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First meeting of 24th Seanad today

The Seanad is to meet this afternoon at 2.30pm.

This first sitting will commence with a reading by the clerk of the Proclamation of the President of Ireland convening Seanad √Čireann.

The sixty members will be announced and nominations will be taken for the election of the Cathaoirleach by a temporary chair who will in this case be David Norris as he is the longest serving Senator. Should the case arise that more than 2 persons be nominated, a vote will take place.

The newly elected Cathaoirleach, widely reported to be Fine Gael Senator Paddy Burke, takes the Chair and may address the House. The leader of the Seanad then sets a date for the election of the leas-Chathaoirleach.

It is also reported that the Leader of the House and head of the Fine Gael group in the new Seanad is expected to be Waterford Senator Maurice Cummins.

The Seanad was summoned by the President to meet today following the announcement by Taoiseach Enda Kenny of his nominees which include the husband of President Mary McAleese, Dr. Martin McAleese.

This could potentially be the first sitting of the last ever Seanad should the coalition put into effect plans to abolish the upper house of the parliament as included in the Programme for Government.