Dáil sketch: Uneasy lies the head that wears the Ceann
‘I would like to state that I am being dragged into a controversy over this matter and I resent it very much’
Michael McDowell , : knows a wonky constitutional stool when he sees one
Is there a plumber in the House? Either House?
The Ceann Comhairle is looking for one. He’s plagued by leaks.
Yesterday, after yet another burst pipe, Sean Barrett told the Dáil he’s had enough. Such is his frustration, the Ceann Comhairle combusted during the Order of Business.
“I’m not going to take it any more,” he fumed to an astonished Dáil.
Leinster House leaks like a sieve.
And while we’re at it, the people behind the group campaigning to retain the Seanad are in the market for an emergency carpenter.
This would a temporary post. They need to have a leg tightened on the three-legged stool that is our democratic system.
The prime movers behind Democracy Matters explained this carpentry problem at the launch of their referendum information document.
The group is hoping the electorate might do the work for them next Friday week.
Senator Feargal Quinn outlined the job requirements at a press conference.
Democracy is “like a three-legged stool and if you take any away any one leg it’s going to be a wonky stool”.
The President’s leg is grand, and the Dáil’s one is holding up wonderfully, but the Seanad’s leg will be sawn off if the referendum is carried.
Former tánaiste, former leader of the Progressive Democrats and former TD Michael McDowell agreed. As a leading senior counsel who was once attorney general, he knows a wonky constitutional stool when he sees one.
Amputate the Seanad and the country risks ending up legless. This is a huge worry to McDowell and his fellow campaigners.
Post-abolition, it would be forever Arthur’s Day in Leinster House. The Constitution could collapse, with not one noble senator standing to make a stirring speech against this.
“I found that in the Seanad, there was reflective, reasonable debate – not the bearpit antagonism such was the norm in Dáil Éireann” he said.
Coincidentally, two special advisers to Fianna Fáil ministers in the last government were in the hotel foyer – they’ve been tweeting quite a bit against abolition, apparently – but they didn’t attend the meeting next door.
An interested observer at the launch was President Micheal D Higgins’s daughter Alice Mary, who is a big supporter of the Democracy Matters campaign.
RTÉ, by the way, has taken Senator Quinn’s popular Retail Therapy show off the air until the referendum is over.