Having thought about this quite a bit, I don’t want to see the Seanad abolished. It definitely needs major reform – direct elections, an actual workload, some real power, and so on – but if that sort of reform doesn’t come, then yes, abolish it.
Unfortunately, some of the senators we have had in the recent past *cough* Callely *cough* make it harder to justify retaining what has become a training ground for prospective TDs and a retirement home for failed TDs.
Then one of them comes out with this declaration of entitlement and privilege.
/facepalm, /headdesk, and other such /emotes.
Fidelma Healy-Eames really said those things.
Let’s ignore the whole thing about VSO for the moment, and the rightness or otherwise of expecting them to stump up the cash for vaccines, especially when you were going to take your holiday in Kenya, only 800km or so from Rwanda.
She says: “It’s very hard work. You have two-and-a-half to three weeks’ work in one week. We start at 8 in the morning and don’t finish until 5 or 6. That’s a lot more work than a day at home.”
Well, no, not really. Don’t take my word for it, though – someone’s done the maths!
“2.5-3 times normal weekly time implies that ‘normal’ working hours for Mrs Eames are in the region of at most 10/2.5=4 hours.”
It gets worse.
Fidelma Healy-Eames also says: “You couldn’t drink the water, so you had to hold your mouth closed while someone washed your hair.”
Now, in fairness, I haven’t checked. It’s possibly Healy-Eames has some sort of disability that prevents her from washing her own hair. I don’t know. But I’ve been able to manage washing my own hair since, well, young adulthood. I can do it while keeping my mouth closed, too.
“…and you might not even have an iron.”
Oh, the humanity.
So – what work was facing Senator Fidelma Healy-Eames on these arduous, back-breaking, nine- to ten-hour days? Was she building homes or schools? Digging wells? Working in an orphanage? Helping out at a hospital?
Er, no. She was “advising a minister in Rwanda on early childhood education.” So – sitting on her arse, talking.
Oh – and the media are having a witch hunt against her. In other words, nothing is her fault, it’s the media. Uh-huh.