Seanad debates

Wednesday, 11 March 2009

5:00 pm

Photo of Paudie CoffeyPaudie Coffey (Fine Gael)

I welcome the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government, Deputy John Gormley, to the House to listen to a very important debate. I commend the Independent Senators on what I and Fine Gael believe is a very reasonable motion asking for urgent reform of the Seanad. We must all act as soon as possible on this.

Even today media mandarins and commentators were on national radio calling for the abolition of Seanad √Čireann. For those of us who believe in a truly democratic system, it is important that Seanad √Čireann should continue to act as the Upper House and play an oversight role with regard to legislation and democracy in this country. Previous speakers have noted that the media do not take much notice of what happens in this House. Reporting in the media is very scant. In fairness, Jimmy Walsh of The Irish Times contributes a regular piece and it is important we acknowledge that.

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