WATCH: Back seat for gas guzzler while train takes strain as new Limerick TD arrives at Dail

Nick Rabbitts at Leinster House

Reporter:

Nick Rabbitts at Leinster House

Email:

nick@limerickleader.ie

IT WAS meant to be a grand entrance to Dail Eireann today for newly elected Richard O'Donoghue, and so it eventually proved, though it wasn't as smooth as perhaps hoped.

The Independent TD for Limerick had intended to make the trip in a classic car, a gas guzzling American 1959 Plymouth Cornonade, complete with fins.

In an appropriate metaphor for these Green-tinged times, however, the car  broke down on the way and Mr O'Donoghue completed his journey on public transport, rolling into Heuston Station this morning on the train.

The car was eventually revived, mind you, and was on hand for Richard to make his grand entrance to Ireland's seat of power.

The vehicle was driven by its owner, vintage car enthusiast Pat Conroy who believes it formed part of John F Kennedy's motorcade when he visited Ireland in 1963.

While Richard jumped into a taxi to take him the rest of the way to Kildare Street, Pat did manage to get the car fixed - and his friend was able to travel the final few feet of the way and drove the motor through the gates of Dail Eireann, where he was met by a gaggle of photographers.

Speaking to the Limerick Leader outside Leinster House, he explained how Pat had pledged to drive him to Dublin in the event of his election.

"Pat's a long time member of the vintage club. He goes out every Sunday to raise money for people in need and charities. It's an honour for me to be sitting in that car, and to be asked could he pick me up. "It's Limerick, it's history, and to be asked to be taken up. That car has history going back to JFK in 1963, Brendan Behan in 1964. This is what we are here for. We are here to honour our past and protect the future."

"I'm feeling ecstatic. It's a tremendous achievement. It couldn't have happened without my family and friends. For my father God rest him, who was a long time follower of Fianna Fail, and my mother who was Fine Gael. But for both my parents, who are deceased, it's super proud for me, and god rest them," he added.

 "I consider this very lucky. I feel privileged to be here, and I thank people who have voted for me."

A Ceann Comhairle will be elected this afternoon, and while a variety of names will go forward as Taoiseach, it's unlikely there will be an appointment today.