Thursday 29 June 2017

Political reform lost in the fog of old-style horse-trading in smoke-filled back rooms

HOW DID THAT ONE WORK OUT? Minister for Finance Michael Noonan, and Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Richard Bruton, on Merrion Square, Dublin, in September 2013, during a Fine Gael unveiling of an online and mobile ad campaign inviting the public to guess how many people voted to elect the then Seanad. Photo: Gareth Chaney/Collins
HOW DID THAT ONE WORK OUT? Minister for Finance Michael Noonan, and Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Richard Bruton, on Merrion Square, Dublin, in September 2013, during a Fine Gael unveiling of an online and mobile ad campaign inviting the public to guess how many people voted to elect the then Seanad. Photo: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Shane Ross

Thirty-five years ago, I was sitting beside Fianna Fail general secretary Seamus Brennan at a charity do in the Mansion House.

I was contemplating a shot at the Seanad. Following a 1979 referendum, Seanad Reform was in the air. So I asked the late minister whether he felt that the Dublin University seats would be abolished or reformed before the pending 1981 election. Brennan responded that he expected that Seanad reforms enabled by the referendum would be enacted before polling day. I reckoned I was goosed.

Today, we are still waiting.

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