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TV first as senators join Late debate to justify jobs

MORE than 20 Irish Senate members will be put through their paces on tonight's Late Late Show in a debate on whether the house is a useless feature of Irish politics.

But while all 60 members of the Seanad were invited to appear on the show, so far only a third of the senators have confirmed attendance.

Larry Masterson, executive producer of the show, said: "They're coming on the show to discuss the proposition that the Senate has outlived its usefulness in the State and should be abolished.

"We'll be tabling the motion: Is the Senate past its sell-by date? Do we need two houses of the Oireactas?"

He said that to ensure that the debate is as meaningful as possible all 60 sitting senators were invited to take part.

"So far over 20 have accepted our invitation and we're looking forward to some energetic debate. Journalists have been making the argument for the past while that it should be abolished," he said.


Journalist John Drennan will appear to debate with the senators, and fellow writer Ian O'Doherty will also be speaking.

"We got the idea to invite him and put his arguments in a two-minute soapbox presentation," said Mr Masterson.

"Donie Cassidy (FF) and Senator David Norris (Ind) will contribute while our extended audience panel will feature Alex White (Lab), Pearse Doherty (SF), Dan Boyle (GP) and Fidelma Healy Eames (FG), among others."

"This is the first ever for TV and it's exciting for them to come on a big show like this for everyone in Ireland to see.

"We're expecting a big night. They're coming on in the second half of the show."