Una Mullally: Senator’s remarks show establishment does not want young people in politics

Independent senator out of step as young people help shape Ireland of tomorrow

Senator Marie Louise O’Donnell: discouraged young people from being involved in politics, while a public gallery full of teenagers looked on.

Senator Marie Louise O’Donnell: discouraged young people from being involved in politics, while a public gallery full of teenagers looked on.

Sometimes it feels as though there is a particular class of senators who approach the sport as pure hobbyists. This feeling – however misplaced – is given credence when a senator you haven’t heard of in a while says something silly.

Last week, it was Marie-Louise O’Donnell’s turn, a senator via the blessing of Taoiseach’s nominee, twice nominated by Enda Kenny. Both are around the same age and from the same part of Mayo, which is a coincidence. O’Donnell took to the floor to discourage young people from being involved in politics, while a public gallery full of teenagers – presumably mouths agape – looked on.

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