Cian takes heckling TDs in his stride and leaves Kenny in his shadow

Meetings, photocalls, Dáil questions, radio interviews, and unruly TDs — all part of a day’s work for Cian O’Connor, who yesterday became Taoiseach for a day.

Enda Kenny said during leaders’ questions that Cian would be shadowing him as part of an initiative to allow young people with disabilities to get a taste of various careers. “I just happen to be one of hundreds of people all over the country today who are being shadowed by people in supportive employment and I think that’s a very good thing to do,” Mr Kenny told the Dáil.

Cian was greeted with a round of applause by TDs when he was welcomed to the house. But the heckling soon began, giving the 23-year-old a taste of what it’s like to be Taoiseach.

“I hope he keeps a close eye on you Taoiseach,” said Independent Finian McGrath, while Mattie McGrath asked: “Who is watching Big Phil?” The Ceann Comhairle hoped Cian “doesn’t pick up any bad habits listening to this”.

But Cian was more interested in the real work. In an interview on RTÉ’s Morning Ireland he said the Taoiseach was “a very, very busy guy” and he expected most of the day to be taken up with important meetings. “It’s a chance for me and him to get to know each other,” he said.

In the afternoon, he helped Mr Kenny to officially mark Job Shadow Day, announcing a new employers’ guide to hiring people with disabilities.

Cian, from Dundrum in Dublin, last year shadowed a waiter in Pinocchio’s Restaurant. He has since got a part-time job there, allowing him to save money for a planned holiday to New York with his brother later in the year.



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