Senator Brian Ó Domhnaill’s Speech- 24th Seanad

  Senator Brian Ó Domhnaill: Ba mhaith liom an deis seo a ghlacadh comhghairdeas ó chroí a dhéanamh leat, a Chathaoirligh, tar éis duit bheith tofa d’aon ghuth anseo inniu mar Chathaoirleach ar an Seanad.  Tá súil agam go n-éireoidh an bóthar leat i do phost úr.  I am delighted that you have been elected unanimously as Cathaoirleach.  You are one of the gentlemen of politics.  In my term in Seanad Éireann I have always enjoyed your company and taken your advice at all times.  I wish you well in your new position and know that you will serve in that capacity with distinction and pride.  We all look forward to working with you.  I also wish the new Leader of the House, Senator Cummins, well, with the new deputy leader, Senator Bacik, and all those Members who have been given leadership roles.

  There has been a discussion today on the future of the Seanad, on which I do not want to dwell too much.  We should have a debate on the issue which we should lead from within the House prior to having a discussion at national level or holding a referendum.  Varying views have been expressed.  I have strong opinions on what Seanad Éireann should be and whether it should have a role in the future.  It should form part of the new Ireland, long into the future, giving everyone the opportunity to have issues raised in the House.  I impress upon the Leader of the House to take the matter seriously and have a constructive and engaging debate within the House on what we, whether in government or opposition, consider the Seanad should be.  This may require special sittings of the House.

  I pay tribute to the Taoiseach’s 11 nominees to the Seanad.  As a former nominated Member in 2007, I commend the Taoiseach whose 11 nominees reflect a changed view in his mind and the fact that he is looking at the Seanad as a House in which there can be an expression of opinion different from that in the other House.  Considering the varying backgrounds of the 11 nominees, without referring to any one of them in particular, we can have an engaging and challenging debate on all issues of relevance to the people.

  As Senator Norris said in his eloquent contribution, we are in a difficult position as a country.  Every family is experiencing difficulty.  In the next three or four years this House should champion social justice issues to ensure the State provides for all those experiencing difficulty.  If we can achieve this, from our different political perspectives, we will serve the people well in the next few years.

  Molaim an Chathaoirleach.  Tá a fhios agam go ndéanfaidh sé jab iontach.  Tá mé ag súil go mór le comhoibriú a dhéanamh le gach Seanadóir sa Teach seo.  I am delighted to see so many new faces in the House.  I wish every new Senator well, both nominated and elected, and look forward to playing a part in conjunction with my colleagues in the Seanad.

Posted: May 25, 2011     |     Categories: Uncategorized