Not Beyond Reforming


elainebyrne:michaelmcdowell(Elaine Byrne with Michael McDowell last year)

…the claim that the Seanad is unreformable is simply not true. It has been reformed, and effectively so, in the past when claims of corruption were levelled against it.

The Seanad Electoral (Panel Members) Act, 1947 outlines the procedures for elections to the Seanad which have remained unchanged since they were introduced to the 1948 Seanad elections.

However, the other thing that this case from the 1940s illustrates is that only the executive can successfully carry through reform and, at present, there is no will within the executive to undertake such a programme. Ultimately, it is only the executive which retains the levers of power to pioneer how the Seanad is constituted.


Elaine Byrne writing in The History Hub’s Seanad Special

Past Reforms and Present Policy: examining the Seanad Electoral Act, 1947 (

Previously:  “We Have To Look At The Situation Where Gerry Adams Could Be The Next Tánaiste”

Pic: Elaine

Thanks Sarah