National treasure re-elected to useless talking shop


I haven’t been paying much attention to the Seanad election, for the very good reason that nobody really takes the Seanad terribly seriously. It is though interesting to see the Labour-Provo pact holding up, with Pearse Doherty topping the poll on the Agriculture panel. That will put some smiles on Donegal faces. It’s also instructive that FF, despite their horrible result in the 2004 locals, are not doing quite as badly as predicted.

But I’m immensely cheered that our leading Joycean scholar, gay rights campaigner and most flamboyant senator by a mile, David Norris, has strolled back in the Trinity count. In my humble opinion Seanad reform is decades overdue, and the Trinity rotten borough a standing disgrace. But as long as it keeps electing Norris, I’m in no fierce hurry to see it reformed.


  1. ejh said,

    July 25, 2007 at 3:46 pm

    Blimey, I didn’t know. Is that like the old Oxbridge Westminster constituencies? (When were they abolished?)

  2. splinteredsunrise said,

    July 26, 2007 at 7:30 am

    I’ve a feeling Attlee might have abolished them. There are six senators elected by graduates, three from Trinity and three from the NUI. Under the constitution the franchise should really be extended to graduates of the new universities, but that hasn’t happened yet.

    The Trinity constituency is the real advert for reform as it has a very small electorate and the voting list is hopelessly out of date. The Phoenix recently asked the TCD administration how they weeded the list. Answer: they read the obits in the Irish Times!

  3. ejh said,

    July 26, 2007 at 8:28 am


    Actually I always look for obituaries from my old Oxford college but that’s for somewhat less worthy motives.

    I don’t know nearly enough about the Irish electoral system. I did once have a landlord from Lostwithel and I asked him about it, but I don’t think he knew anything either.

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