Deputy Anne Ferris yesterday spoke poignantly about her own experience being adopted from a mother and baby home. You can watch her entire speech from the video and we've included a transcript of what she said below.
Two weeks ago, I met my younger sister for tea across the road in the Merrion Hotel.
It was an unusual day, but not because neither of us had taken the time to have tea in the very posh Merrion Hotel. It was unusual because it was the first time we had ever shared a pot of tea. Before that day two weeks ago, I had never laid eyes on my sister.
"We will ensure the recovery works for the many and not just the few, and that the burden borne by the people of this country has not been in vain," the Labour Leader and Tánaiste Joan Burton said at the launch of the Government's priorities 2014 - 2016.
The Tánaiste said housing would be the number one priority for the remainder of the Government's term.
"We will set in train a construction programme to triple the number of houses built to 25,000 a year by 2020. There are currently 80,000 construction workers unemployed and such a programme will create a virtuous circle - helping them back to work and providing homes for families.
"Today, this Government is setting out how it will avail of that opportunity to ensure that the recovery improves living standards for every person, every family and every community... We will deliver a social recovery - to ensure that the burden borne by the people of this country has not been in vain," the Tánaiste Joan Burton told the Dáil today during a speech following the Cabinet reshuffle.
The Tánaiste also confirmed a construction programme to triple the number of houses built to 25,000 a year by 2020 as well as the holding of a referendum on marriage equality next spring. You can read the Tánaiste's entire speech in our media centre or watch it back from the video.
This afternoon the Tánaiste Joan Burton announced her appointees to Cabinet. They are Minister Joan Burton – Social Protection; Minister Alan Kelly – Environment and Local Government; Minister Brendan Howlin - Public Expenditure and Reform; Minister Jan O’Sullivan – Education; Minister Alex White – Communications and Minister Ged Nash – Business and Employment (Super Junior).
If you're on Twitter you can follow most of our new Ministers on Twitter. You can also follow the Labour Party for all the latest news.
The new Leader of the Labour Party and Tanaiste is Joan Burton and the new Deputy Leader is Alan Kelly. Below you can hear what Joan said following her election.
And below that we've also posted what Alan Kelly told party members following his election. We'll have more photographs from the day soon on Flickr. Congratulations to both Joan and Alan and well done to all the other candidates for a great leadership campaign. A big thanks also to our party members for their enthusiastic participation and engagement.
Leaders' Questions today was taken by Minister Ruairi Quinn. The issues debated were social welfare fraud, the health budget, and the Housing Assistance Payment. You can watch the entire proceedings back from the video.