Saturday 20 January 2018

Joe O'Toole: Life for Government is easy with a limp Seanad and better still with none at all

IT is interesting and disconcerting to watch the Government's response to Seanad reform and to those of us who have for years espoused that cause.

With stupefied expression and hands outspread, Richard Bruton and the Government ask us these two questions: Why have you waited until the threat of abolition hangs over the Seanad to come up with the idea of reforming rather than abolition? With more than a dozen reports on Seanad reform gathering dust why has the Seanad not implemented them before now? The implication of both questions is that nobody in the Seanad cared until the sentence of death concentrated their thinking.

The truth and reality is very different. Every report on Seanad reform has been endorsed, supported and passed by the House. The most recent report from the group, chaired by Mary O'Rourke, was passed by the Seanad and presented to government. Sad to say, as with all previous reports, there it still languishes.

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