Political Reform

[Speaking during Order of Business in the Seanad] It is timely that we would ask the relevant Minister, who, in truth, would probably be the Taoiseach, to come to the House at some stage for a broad-ranging debate on political reform. At the time of the Seanad referendum last year substantial and welcome attention was … Continue reading

Seanad Reform

[Speaking in the Seanad on Independent Senator Sean Barrett’s Bill – Seanad Electoral (Panel Members) (Amendment) Bill 2014] I have great pleasure in supporting and seconding Senator Barrett’s Bill. I believe Senator Barrett, more than any of us, represents the epitome of the intention of the Seanad – that is, to bring expertise unencumbered by … Continue reading

Seanad Reform

My Vision

[Speaking in the Seanad on the Heads of the General Scheme of the Seanad Electoral (University Members) (Amendment) Bill ] The question before the Government of our Republic with respect to this Bill is a very simple one: does it believe in democracy or does it not? A second question is whether all citizens of … Continue reading

Political Reform

My Vision

This afternoon’s proceedings, including the Government’s amendment to the substantive motion, constitute a powerful argument in favour of emigration. This country desperately needs political reform. The disaster we faced over the last five years was not primarily due to bankers, builders or bureaucrats. Bankers and builders acted understandably, albeit in a self-defeating manner, in what … Continue reading

Seanad Reform

It is in truth a given that there is a prevalent cynicism about democracy and an increasing scepticism about its potential for reform and self improvement. Many citizens are totally alienated from the democratic process, believing that a self-perpetuating system populated by self-serving people neither reflects their wishes and values nor particularly acts in their … Continue reading

Seanad reform (discussion in Seanad with An Taoiseach, post-referendum)

I extend my personal welcome and gratitude to the Taoiseach. He has shown very considerable grace and statesmanship by coming here today and giving Seanad reform top priority so soon after the referendum. I am very grateful to him for doing so. He has also shown great wisdom and judgment in viewing the result of … Continue reading

Political Reform – post referendum

[Speaking in the Seanad] There is a funny phenomenon that occurs in medicine that is probably better known in the lay press than in the medical literature which is called the near-death experience. That is something which occurs when people have had cardiac arrest or serious stroke and they are felt to be clinically dead. … Continue reading

Honesty beat spin on Seanad vote… it’s now time for reform; The thoughtful electorate were troubled by Enda Kenny’s obstinate refusal to debate and the bullying of his party on future reform. There’s no time for sulking now… just action

As published in the Irish Daily Mail on 7 October 2013 THERE was a sense that the momentum was moving toward the No side in the days preceding the Seanad abolition referendum, but that perhaps it was too late. The turnaround on the day was, however, simply extraordinary, and I don’t think is entirely explained … Continue reading

Whatever the Seanad result, I will forever be horrified by the lies, spin and smears of a Government I helped elect

As published in the Irish Daily Mail on 4 October 2013 I HAVE voted Fine Gael either No.1 or No.2 in every general election of my adult life. I endorsed Enda Kenny for Taoiseach in 2007 and 2011, and joy fully welcomed his accession to power. I truly hoped that his election would usher in … Continue reading

Vested interests will be only ones to benefit if senators shown door

As published in the Sunday Independent on 29 September 2013 Getting rid of the upper house is a cynical ploy that won’t save a cent. Ask yourself one question as Enda requests that you abolish one half of our national parliament. Cui bono? Who benefits? Vested interests are pushing Seanad extinction as a smokescreen to … Continue reading