Boston Irishman in Irelandby Larry Donnelly
- It's an Irish American duel, Boston’s hotly contested mayoral race
- Low down as Boston mayoral comes race down to the wire
- Critics be damned, I’ll always be a Rose of Tralee fan
- Why proud Irish American Governor Martin O’Malley would not be a “lousy presidential candidate”
- Why reform is needed in the Irish Senate over abolition - realizing the Seanad's 'real potential'
In 2010, the then-leader of the opposition in Dáil Éireann (lower house of Ireland’s parliament), Fine Gael’s Enda Kenny, announced that he and his party favored abolition of Seanad Éireann (upper house of Ireland’s parliament) and would hold a referendum allowing the Irish people to have their say on the matter if they were in the next government. This represented a u-turn from the current Taoiseach’s (Irish prime minister) statement a year earlier, when he noted that the Seanad had “real potential.” Now, the Fine Gael-Labour government will hold a referendum on Seanad abolition in October.
Before considering the merits of the issue and the referendum campaign that has recently commenced, this already has been an extraordinarily cynical political exercise. Enda Kenny’s announcement that his party would seek to abolish the Seanad took his colleagues by complete surprise. Its timing, though – in the days when Labour leader Eamon Gilmore was widely regarded as outclassing Enda Kenny in the Dáil and many Fine Gael advisors were privately and publicly urging him to “be bold” – was no accident.