*Leo Varadkar. Photograph: Paul Corey

CLARE’S TDs were split when it came to the voting in favour or against the Fine Gael leader Leo Varadkar (FG) becoming Taoiseach.

As expected, Government backbenchers Cathal Crowe (FF) and Joe Carey (FG) backed the nomination of Varadkar as Micheál Martin’s (FF) successor. Neither of the duo are expected to be rewarded for their loyalty in the reshuffle of Cabinet positions with a Junior Ministry understood to be unlikely for either first-time TD Crowe or Carey who is now in his fifteenth year as a TD.

Former Minister for Education, Richard Bruton (FG) proposed the nomination of Varadkar which was seconded by Dublin TD, Emer O’Higgins (FG) who appeared to equate her colleague’s delivery as akin to that of Santa Claus.

Scariff native, Michael McNamara (IND) told the Dáil he would not be supporting the nomination. He quoted George Bernard Shaw, “Some people look at the world and say ‘why?’ Some people look at the world and say why not?’”, Deputy McNamara that this Government do neither and said he would not be supporting the coalition until it started to improve infrastructure.

Violet-Anne Wynne (IND) had no speaking time in the Dáil, she was the last name on the roll which is done alphabetically and voted against the nomination.

Deputy McNamara did go over to both Varadkar and Martin along with a queue of TDs to congratulate and wish them well while Deputy Wynne did not.

On a margin of 87-62, Varadkar was elected Taoiseach for a second time. He said the Government is failing some citizens and this needed to be put right. “Ireland has never been a failed State, and it is grotesque and dishonest to claim that we are or we were. But we are failing some of our citizens, and it is essential to our success as a country that we put this right”.

He said the Government needed to go “all out” to address the housing crisis. Varadkar listed this climate change, the cost of living crisis, education and childcare as issues that must be tackled, otherwise the State will be betraying the next generation.

A recommitment to supporting those affected by war Ukraine needs to be made, he said.

Warm tributes were paid to Martin with the new Taoiseach noting how he put “the country before politics” on the day of his election when his family could not be present in the Convention Centre and throughout his tenure.

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If you’re here, you care about County Clare. So do we. Did you rely on us for Covid-19 updates, follow our election coverage, or visit The Clare Echo every week for breaking news and sport? The Clare Echo invests in local journalism and we want to safeguard its future in our county. By becoming a subscriber you are supporting what we do, will receive access to all our premium articles and a better experience, while helping us improve our offering to you. Subscribe to clareecho.ie and get the first six months for just €3 a month (less than 75c per week), and thereafter €8 per month. Cancel anytime, limited time offer. T&Cs Apply. www.clareecho.ie.

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