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Five-day weekend: The Seanad sat for just two days this week

The uncertainty over the future of the upper house meant that there wasn’t much business organised for this week.

File photo of the Seanad chamber
File photo of the Seanad chamber

THE UNCERTAINTY OVER the future of the Seanad last week meant that the upper house sat for just two days this week and will be out of session from today until next Tuesday afternoon.

The Seanad adjourned yesterday evening after a two-day week in which it spent just half-an-hour debating government legislation with the committee stage of the bill to dissolve County Enterprise Boards briefly discussed yesterday.

Private members’ business included discussion on recognising Irish Sign Language and the plight of small businesses in rural towns but otherwise it was a pretty limited schedule for the upper

Explaining the difficulties during the Order of Business on Tuesday, the Fine Gael leader in the Seanad, Maurice Cummins, told the chamber that the reason for the two-day sitting was because it was “very difficult to predict how this week would work out”.

“I anticipate that the House will return to the normal three-day sitting next week, provided there is sufficient business to be dealt with,” he said.

Cummins told the house that he hoped the defeat of the referendum to abolish it will now mean that Senators “will receive a great deal more co-operation with regard to the scheduling of business”.

He continued: “It is my strong belief that with the mandate we have received we should now move on to doing the valuable legislative work the people of Ireland expect us to do.

“I strongly hope we can do that in the professional, productive and collegiate manner that has been such a positive feature of this 24th Seanad.”

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Hugh O'Connell

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