Monday 23 October 2017

Unruly senators have only harmed their cause

WE HAVE entered a very rare period in Irish public life – a week in which Seanad Eireann is under the spotlight. As a Fine Gael campaign was launched yesterday urging all citizens to endorse the Taoiseach's plans to abolish the upper house of Parliament in a referendum vote this autumn, the 60 senators also began debating the Protection of Life During Pregnancy Bill.

Unsurprisingly, most of the senators argue that Seanad Eireann should be radically reformed and put to better use rather than just abolished. Nobody in public life believes the Seanad, as currently operated, should continue.

But yesterday, the senators did their own cause no good whatsoever. Commenting on the new Fine Gael campaign launch, one senator described it as "lies'', a second compared it to "Hitler" and a third mounted a very personalised attack on one of the FG campaign directors.

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