Politicians debated a range of reforms to change how the Dáil works yesterday, including increasing the number of technical groups, establishing a cross-party budget committee, and deciding on committees using the D’Hondt system.
During the debate, Sinn Féin TD Louise O’Reilly said she found it “incredible that my new workplace has not one, but two bars”.
The Dublin Fingal TD said: “Aside from providing employment, albeit with somewhat erratic hours, I cannot see any reason for the existence of bars in this or any other workplace.
“We should use the opportunity presented to us by all the talk of new politics and a new way of doing politics to make some real and lasting reforms. If we think people outside this Chamber agree that we need two bars, we are fooling nobody. The public certainly does not think two bars are needed.”
Independents 4 Change TD Joan Collins said there was also a need to change the prayer at the start of each Dáil sitting to a moment of reflection so “everybody could do their own thing within that space, whatever their religion, creed or non-religion is”.
“I am tired of walking to the back of the Chamber every time we have prayers. I believe that would be a good thing,” she said.
Green Party leader Eamon Ryan, who is on the Dáil reform committee, said: “It was unanimously agreed across the board that, to a certain extent, we have to turn our focus outwards. We have to open our parliament up and be as open as we can be in terms of how we do our business. We have to be a citizens’ assembly in every way.”