Senator Joe O’ Reilly Cavan-Monaghan Calls for a Minute Silence in Seanad-Irish Independent

Call for a minute’s silence in Seanad sparks noisy row

AN attempt to have a minute’s silence to mark the Irish “war dead” of the First World War sparked a noisy row in the Seanad yesterday.

Fine Gael senator Joe O’Reilly made the proposal to suspend the business of the Seanad to mark the day in 1918 when the First World War ended.

“The Seanad should be the chamber in which we extend recognition to the Irish men and women who went to fight in that war,” he said.

His proposal was rejected by Seanad chairman Pat Moylan as Mr O’Reilly only gave a couple of minutes’ notice of his plan.

Mr O’Reilly blamed Fianna Fail for not backing his call.

But Fianna Fail senator Jim Walsh said the failure to hold a minute’s silence was not motivated by prejudice. He said he would not be in favour of marking the occasion because of the precedent it would set. “What about the 1916 Rising or the hunger strikers? You’d have to suspend the Seanad all the time. Where would it end?” he asked.

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Michael Brennan

Friday November 12 2010

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