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We asked every TD to share their best Christmas present and NY resolution

Whose best present was a donkey?

THE END OF December is a time of contemplation: a time where we reflect on our newly depleted bank balances, our newly acquired stock of socks, and our newly expanded waistlines. 

giphy Source: Giphy

But also we reflect on the year we’ve had and think ahead to what we hope the new year brings. So in late November, with Christmas and 2019 on my mind, I posed two extremely important questions via email to our Government representatives:

  1. What’s the best Christmas gift you’ve received?
  2. What is your New Year’s Resolution?

Altogether, 20 TDs, including the Taoiseach, replied to my request.  

1. Martin Ferris

Matin Ferris Source: Sinn Fein

Kerry’s Sinn Féin TD was the first to respond to my request.

The first Christmas I ever spent with all my children, after being released from Portlaoise prison on compassionate grounds, was the best gift I ever received.

Well, I was expecting mindless consumerism to be the answers to these questions; I was not expecting to have a slight tear in my eye at my work desk.

I never make New Year’s resolutions because I know from experience that I never keep them.

My New Years’ Resolution is to know myself as well as Deputy Ferris.

2. Alan Farrell 

Alan Farrell Source: Fine Gael

Fine Gael’s TD for Dublin Fingal clearly has no fear of heights as his best Christmas gift was:

Flying lessons.

And his New Years’ Resolution is to:

Spend more time with my children. 

3. Anne Rabbitte 

~anne Source: Fianna Fail

The true Spirit of Christmas is well and truly alive with Fianna Fáil’s Anne Rabbitte:  

For me, the gift of being able to spend the Christmas season surrounded by my family full of health, happiness, warmth & laughter is most certainly the best Christmas Gift of all. I think any gift received should always be appreciated.

shutterstock_1228007194 Source: Shutterstock/Yuganov Konstantin

Of course, I have to go with the usual New Years’ Resolutions of a more healthier lifestyle & allowing myself more personal & wellbeing time. But one resolution I will certainly be sticking to is setting myself 5 targets I wish to achieve by the end of 2019 and ensuring I succeed.

4. Maureen O’Sullivan 

n0RANqzy_400x400 Source: Maureen O'Sullivan

The Dublin Central Independent TD says the best gift she received was:
Anything Santa brought!

And Deputy O’Sullivan’s resolution is to a maintain her zenful attitude to life:

No resolution as such just continue to take each day as it comes.

5. Joan Burton

220px-Joan_Burton_(official_portrait) Source: Wikipedia

Early in her career, the Former Tánaiste worked at the University of Dar es Salaam in Tanzania as part of Ireland’s International Aid Programme and so was delighted with a holiday back there. 

The best Christmas gift I have ever received is a family trip back to Africa. It was amazing to go back having worked there in years previous. 

Impressions of Tanzania - University in Dar es Salaam Source: DPA/PA Images

And in 2019, Deputy Burton hope to ‘Be ready’. 

My New Year’s resolution would be, “Bì Ullamh” for whatever 2019 brings, including a possible General Election!

6. Frances Fitzgerald

Frances_Fitzgerald_2014 Source: Fine Gael

The Dublin Mid-West TD had vivid childhood memories of receiving excellent toys:

The Roller-skates and a bright red scooter – both of which I loved.

And for the New Year the former Tánaiste hopes to have a more active lifestyle:

More walking in my daily routine – it’s going to be tough!

Ugh, don’t we know Deputy Fitzgerald.

giphy Source: Universal Pictures

7. Kate O’Connell 

kate-oconnell-233x300 Source: Fine Gael

The TD for Dublin Bay South had an unique favourite Christmas gift:

The best Christmas present I ever received was when Santa brought a donkey. I was almost 3 years old (my birthday is January 3rd) and I remember being very excited.

Donkeys celebrate Christmas Source: PA Archive/PA Images

The active and vocal supporter of the Repeal campaign has a Resolution we should all take up:

 …to go to bed earlier.

8. Leo Varadkar 

H8sDLzKZ_400x400 Source: Fine Gael

Our Taoiseach is a millennial, valuing experiences over material goods:

 Received many great gifts as a child, more recently I was given a gift of a weekend away to Rome. Made great memories which is a super gift. 

The Dublin West TD’s New Year’s Resolution is to continue his health buzz:

Do more exercise and get fit.

9. Niamh Smyth

Picture Conor McCabe Photography Source: Conor McCabe

The TD for Cavan-Monaghan had short and sweet answers:

My daughter Juliet. 

And Deputy Smyth’s resolution for 2019 is going to be:

Insisting on positive outcomes.

10. Seán Haughey

sean haughey Source: Fianna Fáil

Fianna Fáil’s TD for Dublin Bay North had a heartwarming reply:

My best Christmas gift will be this year when my son Seán returns home for the Christmas holiday after spending his first year in Australia.

The former Lord Mayor of Dublin, like Deputy Burton, wants to be ready for whatever 2019 could bring:

My New Year’s resolution is to be fighting fit for the General Election which can’t be far away now.

11. Finian McGrath

finian Source: Finian McGrath

The Minster of State for Disability Issues was another TD who cited his children as their best Christmas gift. 

.As a child my first guitar and as an adult our two beautiful daughters Caoimhe and Cliodhna.

giphy (1) Source: giphy

The Independent TD for Dublin Bay North is aiming to be a Good Samaritan for 2019:

To do at least five good things each day.

12. Pat The Cope Gallagher

Pat-The-Cope-Gallagher Source: Fianna Fail

Bikes are proving to be a memorable gift for many TDs. 

Best Christmas gift was a blue bike when I was 6 years old.

The Fianna Fáil TD, who has held office on three occasions since 1981, wants to continue his life-long dedication to the people of Donegal:

New Years Resolution to continue serving my constituents as best I can.

13. Seán Canney 

sean Source: Independent

The Minister of State for Rural Affairs and Natural Resources said his best Christmas gift is:

Our family together on Christmas Day

The Galway East TD’s immediate family will be happy to see his 2019 resolution down in black and white print:

Listen to my family when they give advice 

14. Josepha Madigan 

SG88T0M5_400x400 Source: Fine Gael

An assistant for The Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht said:

Minister Madigan’s best Christmas gift was their family dog called Poppy, a golden cocker spaniel which was given to her 9 years ago. 

giphy (2) Source: Giphy

The TD for Dublin Rathdown has a specific goal for modernising Ireland in 2019:

Her New Year resolution to use all her efforts to reform the Divorce laws in this country and reduce the waiting time for divorce from 4 to 2 years in a referendum.

15, Eamon Ryan

eamon Source: Green Party

The Green Party TD’s assistant responded, saying:

The best Christmas gift he received was a proper leather rugby ball when he was ten years old.

And for 2019, the Dublin Bay South TD said:

New Year’s Resolution: More yoga, less wine :)  

If Deputy Ryan succeeds in his New Year’s Resolution, I want to know how.

16. Declan Breathnach

Declan-Breathnach Source: Fianna Fail

Louth’s TD Declan Breathnach attached a picture of the ‘best Christmas present that you could ever be lucky enough to get.’

decl

The traditional net stocking packed with plastic soldiers red Indians and cowboys not to mention the cardboard compendium of board games.

The Fianna Fail TD then sent a heartfelt poem that he plans to rely upon for the New Year.

My new year resolution is to count your blessings instead of your crosses. Count your gains instead of your losses.
Count your joys instead of woes. Count  your friends instead of your foes.
Count your smiles instead of your tears. Count your courage instead of your fears.
Count your full times instead of your lean. Count your kind deeds instead of your mean.
Count your health instead of your wealth. Love your neighbour as much as yourself.

17. Kevin O’Keeffe

Kevin-OKeeffe Source: Fianna Fáil

Fashion and hard-work is on the mind of Fianna Fáil’s TD for Cork East:

1) A sleeveless jumper. 2) Continue working for the people of Cork East. 

18. Pat Buckley

pat-buckley Source: Sinn Féin

The Sinn Féin TD has learnt the hard way to be careful what you wish for:

The answer to your first question is as follows!
1. An inflatable Dart Board.
2. Never to get an inflatable dart board again

19. Eugene Murphy

Eugene-Murphy-1 Source: Fianna Fáil

The TD for Roscommon-Galway had a present from an ex that left an impression:

I got a very funny singing Christmas jumper from a former girlfriend of mine many, many years ago! The jumper had a Christmas tree with bells on it and everyone thought it was me singing but it was the jumper!

The Fianna Fáil TD and Martin Ferris are in the same boat about resolutions:

I don’t make New Year’s Resolutions – I think they are a waste of time to be honest. 

20. Tom Neville

original Source: Fine Gael

The Fine Gael TD was thankful for a thoughtful gift: 

Frames to show case music vinyl 
For 2019 the Limerick TD is hoping to expand his mind:
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