McDowell warns over Seanad bill
FORMER justice minister Michael McDowell has warned abolishing the Seanad will allow an all-powerful Government to "ruthlessly hunt down" any dissenters left in the Dail.
He is a member of the 'Democracy Now' group opposing the Government's Seanad abolition referendum, which is expected to be held on October 4.
Mr McDowell said the purpose of the referendum was to concentrate all future political power in the Government. He said it would then bully TDs in the Dail using the whip system to get them to vote in its edicts "as a rubberstamp assembly".
"Conscientious dissent will be ruthlessly hunted down and punished in a single-chamber parliament, as recent events have shown," he said.
It comes after Taoiseach Enda Kenny dismissed five Fine Gael TDs and two Fine Gael senators from the parliamentary party after they voted against the abortion bill.