• Seanad Chamber

Seanad Chamber

Temporary Seanad Chamber Relocation

This project was driven by the requirement for the Seanad Chamber to move out of the Historic Leinster House to allow vital restoration work to take place. The temporary Seanad Chamber is located in the Ceramics Room of the National Museum. The OPW sought proposals for the most efficient way to replicate all of the Seanad services in the temporary location and SKS were successful.

The systems were implemented with a combination of surface mount delegate units that were free issued by the OPW and a new control system. The system provides sound reinforcement including sound distribution to other Oireachtas services and electronic voting.

The system provides assistive hearing for the deaf and hard of hearing via headphones, neck worn induction loops and a Chamber wide induction loop system. The system also provides:

  • PA output to the public Gallery.
  • Voting results for display, automatic email to the journals office and archiving.
  • DAR Audio Feeds – Digital Audio Recording feeds for the Dáil reporters in the Debates office to for transcription to produce the official report.
  • Simultaneous Interpretation system to provide remote realtime translation of the floor audio when members address the Seanad in Irish.
  • Ambient / Room Microphones to pick up off mic interjections and cover for operator delays in microphone switching.
  • Design and implementation of a new clerks ‘dashboard’ to integrate all clerk controls.
  • Provision of broadcast quality audio for Oireachtas TV.

Particular Challenges

This system was implemented within a tight timeframe. Issues with planning permission and the controversial move to the National Museum reduced the duration available for project completion. Other issues were:

  • Installing the system in parallel with the building programme. We secured an early handover of the comms room which allowed for the control systems to be installed and tested prior to the Chamber being ready.
  • Integration and configuration of a system which combined existing free issue equipment with a new control system. In addition to the technical challenge this presented the issue of presenting 5 button units as two option voting units. This was achieved by providing bespoke decals for the units as can be seen in the first photo.