Reform will give Seanad a life and mind of its own
Published 28/05/2011 | 05:00
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.
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.