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Friday 21 July 2017

Government still dragging feet on Seanad reform

Fionnan Sheahan

Fionnan Sheahan

THE scrapping of the panel electing the three Senators from the four universities making up the National University of Ireland is already on the cards.

But the Government is still dragging its feet on the reform of the Seanad.

The four NUI universities, UCD, UCC, UCG and Maynooth, elect three senators. The current incumbents are Joe O'Toole, Feargal Quinn and Ronan Mullen.

Environment Minister John Gormley said he favoured widening the number who can elect university senators.

"It should be noted that there are now over half a million graduates in the State and the widening of this franchise could have significant resource implications," he said.

The minister said the abolition of the NUI would have to be taken into consideration in deciding how to reform Seanad panels.

A referendum was passed in 1979 allowing a wider number of graduates vote for the university senators, but no change had occurred since.

Irish Independent

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