I was appointed to the Seanad in 2011 by the then Taoiseach Enda Kenny.TD as one of his nominees.
And I was re – appointed by him in 2016.
It was and it is a privilege.
The Upper House of the Seanad is responsible for legislation. It scrutinizes, debates, argues, amends and votes on all legislation that comes through the Dail, before it can be passed. The Seanad also initiates its own legislation and does so regularly. This is not an easy task and legislation does not generally have a smooth journey.
Politics is not easy. My experience is that the greatest and most creative ideas can be subsumed by territory. All politics is about territory. And it is a difficult navigation to offset such embedded opinions and holds on ideas.
When I was first appointed to the Seanad, I thought I would change policies and lives overnight. This was very naïve. I learned very quickly that my way was not the only way. My ideas were not the only ones which might work, or not work at all. And my rules might not be the ones the majority of us should follow.
But I have had great political teachers.
I have met the most extraordinary people who work as NGO’s outside Leinster House, but whose contribution to making the lives of people living in Ireland worthwhile and qualitative is unmatched. I met these people through the Committees. That is where real work can be done and where as a Senator I feel I can be a conduit for the work, creativity, ideas and policies of others. Ideas and policies that work and are seen to be working. These NGO’S have been my greatest influences.
My interest across Politics is in the Arts, our Elders and Education . In one way they are not separate. The Arts are ageless, Education crosses our entire lives, and getting old and living well when one is old, should be the goal of any developed society.