathaoirleach of the 26th Seanad by my fellow Senators. As the first person from Kerry and second youngest of the Cathaoirligh since the foundation of the State, this is a great privilege.
The honor is enhanced given the fact that my term as Cathaoirleach will coincide with the 100th anniversary of Seanad Éireann. The position, role and responsibilities of Cathaoirleach is one of the few of those in the State described in our Constitution. These responsibilities are wide and varied, and include being the sole judge of order in the Seanad.
The Cathaoirleach is also a member of the Council of State and part of the Presidential Commission. On the Presidential Commission I am joined by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court and the Ceann Comhairle of Dáil Éireann. In the absence of the President, the Commission takes over certain matters in relation to the exercise and performance by the President of his powers and functions. I will of course continue to work hard on behalf of all people on local and national issues.