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29/01/2014 [Motions] I move:
That Seanad Éireann:
- conscious that the people of Ireland have recently rejected a constitutional amendment for its abolition;
- noting the clear terms of Article 6 of Bunreacht na hÉireann which acknowledge that it is the "right" of the people "to designate the rulers of the S...
Vol-229 Book-7 Page [415]
29/01/2014 [Motions] I welcome the Minister of State for the debate on the motion. I propose that the House be reformed according to two principles that are cornerstones of any genuine democracy and that it be reformed with a sense of urgency by the immediate establishment of an all-party task force in order ...Vol-229 Book-7 Page [416]
29/01/2014 [Motions] I second the motion. I welcome the Minister of State, Deputy Paul Kehoe.
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 p...
Vol-229 Book-7 Page [418]
29/01/2014 [Motions] I move amendment No.1:
To delete all words after “Seanad Éireann” and substitute the following:
“- notes that the Taoiseach and the Tánaiste met the leaders of the various parties and groupings in Dáil Éireann and Seanad Éireann on 18 December 2013 to consider how best to proceed with the...
Vol-229 Book-7 Page [419]
29/01/2014 [Motions] I commend Senator Katherine Zappone for tabling this Private Members’ motion and Members for their views on the issue of Seanad reform. The reason there are not many Fianna Fáil Members present in the House today is they are attending the funeral of a close and young family member of a pa...Vol-229 Book-7 Page [422]
29/01/2014 [Motions] I welcome the Minister of State, Deputy Paul Kehoe, and commend Senators Katherine Zappone and John Crown for their work on Seanad reform. It was a pleasure to campaign with Senator Katherine Zappone and Democracy Matters for the defeat of the referendum on Seanad abolition in October. T...Vol-229 Book-7 Page [424]
29/01/2014 [Motions] I welcome the Minister of State. There were 112 combinations proposed between 1937 and 2013 for the reform of the Seanad. They covered such matters as size and composition, elections, automatic re-election of the Cathaoirleach, terms and timing of elections, the filling of vacancies, nom...Vol-229 Book-7 Page [425]
29/01/2014 [Motions] I welcome the Minister of State and look forward to his contribution.
The Leader, Senator Maurice Cummins, outlined the reasons behind the amendment, with which I heartily concur. Many issues are involved and he has outlined many improvements which have been made in the lifetime of th...
Vol-229 Book-7 Page [426]
29/01/2014 [Motions] I welcome the Minister of State, Deputy Paul Kehoe. I thank Senators Katherine Zappone, Feargal Quinn and others for tabling the motion.
There are three areas to be considered: the promised democratic revolution which turned into a power grab; the national democratic deficit which has b...
Vol-229 Book-7 Page [427]
29/01/2014 [Motions] I welcome the Minister of State and Government Chief Whip. It is good to see him here for this debate. It is also welcome that we are having this debate and I congratulate Senator Katherine Zappone and her colleagues for putting the motion before the House. I am clear that when the peop...Vol-229 Book-7 Page [428]
29/01/2014 [Motions] The Minister is very welcome and I am glad to see him in the House for this valuable debate. On 4 October over 634,000 people voted to ensure the Seanad would not be abolished. I suspect that for many citizens, 4 October was the first time they had the chance to cast any type of vote rel...Vol-229 Book-7 Page [429]
29/01/2014 [Motions] I welcome the Minister of State, Deputy Paul Kehoe, to debate this important subject and also every opportunity to debate it. I commend Senator Katherine Zappone and all those involved in the attempts to have further engagement on the issue because we all agree that we have a mandate from...Vol-229 Book-7 Page [431]
29/01/2014 [Motions] I ask the Senator to conclude.[An Cathaoirleach]Vol-229 Book-7 Page [432]
29/01/2014 [Motions] With regard to the Whip, the issue of stability is very important. We need to send a message of stability to the international community, as well as to the people. One person's crisis of conscience may be another person's finest opportunity. Everyone has his or her own idea about how to...Vol-229 Book-7 Page [432]
29/01/2014 [Motions] I thank Senator Katherine Zappone for raising the issue in Private Members' time and allowing the Senators to discuss Seanad reform. I also thank her for keeping the issue on the agenda and Senator Feargal Quinn and Democracy Matters for their very good and constructive work in campaignin...Vol-229 Book-7 Page [433]
29/01/2014 [Motions] We knew the Senator's heart was not in it.[Coghlan, Paul]Vol-229 Book-7 Page [433]
29/01/2014 [Motions] The same is true of the Senator.[Barrett, Sean D.]Vol-229 Book-7 Page [433]
29/01/2014 [Motions] We always want to see the option of reform put to the people and one of the consistent calls made by my party and others outside the political system was that the Constitutional Convention be the mechanism and conduit, which we can still use, to properly tease out, debate and ventilate the...Vol-229 Book-7 Page [433]
29/01/2014 [Motions] It was approved by the people.[Coghlan, Paul]Vol-229 Book-7 Page [433]
29/01/2014 [Motions] It is not real reform. The Constitutional Convention is meeting this weekend and may discuss the future of the Seanad. The Taoiseach and the Oireachtas should give the Constitutional Convention a fresh mandate to properly examine Seanad and Dáil reform in the wake of the referendum resul...Vol-229 Book-7 Page [433]
29/01/2014 [Motions] I commend Senators Katherine Zappone, Feargal Quinn and John Crown and others for bringing this matter forward for debate. It is important to acknowledge that the Taoiseach and the Tánaiste met party leaders in December, as mentioned by Senator Ivana Bacik and others, and are taking a con...Vol-229 Book-7 Page [434]
29/01/2014 [Motions] I wish to share time with Senator Jim Walsh.[Ó Murchú, Labhrás]Vol-229 Book-7 Page [435]
29/01/2014 [Motions] Is that agreed? Agreed.[An Cathaoirleach]Vol-229 Book-7 Page [435]
29/01/2014 [Motions] It is significant that the Senators who are promoting the motion are those who were very much to the fore in defending the Seanad during the recent referendum campaign. We all agree they did a magnificent job in that regard. Unfortunately, a great opportunity was lost during those debate...Vol-229 Book-7 Page [435]
29/01/2014 [Motions] I thank my colleague for allowing me a few minutes to speak. I also thank the Senators who tabled the motion. I support the broad principles of reform, although I do not support all the details in the proposal. All Senators in the House should be elected, as this is one way of getting a...Vol-229 Book-7 Page [436]
29/01/2014 [Motions] I ask the Senator to conclude.[An Cathaoirleach]Vol-229 Book-7 Page [437]
29/01/2014 [Motions] The Government has become intoxicated by its own spin, of which this truncated debate is an example.[Walsh, Jim]Vol-229 Book-7 Page [437]
29/01/2014 [Motions] I must call the next speaker, Senator Michael D’Arcy.[An Cathaoirleach]Vol-229 Book-7 Page [437]
29/01/2014 [Motions] I understand we are finishing at 5 p.m. today - Wednesday - because the Minister will not make himself available after that time. That is unacceptable.[Walsh, Jim]Vol-229 Book-7 Page [437]
29/01/2014 [Motions] The Senator is way over time.[An Cathaoirleach]Vol-229 Book-7 Page [437]
29/01/2014 [Motions] It is an example of why we must move from the rigid control by Government of these Houses.[Walsh, Jim]Vol-229 Book-7 Page [437]
29/01/2014 [Motions] In listening to the debate I am reminded of the saying that if one were going somewhere they should not start from here. I am somewhat of that view in terms of Seanad reform. If the opportunity arose we would not start from here. It is a pity previous Governments did not take the opport...Vol-229 Book-7 Page [437]
29/01/2014 [Motions] I wish to share my time with Senators Paul Bradford and Fidelma Healy Eames.[O'Brien, Mary Ann]Vol-229 Book-7 Page [438]
29/01/2014 [Motions] Is that agreed? Agreed.[An Cathaoirleach]Vol-229 Book-7 Page [438]
29/01/2014 [Motions] I support my colleagues, Senators Katherine Zappone, John Crown and Feargal Quinn. I am a Taoiseach’s nominee, but I have no problem with what Senator Michael D’Arcy suggested. One of the things that has affected me is getting to know my colleagues in the Seanad. As has been pointed out...Vol-229 Book-7 Page [438]
29/01/2014 [Motions] I thank Senator Mary Ann O’Brien. I am delighted to be a signatory to the motion. I thank Senators Katherine Zappone and Feargal Quinn for leading on the matter. We are talking about Seanad reform again. We await the response of the Minister of State, Deputy Paul Kehoe, because a roadm...Vol-229 Book-7 Page [438]
29/01/2014 [Motions] I thank Senator Katherine Zappone and the other Senators who have driven this matter to the top of the political agenda. I look forward to the response of the Minister of State. However, we all know in advance that the response of the Government will be a continuation of Government polic...Vol-229 Book-7 Page [438]
29/01/2014 [Motions] I thank all Senators for their contributions, with some of which I agree and with some with which I do not. Some Members spoke about Dáil reform, but I thought we were here to discuss Seanad reform. Some Senators played the man rather than the ball and some had a very good contribution t...Vol-229 Book-7 Page [439]
29/01/2014 [Motions] The Minister of State has no interest in Dáil reform, as has been evidenced in the past three years.[Walsh, Jim]Vol-229 Book-7 Page [439]
29/01/2014 [Motions] The Minister of State to continue, without interruption.[An Cathaoirleach]Vol-229 Book-7 Page [439]
29/01/2014 [Motions] The Minister of State has an interest in upsetting Members.[Cummins, Maurice]Vol-229 Book-7 Page [439]
29/01/2014 [Motions] He has a track record at it.[Bacik, Ivana]Vol-229 Book-7 Page [439]
29/01/2014 [Motions] Please allow the Minister of State to speak, without interruption.[An Cathaoirleach]Vol-229 Book-7 Page [439]
29/01/2014 [Motions] I am pleased to have the opportunity to speak in the Seanad in support of the motion proposed by the Leader of the Seanad, Senator Maurice Cummins. The subject of this debate is important and I am glad to have an opportunity to contribute to it. Seanad reform was much discussed during th...Vol-229 Book-7 Page [439]
29/01/2014 [Motions] It was the first time nobody from Northern Ireland was appointed.[Walsh, Jim]Vol-229 Book-7 Page [440]
29/01/2014 [Motions] The Minister of Staten to continue, without interruption, please.[An Cathaoirleach]Vol-229 Book-7 Page [440]
29/01/2014 [Motions] I am glad most Senators here do not have behavioural problems.[Kehoe, Paul]Vol-229 Book-7 Page [440]
29/01/2014 [Motions] The Deputy should think of that when he goes on South East Radio.[Walsh, Jim]Vol-229 Book-7 Page [440]
29/01/2014 [Motions] Please allow the Minister of State to continue, without interruption.[An Cathaoirleach]Vol-229 Book-7 Page [440]
29/01/2014 [Motions] Of the 49 elected Members, six are titled university Members. These are elected in two constituencies, three by the National University of Ireland and three by the University of Dublin. A separate register of electors is maintained for each constituency and the elections are run separate...Vol-229 Book-7 Page [440]
29/01/2014 [Motions] The Minister of State has brought "jobs for the boys" to a fine art.[Walsh, Jim]Vol-229 Book-7 Page [443]
29/01/2014 [Motions] Please allow the Minister of State to speak, without interruption.[An Cathaoirleach]Vol-229 Book-7 Page [443]
29/01/2014 [Motions] We cannot be listening to that kind of-----[Walsh, Jim]Vol-229 Book-7 Page [443]
29/01/2014 [Motions] If the Senator does not want to listen, there are three doors to this Chamber and the Senator can leave by any one of them. I have no problem with that and will not be upset if he leaves.[Kehoe, Paul]Vol-229 Book-7 Page [443]
29/01/2014 [Motions] I must ask the Minister of State to conclude.[An Cathaoirleach]Vol-229 Book-7 Page [443]
29/01/2014 [Motions] On a point of order, my understanding is that the Order of Business stated that this discussion would conclude at 5 p.m.[Walsh, Jim]Vol-229 Book-7 Page [443]
29/01/2014 [Motions] We did not start-----[An Cathaoirleach]Vol-229 Book-7 Page [443]
29/01/2014 [Motions] The order is that we conclude at 5 p.m.[Walsh, Jim]Vol-229 Book-7 Page [443]
29/01/2014 [Motions] The Senator was not here for most of the debate.[Kehoe, Paul]Vol-229 Book-7 Page [443]
29/01/2014 [Motions] There are two hours for Private Members' business.[An Cathaoirleach]Vol-229 Book-7 Page [443]
29/01/2014 [Motions] This is unbelievable. Senator Jim Walsh is the same Senator who gave out earlier because the debate was not going to go beyond 5 p.m.[Kehoe, Paul]Vol-229 Book-7 Page [443]
29/01/2014 [Motions] I was going to ask the Leader to extend the time in order that others could contribute, too.[Walsh, Jim]Vol-229 Book-7 Page [443]
29/01/2014 [Motions] I will conclude within three minutes. A number of Senators raised the issue of Dáil reform. I have examined the Dáil reform that has taken place in the last two and a half years in comparison with what was done in the previous 15 years under various Fianna Fáil-led Governments.[Kehoe, Pa...Vol-229 Book-7 Page [443]
29/01/2014 [Motions] We will not get into that issue. There is reform-----[Walsh, Jim]Vol-229 Book-7 Page [443]
29/01/2014 [Motions] There have been far more reforms. Some Senators have asserted that the Government does not have respect for Seanad Éireann, but the Government has actually secured the future of this House. Since I became involved in politics I have been asked continuously why we need Seanad Éireann. Th...Vol-229 Book-7 Page [443]
29/01/2014 [Motions] How does the Dáil work? It does not work. The debacle of Irish Water proves it. Look at the mess that was created.[Walsh, Jim]Vol-229 Book-7 Page [443]
29/01/2014 [Motions] The Minister of State is primarily responsible for that mess.[Walsh, Jim]Vol-229 Book-7 Page [443]
29/01/2014 [Motions] I must ask the Minister of State to conclude.[An Cathaoirleach]Vol-229 Book-7
29/01/2014 [Motions] I thank Senators for their contributions. It is unfortunate that we have some unruly Senators in the House, but I cannot help that. I thank Senators once again.[Kehoe, Paul]Vol-229 Book-7 Page [444]
29/01/2014 [Motions] Quite a number of Senators have indicated that they want to speak, but it will not be possible to allow them to do so, as I must ask Senator Katherine Zappone to conclude the debate.[An Cathaoirleach]Vol-229 Book-7 Page [444]
29/01/2014 [Motions] I thank the Minister of State for his remarks. I also thank my colleagues, to whom I have listened very carefully. We have had a very fine debate on the motion and the amendment. I regret that the Minister of State was not able to offer more reflection on what we have said owing to time...Vol-229 Book-7 Page [444]
29/01/2014 [Motions] When is it proposed to sit again?[An Cathaoirleach]Vol-229 Book-7 Page [446]
29/01/2014 [Motions] Ar 10.30 maidin amárach.[Cummins, Maurice]Vol-229 Book-7 Page [446]
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