Seanad meets in its temporary new home for the first time

Senators were forced to relocate to the National Museum due to repair works

The  Ceramic Room in the National Museum of Ireland, which will temporarily house the Seanad. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

The Ceramic Room in the National Museum of Ireland, which will temporarily house the Seanad. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

 

The Seanad is meeting on Tuesday for the first time in its temporary new home in the Ceramic Room of the National Museum of Ireland, next door to its usual base in Leinster House.

The move is necessary because of repair works being carried out in the Seanad chamber. The works are estimated to take 18 months.

The cost of preparing the Ceramic Room for the Seanad’s relocation was €1.2 million, just under the original estimate of €1.5 million.

Senators will continue to have access to their Leinster House offices.

A Dáil committee room was originally considered as a temporary location for the Upper House, but it was not deemed large enough.

Livestream

“The museum is a temporary home and we are grateful for it,’’ said Cathaoirleach Denis O’Donovan.

Controversy

The move caused controversy initially, with former museum director Pat Wallace saying his ex-colleagues were so upset about the Seanad’s temporary residency that they were weeping.

He said that, apart from the principle of violating a building that was the national archaeological museum and which housed the Ardagh Chalice, the Tara Brooch and the Cross of Cong, the museum was a central cultural institution.

An Taisce also expressed reservations about the move.

However, after negotiations between museum personnel and Leinster House authorities, the move was agreed.

Ceann Comhairle Seán Ó Fearghaíl conceded there was “considerable controversy’’about the move initially, adding that the Oireachtas was grateful to museum staff and other related parties.

Mr Ó Fearghaíl said a guarantee had been given to the museum that it would only house the Seanad for a temporary period.

The Oireachtas, it is understood, stressed the long-term benefits to the museum from the Seanad relocation, such as the installation of a lift and other renovations.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
GO BACK
Error Image
The account details entered are not currently associated with an Irish Times subscription. Please subscribe to sign in to comment.
Comment Sign In

Forgot password?
The Irish Times Logo
Thank you
You should receive instructions for resetting your password. When you have reset your password, you can Sign In.
The Irish Times Logo
Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.
Screen Name Selection

Hello

Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
Forgot Password
Please enter your email address so we can send you a link to reset your password.

Sign In

Your Comments
We reserve the right to remove any content at any time from this Community, including without limitation if it violates the Community Standards. We ask that you report content that you in good faith believe violates the above rules by clicking the Flag link next to the offending comment or by filling out this form. New comments are only accepted for 3 days from the date of publication.