Dail reform promised - “There is simply no reason to believe that today’s promises of reform are any less cynical than those made two years ago.” (Photograph: Alan Betson)

There is just one thing worth knowing about the Government’s promises radically to reform the Dáil if we vote to abolish the Seanad. They don’t mean i(...)

DCU political scientist Eoin O’Malley said party leaders are using the Seanad to “manage the careers” of politicians. “You can see it is an antechamber to the Dáil, where people who want to get into the Dáil . . . will use it as a way of increasing their profile or making the fall not quite so hard for them.”

Forty per cent of Seanad members were defeated in the 2011 general election and almost two-thirds of Senators have lost out in the race for a Dáil sea(...)

Then president Mary  McAleese addressing a joint session of the Dáil and Seanad in 1999. “If Seanad abolition were supplemented by robust measures to strengthen the Dáil then it would be difficult to oppose abolition.” Photograph: Frank Miller

The Bill to abolish the Seanad raises questions as to how the Dáil should operate when the Seanad is gone. Currently – though this is an inexac(...)

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