About the Seanad

Seanad Éireann serves as the upper house of the legislature. It serves along with Dail Éireann (the lower house) and the Presidency to form the Oireachtas. The Seanad is comprised of 60 members, six of whom are elected by the graduates of the NUIs and Trinity College Dublin, 43 of whom are elected by a number of vocational panels and 11 of whom are appointed by the Taoiseach. 

The upper house plays an important role in providing a check and balance on Dail Éireann, in initiating and scrutinising legislation and facilitating debate on issues of national and international importance. 

In 2013, the Irish electorate rejected through referendum the government’s call to abolish the Seanad. The debate surrounding the referendum highlighted the appetite among the electorate for reform of the Seanad, including extension of the franchise. This remains at the forefront of Senator Higgins's policy priorities. Read more about policies on Seanad Reform.

The current 25th Seanad represents the most diverse Seanad ever, with greater representation of women and Senators from a broad diversity of professional backgrounds. The record of this Seanad so far demonstrates the difference a strong and diverse Seanad can make. The Civil Engagement group has been instrumental in ensuring important progress in areas like employment, social protection, housing, environment and equality

To be added to the Seanad election register, you can phone the NUI head office in Dublin on +353-1-4392424 to request a voter registration form or go to www.nui.ie and download the form from the website. Those who have changed address since graduating should also contact NUI with their up-to-date postal address.
For TCD graduates, the registration form can be downloaded from www.tcd.ie.