Labour's Tuffy leads 'Gang of Five' in opposing abolition of the Seanad
A LABOUR 'Gang of Five' has launched a challenge to Taoiseach Enda Kenny's plan to abolish the Seanad.
Dublin Mid West TD Joanna Tuffy is leading the charge by accusing Mr Kenny of coming up with "populist nonsense" and being "caught up in a presidential style of leadership".
Four other Labour TDs seated alongside her during the Dail outburst all oppose the abolition of the Seanad – Wicklow's Anne Ferris, Dublin North's Brendan Ryan, Labour chief whip Emmet Stagg and Labour chairman Jack Wall.
In the Dail, Ms Tuffy said Mr Kenny did not appear to have any grasp of the purpose of the Seanad.
Ms Ferris said the Seanad needed to be retained because it acted as a check and balance against the powers of the Executive.
Labour Dublin North TD Brendan Ryan said he too wanted the Seanad to be reformed rather than abolished. He said he believed that there was a "50-50" split in Labour on the future of the Seanad.