Monday 26 June 2017

Fionnan Sheahan: Why ailing Seanad should finally be put out of its misery

At the launch of the ‘Radical Seanad Reform Through Legislative Change” consultation paper were, from left, Noel
Whelan, Michael McDowell, Mary O’Rourke, Feargal Quinn, Joe Toole and Katherine Zappone
At the launch of the ‘Radical Seanad Reform Through Legislative Change” consultation paper were, from left, Noel Whelan, Michael McDowell, Mary O’Rourke, Feargal Quinn, Joe Toole and Katherine Zappone

THE Seanad has so little to do that senators will be spending two hours today talking about themselves to themselves. The Upper House of parliament, currently facing the threat of abolition from Taoiseach Enda Kenny, is going to discuss Seanad reform.

No government minister will be present to hear their views, express the Coalition's position and report back to the Taoiseach. Indeed, no request was made for a minister to attend the two-hour debate.

The Seanad doesn't clear two hours of its time to discuss any old document: for example, no specific debate has been held on last week's ESRI report on social welfare payments or the Fiscal Advisory Council's report wanting €1.9bn more of adjustments.

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