A pricey talking shop
The revelation that former Fianna Fail Senator Donie Cassidy stands to receive a huge pay-off package following the loss of his Senate seat this week merely reinforces the case for scrapping this expensive talking shop.
Ever since independence, the second chamber of the Irish parliament has struggled to find a role. The original 1922 Senate, which was supposed to provide a voice for Southern Unionists, was scrapped by Eamon de Valera and replaced by a new Senate in the 1937 Constitution.
The Senate Mark II was no more successful than its predecessor, with its only discernible function being to provide a proving ground for young politicians on the way up and a rest home for old warhorses on the way out.