Fianna Fáil senator Mark Daly has been elected as Cathaoirleach of the Seanad.
The Kerryman succeeds his constituency neighbour Denis O'Donovan in the chair of the upper house, having won an internal vote of senators in the party. He beat Mr O'Donovan and Diarmuid Wilson.
Under the coalition agreement, Senator Regina Doherty, nominated by Taoiseach Michéal Martin on Saturday, will lead the Seanad, with Fianna Fáil taking the €114,000 a year chair.
Mr Daly beat the only other candidate, Sinn Féin's Níall Ó Donaighaille to the chair, having received 46 of the 60 votes.
Mr Daly lost his position as Fianna Fáil's deputy leader in the Seanad two years ago after taking part in an unauthorised election launch for a candidate in Northern Ireland.
Mr Daly said that he was honoured to take the chair, beginning with a tribute to both frontline workers and the outgoing government.
"I want to pay tribute to the former government, to all the ministers and even my mother praised Leo Varadkar and I tell you one thing that's high praise indeed.
"We all bear a huge responsibility being in Seanad Eireann and representing the people of Ireland.
"And that awesome responsibility is part of the idea of opening up the Senate to new ideas, new possibilities new opportunities."
Mr Daly said that the Seanad "stood on the shoulders of giants".
Former Mayo TD Lisa Chambers was also appointed the Fianna Fáil leader in the Seanad.