Outside, the living dead . . . Inside, the dead bored
Fine Gael, Labour, Fianna Fáil and Sinn Féin were making a joint appearance. Of sorts. They favour a Yes vote. On the other referendum
David Norris thundered that government “lies” and “half-truths” about saving money are shocking. In fact, he reckoned that, when everything was added up and taken into account, abolishing the Seanad could cost in the region of €150 million.
Their poor little faces.
Some unkind people started muttering about turkeys before Christmas.
We preferred to think of nicely fattened veal calves about to trot off to market.
Those weren’t tears, but streaks of rain. The heavens opened when Senators (and a few stray TDs) made their way on to the plinth yesterday afternoon to plead for a stay
The group moved down towards the media gathering. “Could we have the main spokesperson here?” requested a journalist, indicating that he or she should come closer to the microphones.
The politicians and the part-timers looked around at each other and allowed John Crown to step forward. Once he did, everyone else surged forward after him until they were a big bunch again.
Feargal Quinn was left behind in the push to the microphones and cameras. “I’ll see nothing, with my height,” he sighed.
The supremely self-assured Prof Crown took serious issue with the government’s assertion that abolishing the Seanad will save €20 million.
He feels the Upper House should be kept “as part of a redemocratised Oireachtas process in Ireland”. If the people vote to retain it, it would place “huge moral pressure” on the Government to deliver a reformed Seanad.
Good luck with that.
The death-row inmates crowded around Crown. They included Fianna Fáil’s Marc Mac Sharry, staring into the middle distance, looking pensive and pained, Labhrás Ó Murchú staring meaningfully towards the camera and Paschal Mooney wearing a grave expression on his face.
Bearing up bravely
There was a lad with a beard who was identified as Labour Senator James Heffernan
– he jumped ship after the
last budget and hasn’t been seen very much after that. Mary Moran, still very
much in Labour, was bearing up bravely.
If the chamber is abolished “we will have to accept the will of the people” declared the Tánaiste’s nominee.
And the two McGraths – Mattie and Finian – were among a small group of TDs who came along to offer support from the Dáil.
A familiar voice boomed from the fringes. “Betrayed! Betrayed! Absolutely Betrayed!” It was David Norris. John Crown had to give way.
Norris thundered that government “lies” and “half-truths” about saving money are shocking. In fact, he reckoned that, when everything was added up and taken into account, abolishing the Seanad could cost in the region of €150 million. And Senators would end up “in suspended animation here for two and a half years, demoralised, the walking dead . . .”