Debating age-old issues
Senator Mary White’s amendment to the Employment Equality Bill – aimed at ensuring people cannot be discriminated against in the workplace on grounds of age – provoked a lively discussion in the Seanad on Wednesday.
Not that such discrimination is ever a problem where TDs and Senators are concerned. Perish the thought.
“If a proposal was advanced prohibiting any person from being a member of the Oireachtas at 65 years of age, it would be rejected by both Houses,” said White.
“It may not be,” shrugged Alan Shatter, who is always up for an argument.
“If so, a few of your colleagues would have to go,” countered White.
Which is very true, along with a lot more deputies and Senators from across the political spectrum.
The debate reminded Feargal Quinn of his mother-in-law, who died last year at the age of 101. He recalled telling then president Mary McAleese she was coming up to her 100th birthday and was looking forward to her letter from the Áras.
Mrs McAleese told him people used to get £100 when they reached 100, but this changed in 2000.
“The president asked the then minister, who I understand was Charlie McCreevy, if he would consider raising the amount. She had intended to suggest a figure of £500, but decided to aim for £1,000. He made the sum £2,000. Therefore, my mother-in-law received a cheque for €2,540 [in 2011].”
Good work, Mary.