Seanad Éireann - Historical Origins - Constitution of Ireland (Since 1937)

Constitution of Ireland (Since 1937)

The modern Seanad Éireann was established by the Constitution of Ireland in 1937. When this document was adopted it was decided to preserve the titles of Oireachtas, for the two houses of the legislature, in conjunction with the President, Dáil Éireann for the lower house, and Seanad Éireann for the upper house, the latter having been used during the Irish Free State. This new Seanad was considered to be the direct successor of the Free State Seanad and so the first Seanad convened under the new constitution was referred to as the "Second Seanad".

The new system of Vocational Panels used to nominate candidates for the Seanad was inspired by Roman Catholic social teaching of the 1930s, and in particular the 1931 papal encyclical Quadragesimo Anno. In this document Pope Pius XI argued that the Marxist concept of class conflict should be replaced with a vision of social order based on the cooperation and interdependence of society's various vocational groups.

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