Wednesday 22 February 2017

Enough of this fig-leaf democracy, let's call time on our elitist Seanad

Published 03/09/2013 | 05:00

Former Trade union leader Kieran Mulvey and solicitor Mary Trayers at the launch of the
Former Trade union leader Kieran Mulvey and solicitor Mary Trayers at the launch of the "one house" campaign to abolish the Seanad

THREE words are enough to persuade me the Seanad should be abolished: Senator Eoghan Harris. The circumstances surrounding his elevation to the upper house highlight its misuse. A new government swept into power, and the booty was divided up.

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Victori spolia: to the victor, the spoils. Bertie Ahern rewarded a journalist who had done him some service with a plum, courtesy of the public purse. That appointment is just one example of how a body designed to reinforce democracy degenerated into a corruption of it. It has become a tool for political patronage – payback time for favours given or expected.

Mr Harris received a handsome tip in return for his PR offensive on 'The Late Late Show' immediately before the 2007 general election, attacking those who questioned the then Taoiseach's personal finances.

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