About Democracy Matters

Democracy Matters believes we need to renew the Seanad, not abolish it.

Ireland’s system of governance failed us. The result is debt, loss of sovereignty and widespread unemployment. We can’t let this happen again.

A new Seanad will bring in new voices, new expertise, and fresh thinking to our parliament, and can hold the government to account.

A new Seanad will, for the first time, be directly elected by the Irish people, not insiders. An open election process will allow the Seanad to reflect the diversity of Irish society.

It will give a voice to the diaspora and those living in Northern Ireland. It will look beyond the immediate political imperative to the economic and social implications of plans and legislation.

It will provide a forum for planning for and thinking about our country’s future, not just the next election. When the government, the Dáil or civil servants act without considering the consequences, the Seanad will be there to shout ‘stop’.

Voting NO to abolition is the first step to a new Seanad.

Democracy Matters is an independent broad based group of individuals from across Irish society who will campaign to reform rather than abolish Seanad Éireann.

The group is seeking real and radical reforms that will promote greater gender equality, transparency, and accountability across our entire political system.

The Seanad Reform Group was established in early 2012 by Senators Feargal Quinn and Katherine Zappone, Former Tánaiste Michael McDowell, Former Senator Joe O’Toole, and Barrister and Journalist Noel Whelan to campaign for the radical reform of Seanad Éireann. The Seanad Reform Group produced “Radical Seanad Reform Through Legislative Change – a Consultation Paper” in April 2013

Democracy Matters was subsequently established in May 2013 and is chaired independently by Professor Gary Murphy, DCU School of Law and Government. The campaign is supported by concerned individuals from across the country and spokespeople include Dr. Suzanne Egan, Darren Lehane B.L, Margaret E. Ward, and Tiernan Brady.

Democracy Matters is not aligned to any political party, and is only campaigning on the issue of Seanad reform and is registered as a campaign group in accordance with the Electoral Acts.