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

Seanad abolition referendum

[Speaking in Seanad Eireann} I still feel a little like a tourist when I am in the corridors of Government and Parliament and I still take an outsider’s perspective and have a sense of wonder at some of the opportunities it gives somebody who has a different day job. I had an interesting experience last … Continue reading

Land and Conveyancing Law Reform Bill

PromNight

I welcome the Minister of State, Deputy Kathleen Lynch, to the House. I have always found it a great pleasure to deal with her as she is helpful, co-operative and respectful to us here. I will say a few words about the Bill and ask the Minister of State to go on the record with … Continue reading

A need for a debate on parliamentary reform

It is reported in today’s newspapers that the constitutional convention will take place in the spring and the Taoiseach has specifically remarked, in comments attributed to him in today’s edition of The Irish Times, that the future of the Seanad will not form part of the discussions at the convention, that the issue will be … Continue reading

Seanad Proceedings and Seanad Reform

We had a Marie Antoinette moment in the House last week. …. As a fair outsider to the political system, what went on here last week was nothing short of appalling. In fact, it is being understated as to how grossly irresponsible it was to have a series of endless quorum calls, procedural motions and … Continue reading

Seanad and Dail Reform

It is regrettable that at this stage, six months into the term of this Seanad, we have not yet had a debate with the Taoiseach on what is probably the most fundamental issue facing the Seanad, which is its own future, the existential crisis of a body which, according to stated pre-election Government policy, is … Continue reading

Changes to pension legislation

It is the stated intention of the Taoiseach to abolish our Seanad so I am not certain how much attention he will pay to recommendations on other matters coming from the House. I ask the Leader to bring to the attention of the Government, the Minister for Finance in particular, an alternative strategy for dealing … Continue reading

Seanad is an affront to a democracy in dire need of attention

While the status quo will not suffice, there is hope for a new type of elected Seanad. Taoiseach Enda Kenny has recently reaffirmed his intention to put the issue of Seanad abolition to a referendum. Support for abolition appears to be strong, and while the somewhat quirky and atypical composition of the current upper house … Continue reading