Seanad debates

Wednesday, 18 November 2020

Seanad Bill 2020: Second Stage


10:30 am

Vincent P Martin (Green Party) | Oireachtas source

Gabhaim buíochas leis an gCathaoirleach. People are judged by actions, not mere words. Today is an action. I hope I can be forgiven for not getting carried away and being slightly reticent in not being overly optimistic for any radical solution in the short term. One only has to look at the history and the delay upon delay the House has suffered. In 1979, the outcome to a constitutional referendum permitted a significant extension of the franchise to third level graduates but there has been no progress 41 years later. Then 2013 was a pivotal year in the history of the Seanad when a power grab by the Executive of the day spectacularly backfired on it because civil society groups spoke up for this Upper House, our fellow politicians and national parliamentarians voices were not to be heard and their endeavours ran contrary to democracy. It is sometimes dangerous to name names in case I leave anyone out but I wish to mention in this debate my friend and colleague, the late Noel Whelan, who was front and centre of that campaign-----


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