Sunday 25 February 2018

James Downey: How Enda's clever wheeze on Seanad could turn out to be a losing docket

Senator Feargal Quinn
Senator Feargal Quinn
James Downey

James Downey

PADDY Power thinks the Government will lose the referendum on abolishing the Seanad. Since bookmakers seldom get it wrong, that must count as another straw in the wind now blowing strongly against Enda Kenny's pet project.

When he first came up – long before he became Taoiseach – with this wizard wheeze, he must have thought it an easy and popular move. Very few of us have any respect for the institution. Unfortunately, most of us have lost respect for all of our institutions, and that includes the Dail, the supposed core of our democracy.

Abolition or retention of the Seanad cannot be discussed seriously without taking in the issue of Dail reform. Since the latter is a question of the utmost importance and difficulty, Mr Kenny has unwittingly opened up a debate in which he and his Government have thus far gained no credit.

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