Aftermath of the Seanad referendum

Tue, Oct 8, 2013, 01:09

Sir, – Seanad reform will now be a top priority for the No side – as it has been for the past 80 years. – Yours, etc,


Leopardstown Avenue,

Blackrock, Co Dublin.

A chara, – I call on all those senators who facilitated the passage of “The Abolition of the Seanad” Bill through the Oireachtas last May by voting for the abolition of their own jobs and the Seanad to resign immediately.

Following months of claiming that their political existence was a waste of taxpayers’ money and that they had never contributed positively to legislation in this country, their positions as Senators have been rendered untenable. Their resignations would also pave the way for the meaningful reform of the Seanad that is so urgently needed. – Is mise,


Larkhill Road, Sligo.

A chara, – Wouldn’t it only be right, proper and fair that the cost (€14 million) of the recent failed referendum be deducted from the wage packets of Government Ministers? – Is mise,


Montpelier Gardens,

Dublin 7.

Sir, – I wonder if there are any similarities between Enda Kenny’s decision to send Richard Bruton to debate the Senate referendum rather than go himself and Éamon de Valera’s decision to send Michael Collins to the Treaty negotiations? – Yours, etc,


Ard Na Mara,

Blackrock, Co Louth.

Sir, – Following the referendum result, is it time for Enda Kenny to face up to what we all know already. He should realise he is not up to the job and resign. Then someone more competent could take over. – Yours, etc,




Co Monaghan.

Sir, – Will Enda Kenny et al please take note and proceed accordingly: “The spirit of democracy is not a mechanical thing to be adjusted by abolition of forms. It requires change of heart.” – Gandhi. – Yours, etc,


Rathedmond, Sligo.

Sir, – Now the Taoiseach has gracefully taken his wallop on the chin, I do hope he will give serious consideration to any future such fundamental reform of the governance of Ireland with the help of the appropriate experts and citizens’ groups.

This last effort to abolish the Seanad smacked more of management consultants than of constitutional lawyers, political scientists and historians, not to mention the Constitutional Convention. – Yours, etc,


Nutley Park,

Donnybrook, Dublin 4.

Sir, – Anagrammatically “The Seanad” has been reformed from “Enda’s Hate” to “Hates Enda”. – Yours, etc,


Ballyraine Park,

Letterkenny, Co Donegal.

Sir, – Given that every constituency returned a 50-something/ 40-something vote in one direction or the other, isn’t talk of urban/rural or east/west divides a bit overblown? – Yours, etc,


Vernon Avenue,

Clontarf, Dublin 3.

Sir, – The decision by the Irish electorate to keep the Seanad is not an unconditional endorsement of it, merely a stay of execution. Members and supporters of Seanad Éireann do not have the luxury of being complacent nor should they imagine, if they shirk immediate and proper reform, that the electorate will indulge them again in the future. – Yours, etc,


Claremont Road,

Howth, Dublin 13.

Sir, – Next time the government holds a referendum to abolish the Seanad, might I suggest that the voting be carried out in accordance with the current voting procedures to elect members of the Seanad with one significant reversal. Allow only those who currently do not have a vote in the Seanad elections be allowed to vote in the referendum and let the rest be disenfranchised. Referendum passed! – Yours, etc,


Berrings, Co Cork.

Sir, – When the electorate is persuaded by government that it made the wrong decision in rejecting the constitutional amendment to abolish Seanad Éireann, as happened with both the Nice and Lisbon treaties, will we be required to re-ballot on both the Seanad abolition and court of appeal referendums, or just on what was voted down? – Yours, etc,


Delaford Lawn,


Dublin 16.

Sir, – What is the difference between the Government and An Post?  An Post delivers! – Yours, etc,


Mill Street,

Westport, Co Mayo.

Sir, – When my wife Liz was collecting two grandchildren from national school last Wednesday in Killiney, she remarked that they would be off school on Friday, because of polling. “Yes, Granny,” nine-year old Tom replied, “there’s going to be a resurrection”. As Psalm 8 metaphorically puts it, “out of the mouth of babes and sucklings hast thou ordained strength”. – Yours, etc,



Killiney, Co Dublin.

Sir, – Joe O’Connor, president of the Union of Students of Ireland (USI), has described the vote to retain Seanad Éireann as an extremely positive result for Irish democracy. There is a slight chance that this may yet prove to be true, but only if sufficient numbers of citizens mobilise to campaign for reform of our political system.

In a referendum in 1979, voting rights in Seanad university panel elections were extended to all Irish third-level graduates. Despite the expressed solemn will of the people and repeated requests from USI delegations, the required legislation for Seanad university panel reform has never been drafted by Dáil Éireann.

In this light, post-referendum promises by all political parties to truly reform the Seanad ring hollow. – Yours, etc,


(Disenfranchised graduate

of NCAD),


Conamara, Co Galway.

Sir, – Now that the people have spoken, can I make a special request for our local Senator, Terry Leyden’s stamp money to be refunded? – Yours, etc,



Co Roscommon.

Sir, – It’s said that a poll should be treated as a snapshot of opinion at a point in time. So, why the big surprise when the eventual outcome is a negative? – Yours, etc,


Mount Argus Court,

Harold’s Cross,

Dublin 6W.

Sir, – Brian Nolan (October 7th) highlights the question of the Government engaging in realistic Seanad reform by quoting Lewis Carroll on belief in impossible things. The following is equally apt given the current autocracy, “ ‘When I use a word,’ Humpty Dumpty said, in a rather scornful tone, ‘it means what I choose it to mean, neither more nor less’.” (Through the Looking Glass). – Yours,etc,



Moyne Road,

Ranelagh, Dublin 6.

Sir, – How can we have confidence in a referendum process that produces an unintelligible ballot paper? Having had difficulty deciphering the papers issued last Friday, I asked two locals about their experience at the polling station. One had walked out mystified without voting, the other had voted in a manner opposite to their intention! – Yours. etc,



Co Tipperary.

Sir, – My commiserations to Taoiseach Enda Kenny on losing the Seanad referendum and the Senior All-Ireland football final. – Yours, etc,


Harcourt Terrace,

Dublin 2.