Senator David Norris says he holds the media accountable for 'constantly denigrating' politicians.
The longest serving Senator in the Seanad says he fears for the next generation of politicians, and whether people will even enter the profession.
He was speaking after a portrait of him was unveiled at Leinster House at a special ceremony on Wednesday.
Senator Norris told The Hard Shoulder politicians are just ordinary people.
"There's no personal animosity in politics, that's what I have found anyway, particularly as an independent."
But asked about public animosity towards politicians, he says: "I think it's extremely regrettable - how are we going to get young people to engage in what is an honourable profession?
"We're ordinary people who stand up to represent other ordinary people in the community."
He says this seems to be getting worse.
"It's certainly not very good, and I have to say, I hold the media to account in this because the media constantly denigrate politicians.
"I think politicians should be called to account, of course, because they're public representatives.
"But I don't see any room for personal abuse".
However Senator Norris says he wouldn't change anything about his career.
"It's been a long time and I've enjoyed it thoroughly - I mean I've always absolutely loved the Senate.
"And luckily, I was left behind after the Presidential election - I was there to help to save it.
"Myself and Sean Barrett and Sean Crown: the three of us stopped them abolishing the Senate".
And he says he spends his time looking forward, not back.
"I don't believe in looking back, I believe in looking forward - even though I suppose I'm at the end of my life really.
"I still look forward and I enjoy every breath I take and every moment I spend."