Local Fine Gael Senator, Aisling Dolan, has welcomed the recent launch of the Seanad 100 programme.
“This is a recognition of 100 years of Seanad Éireann and I had the honour of listening 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 who 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, while David Norris is a well known advocate for gay rights.
“Mary remembered her early work with regards to legislation on family planning, an early bill to remove the ban on selling contraceptives.
“David was asked about his robust speeches noting that the best orations are those laden with passion and conviction.
“Personally speaking, I know that it is a privilege to be in a position where I can represent where I come from and speak with a strong voice.
“Being involved in the review of legislation and liaising with emergency legislation all throughout the lockdown to support people during the pandemic, while also having the opportunity to tackle important questions through the joint Oireachtas committees.
“In the first Seanad there were four women from 60 representatives, now 40 percent of members are female and this balance means more women involved posing questions and leading to informed decisions about laws, legislation that affect both genders.
“Today we also have Senator Eileen Flynn who is the 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’,” Senator Dolan asserted.