Athlone’s Sentaor Gabrielle McFadden has made history by being appointed the first female Government Chief Whip in Seanad Éireann.
The Fine Gael Senator was appointed to the position by Taoiseach Enda Kenny, and has also been given the role of Fine Gael’s Seanad spokesperson on Defence.
Senator McFadden said she was humbled to learn that she was the first female to take the Seanad position.
“I am humbled to learn that I am the first female Government Chief Whip in the Seanad and with Regina Doherty serving as Government chief whip in the Dáil, I think this represents great progression for women in Irish politics.
“It is a huge honour to have been appointed Government Chief Whip to the Seanad by An Taoiseach, Enda Kenny. I am looking forward to working with my Fine Gael Seanad colleagues, as well as members of the opposition, to ensure the smooth running of the 25th Seanad.”
She said she was delighted to also be appointed to the Defence portfolio, as she said Custume Barracks in Athlone is “close to my heart”.
“I look forward to working on defence legislation in the Seanad and will continue working to support Custume Barracks, as I have always done throughout my political career.”
Mr Kenny described Senator McFadden as “a politician of honour, integrity, and skill who will do a great job as Government Chief Whip in the Seanad”.
“She is extremely well liked and respected by her colleagues across the Oireachtas, something that will serve her well as she navigates this role.
“I have also appointed her as Fine Gael’s Seanad spokesperson for defence. Gabrielle, who is based in Athlone, has strong family links to the Defence Forces through her grandfather, who served as Sergeant Major in Custume Barracks.”