The longest serving member of the Seanad has hit out at its lack of racial diversity.
The first sitting of the 26th Seanad took place at the Convention Centre in Dublin.
The names of the 49 elected members of the Upper House have been read out by the Clerk along with Taoiseach Micheál Martin's 11 nominees.
Senator David Norris has hailed the appointment of Eileen Flynn from the travelling community as a significant advance.
However, he has noted the lack of diversity among the 60 Senators.
He said: “This historic coalition marks a welcome end to Civil War politics, so that in future one hopes that politicians will deal with issues, rather than sentiment.
“I welcome very much the substantial increase in female representation, but i regret the absence from Seanad Éireann of any person of mixed race.”
Meanwhile, Fianna Fáil's Mark Daly
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.