Today was the launch of the Seanad 100 programme
Ballinasloe-based Senator Aisling Dolan stated
“This is a recognition of 100 years of Seanad Éireann. I had the honour to listen to former President and Senator Mary Robinson with Senator David Norris hosted by Cathaoirleach Mark Daly who were guests of honour at he launch of this programme of events.
“Mary Robinson is a true inspiration and she served for 20 years in the Seanad prior to her role as first female President of Ireland. Mary spoke about how we have the space in the Seanad to debate issues and right now the most urgent of all is Climate Change. David Norris is a well known advocate for gay rights.
Mary remembered her early work on legislation on family planning, an early bill to remove the ban on selling contraceptives.
David was asked speeches and he replied that the best speeches are full of passion and conviction.
For me, I know that it is a privilege to have a position where I can represent where I come from and speak with a strong voice for the West of Ireland. Being involved in the review of legislation and dealing with emergency legislation all throughout the lockdown to support people during the pandemic. Also the opportunity to tackle important questions through Joint Oireachtas Committees.
In the first Seanad there were 4 women out of the 60 now it’s 40% of members are women and this balance means more women involved asking questions and leading to informed decisions about laws, legislation that affect both men & women. Today we also have Senator Eileen Flynn first Seanad representative from the Travelling Community.
“The Seanad centenary will have lectures and exhibitions throughout the year focusing on achievements and also how it is the house to represent people of all backgrounds with the theme ‘Minority Voices, Major Changes’”