Tuesday 6 December 2016

Reform will give Seanad a life and mind of its own

Published 28/05/2011 | 05:00

'The Senate should have a life and a mind of its own. It should be respected for this and it should have a homogeneity that makes it a properly
working institution with carefully designed powers and intelligently framed regulation.' Photo: STEVE HUMPHREYS
'The Senate should have a life and a mind of its own. It should be respected for this and it should have a homogeneity that makes it a properly working institution with carefully designed powers and intelligently framed regulation.' Photo: STEVE HUMPHREYS

My first experience of the Senate was as a student in Trinity College, privileged to be taught by Owen Sheehy Skeffington. He was an outstanding senator making a lasting contribution to public life. He became a friend, guiding me during my early days as a journalist, in particular about Irish politics.

  • Go To

He became famous for a splendid speech at the time of the Arms Trial, about Charles Haughey, Neil Blaney and Kevin Boland, on the theme of a Gilbert and Sullivan jingle, 'They'll none of them be missed, they'll none of them be missed!'

Unfortunately, they came back. It was Skeffington we missed, soon afterwards. He died in 1970. Instead of not missing these radicals of the right, we had to endure them. In the case of the toughest of the bunch, Haughey, his was a dreadful 12-year leadership of Fianna Fail beginning its corruption of standards.

Please sign in or register with Independent.ie for free access to Opinions.

Sign In

Read More

Don't Miss

Editor's Choice