Sinn Féin Senator David Cullinane has said that it is no surprise that Fianna Fáil and Micheál Martin are backing the campaign to save the undemocratic, elitist Seanad.
Speaking today Senator Cullinane said:
“When you consider how Fianna Fáil have used and abused the Seanad during their time in government it is no surprise that Bertie’s boy Micheál is spear-heading the campaign to save this elitist institution.
“Former Fianna Fáil Taoisigh appointed their buddies and party supporters to the Seanad over decades. They were awarded with perks, privileges and elite status, all paid for from the pockets of hard-pressed taxpayers.
“The historical abuse of the Seanad by Fianna Fail has been a major cause in shattering public confidence in the political system over time and citizens have frankly had enough.
“At least eleven Fianna Fáil members and supporters, including Bertie Ahern’s election agent, were appointed by the Taoiseach for only one month. That one month as a Senator gave them perks including free city centre parking at Leinster House, life-long access to the Dáil members bar and restaurant, a full month’s salary from the taxpayer and the right to both speak and vote on legislation, rubber stamping bills from the Fianna Fáil government.
“Fianna Fáil cronyism and outright abuse of the Seanad speaks for itself. All but a few Senators from a list of forty appointed by Fianna Fáil between 1997 and 2011 were political cronies.
“Their new-found grá for democracy is laughable considering the exploits of this party when in government.
“Sinn Féin is calling for the Seanad to be abolished. There is no room in a modern democracy for a house of the Oireachtas which excludes the vast majority of Irish citizens and that is open to the abuse for selfish political gains such as that seen with Fianna Fáil and now carried on by Fine Gael and Labour.”