THE Government has been given legal advice that even if the electorate voted to abolish the Seanad in a referendum, it would still have to continue in existence until the next election.
"There is no way around this scenario,'' said one happy senator. "No matter what happens, we're here until the next election''. It had originally been intended to hold a referendum as swiftly as possible, but Cabinet members have told TDs from both Coalition parties that the issue has become "fiendishly complex''.
The dilemma facing the Government was contentedly summarised by one senator, who noted "the most likely reason why the public will vote to abolish the Seanad is that they are angry''.
He added that "this anger, however, is hardly going to be reduced if a year after its abolition they see our old faces still there waving out at them''.
Should that happen "the voters will be quite entitled to ask what on earth we were doing voting to abolish that lot, sure they're still here?"
The constitutional difficulties mean it is now likely any referendum will not occur until well into the third year of the current administration's reign -- should it survive that long.