Seanad Éireann is the senate of Ireland. It is the upper House of the Oireachtas (national Parliament) and has a number of important functions. Seanad Éireann is located in Dublin.
One of the Senators takes the role of Cathaoirleach, (Speaker/Chairperson) of the Senators. As the chairperson of the Seanad, the Cathaoirleach chairs the proceedings in the House and must act impartially.
Senators are not officially separated into political parties. However, they usually divide into groups supporting and opposing Government business when voting on issues.
A Sub-Committee of the Committee on Procedure and Privileges of Seanad Éireann was established to review and make recommendations on the current and future composition and functions of the Seanad in Ireland. In 2004 it produced a Report on Seanad Reform (pdf).
To become a Senator you must be
- A citizen of Ireland
- Over 21 years old
You must not be:
- Serving a prison sentence of more than 6 months
- A person of unsound mind
- A judge
- A senior official of the European Union
- A civil servant
- A member of the Defence Forces or the Garda Síochána