Government wins final vote on Seanad abolition bill
THE Government has cleared the way for a referendum on the abolition of the Seanad in the autumn by steering the bill through the Seanad.
The Seanad abolition bill passed by 33 votes to 25, despite protests from opposition Senators.
Independent Senator David Norris said it was a sad day for the Seanad – but he was now relying on the people of Ireland to vote to retain it in the forthcoming referendum.
In heated exchanges, Fianna Fail Senator Darragh O’Brien said none of the Government Senators deserved any respect for voting for a bill that they did not believe in.
“It’s the worst act of political vandalism in the history of the State,” he said.
But Labour Senator Jimmy Harte said the bill gave the public the opportunity to have the final say on the Seanad.
“If the public feel the way we do and do not abolish the Seanad, the Seanad will come back much stronger,” he said.