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Senators are back today, and they have some new digs

The old Seanad chamber is closed for essential renovation works.

THE SEANAD RESUMES today after the summer recess – one week after their Dáil colleagues.

Due to major renovations taking place in the Seanad chamber, senators will now sit in a temporary chamber located in the adjoining National Museum.

The Duke of Leinster’s ballroom has been used as the Seanad chamber since the mid 1920s.

Culture Festivals Nights The original Seanad chamber that is undergoing renovations for the next 18 months. Source: Laura Hutton/Photocall Ireland

However, due to essential maintenance works, senators have had to move to the nearby ceramics room in the museum. The new chamber is just a short distance from the Dáil chamber.

The cost to relocate the senators for two years to allow for the Upper House renovations is expected to be around €1.5 million.

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There was considerable controversy when the move was first announced last year, with the former director of the National Museum Pat Wallace describing it as a sacred place, according to RTÉ.

However, Ceann Comhairle Seán Ó Fearghaíl has said he is “extremely grateful” to the museum for facilitating the temporary move.

We are committed to ensuring that the integrity of the museum will be maintained and respected at all times during the relocation, which is expected to run for a period of 18 months.

original (5) Leinster House, 1865-1914. Photographer, Robert French Source: National Library of Ireland/The Lawrence Photograph Collection

The Seanad chamber isn’t the only part of Leinster House that is getting a face-lift.
The main entrance – which is over 250 years old and the oldest part of the house – is expected to be closed shortly to undergo some much-needed work.

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