Saturday 10 December 2016

A pricey talking shop

Published 29/04/2011 | 09:29

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.

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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.

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