Monday 25 September 2017

The Seanad Debate: Let's stop hiding behind the whip and the guillotine

The Seanad may be a battered old lifejacket for our system, but it's a lifejacket nonetheless

Stephen Donnelly Independent TD for Wicklow and East Caelow on the plinth in front of the Dail.
Picture By David Conachy. 3/12/2011
Stephen Donnelly Independent TD for Wicklow and East Caelow on the plinth in front of the Dail. Picture By David Conachy. 3/12/2011

Stephen Donnelly

HOW many senators can you name? Before being elected to the Dail, I could probably have got to five.

Let's be honest. Most of us don't really know what the Seanad does. We do, however, feel that fewer politicians has got to be a good thing. And we're pretty sure that, while the Seanad has produced national treasures like Mary Robinson, many senators would rather be in the Dail.

The Government knows this. It preys on this when trying to convince you to abolish the Seanad. An Taoiseach Enda Kenny repeats the mantra that 'Ireland has too many politicians'. And after what Fianna Fail did to the country, with Fine Gael and Labour cheering it on, who's going to argue with that?

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