Thursday 19 April 2018

FG Seanad leader: 'People will reject abolition referendum if it damages democracy'

Fiach Kelly Political Correspondent

THE Fine Gael leader in the Seanad has told Taoiseach Enda Kenny that many people in the 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 Seanad abolition if they feel it damages democracy.

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

Mr Kenny came before the Seanad this morning 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.

"I feel it is my duty outline to you the work done in the house on a daily basis," Mr Cummins said, adding that it improved and amended legislation. 

Fianna Fail's Darragh O Brien said scrapping the Seanad is "vandalising the constitution" while Labour's Ivana Bacik said she would support the referendum bill, but would vote to save the Seanad when it came before the people.

Ms Bacik said the Seanad should be reformed rather than scrapped.

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