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Monday 19 February 2018

Ministers claim Seanad will have to be reformed even if voters decide to save it

Fiach Kelly and Louise Hogan

MINISTERS privately admit the Seanad will have to be reformed if voters reject Taoiseach Enda Kenny's efforts to scrap the Upper House.

Mr Kenny has said there is no option to reform the Seanad, and voters will have a simple choice to abolish it or keep it in its current form.

However, a number of ministers have privately told the Irish Independent a No vote would have to be followed by some reform of the Seanad.

It comes as Fine Gael and Labour senators continue to defy Mr Kenny, and say they will not campaign for the Seanad to be scrapped.

"The effective position is if people vote this down there will be reform," a FG minister said.

The minister said Mr Kenny was effectively out on his own on the issue, saying many in the party thought he didn't have "the balls" to follow through on his promise of a referendum.

Another FG minister said: "If this thing goes down, there will have to be reform and that's it. But it would be very damaging for Kenny and the Government if it does go down."

Irish Independent

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