According to Wikipedia, the Seanad Éireann has only twice rejected a bill only to be overridden by the Dáil.

The first case concerned electoral reform which it's easy to imagine might divide houses.

The second, though, was the Pawnbrokers Act 1964. Skimming the legislation it seems to be as you would expect, various requirements for the licencing and record-keeping when operating a pawnbrokers.

What moved the Seanad and Dáil to come to loggerheads on this issue?


1 Answer 1


I'm not terribly sure of this; the law is obscure enough so it doesn't have a Wikipedia page. Voices were raised in the Seanad that the pawnbroker business was not "a particularly useful and worthwhile element of modern society", that it was a "mark of poverty" etc. The minister in charge of the bill chose not to respond to such criticisms, which apparently further pissed off some senators, according to the transcript. The bill was defeated in the Seanad 14 to 15.

In accordance to article 23 of the Irish constitution, the Dáil then overrode the Seanad vote, so the Pawnbrokers Act passed this way.

  • 1
    Thanks Fizz. I was hoping that some great expert would pop along to give chapter and verse but for some things we just have to accept that there is no such person! You've obviously done your research from looking it up in the Oireachtas records, so thanks for your answer!
    – Dannie
    Sep 16, 2019 at 23:03

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