Mixed records for senators' voting
Published 24/09/2013 | 05:40
ONE IN four highly-paid senators are failing to turn up for votes.
And the local senator with the worst voting record in the past 12 months was Fianna Fail's Marc MacSharry.
He missed 53 votes. He was present for 154, giving him a 74% record.
Labour's Susan O'Keeffe missed 47 votes. She was present for 160, giving her a 77% record.
Senator MacSharry declined to comment.
Senator O'Keeffe said: "The situation is you are not always in the Seanad because you could be at committee, a briefing or a meeting.
"You could be with a visiting minister.
"Just because you are not voting doesn't mean you are sitting with your feet up. If I am not voting, I am legitimately working somewhere else.
"And my diary shows that."
Fine Gael's Michael Comiskey had the best attendance. He showed up for 85% of votes, having been present for 176 votes and missing 31.
Party colleague Imelda Henry had an 84% record. She was present for 173 votes and missed 34.
Fianna Fail's Paschal Mooney had a voting rate of 80%.
He missed 42 votes and was present for 165.
Voting is a fundamental part of an Oireachtas member's work.
Some of the lowest turnouts in the Seanad were for votes on important issues such as the Social Welfare Bill and the Personal Insolvency Bill.
But, interestingly, one of the highest turnouts was for a vote on the future of the Seanad itself.
And Fianna Fail, the one party campaigning to save the Seanad, had the worst voting Seanad record of the main parties.
However, some Independent senators and some of the Taoiseach's nominees have the worst records.