Thursday 19 October 2017

Fine Gael Seanad leader criticises party leader's abolition plans

Fiach Kelly Political Correspondent

THE Fine Gael leader in the Seanad has told Taoiseach Enda Kenny that many people in their party will find if hard to support his bid to abolish the Upper House.

Maurice Cummins also told Mr Kenny people should reject his push for abolition if they feel it damages democracy.

However, in a speech that was lukewarm to Mr Kenny's proposals, Mr Cummins said voters should scrap the Seanad if they wanted a single-chamber parliament.

Mr Kenny came before the Seanad to introduce the bill to hold a referendum, and was criticised for it being only his second time to appear before senators since becoming Taoiseach.

Mr Cummins said it was his "duty to outline to you the work done in the house on a daily basis". He said the Seanad improved and amended legislation and had already reformed itself in some ways, and he said Fine Gael supporters would find it difficult to abolish the Upper House.

"As a young man, I joined Fine Gael the party whose founders were so instrumental in the foundation of the State, and in defending democracy and the institutions of the State," said Mr Cummins.

"After such courage and dedication, it is difficult for many Fine Gael members now to advocate abolishing the Seanad.

Irish Independent

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