Senator O’ Reilly calls for a minutes silence in the Seanad to commemorate those who fought in World War I

Sitting Time 10:50 Sitting Date 11/11/2010

I wish to address a specific proposal to the Leader. At 11 a.m. today will he call for the suspension of Standing Orders to allow one minute of silence to commemorate the Irish people and all those who died in World War One? It would be a suitable gesture. From the inception of the State this House has had a reputation for taking particularly pluralist and broad-minded stances on a range of issues.

The Seanad was an attempt to embrace and encompass all of the cultural and identity strands of the nation Given its history and the reason for its existence, it would be very appropriate for this Chamber to specifically honour the victims of World War One. The Seanad should be the Chamber in which we extend recognition to the Irish men and women – it was mainly men – who went to fight in that war. Regardless of how we look retrospectively at what they did, they went for the best of reasons. Some of them went as a result of economic hardship, others out of a belief it would achieve Home Rule, while others went because of a range of other idealistic beliefs such as the defence of small nations. The Seanad can be big for once and make history by being the first elected body to make a big stand. I ask the Leader to propose the suspension of Standing Orders for one minute of silence, given that the war ended during the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month in 1918.

Senator Joe O'Reilly representing Cavan & Monaghan 2010. | An ExSite website