Tuesday 24 October 2017

Kenny must act soon on Seanad reform

When the Oireachtas resumes in the autumn, there are about 20 weeks to enact legislation

Senator Feaergal Quinn
Senator Feaergal Quinn

Feargal Quinn

Ninety weeks have passed since the people voted in October 2013 to retain Seanad Éireann. That afternoon, when the referendum result was announced, Taoiseach Enda Kenny spoke in Dublin Castle. While acknowledging that he had received a 'wallop' from the electorate, he spoke frankly of how he recognised the will of the people expressed in the vote, and that he would "reflect upon the best way" in which the Seanad "could make a contribution to change in politics".

Many who, like myself, had opposed the abolition of Seanad Éireann and campaigned for its reform, were happy to take the Taoiseach at his word in the hope that real and substantial reform could be achieved.

We, of course, knew, as the Taoiseach did, that Seanad Éireann could not continue to function with any credibility on the basis of the narrow mandate it currently has, where most of its members are elected only by councillors, outgoing senators and incoming TDs.

Please sign in or register with Independent.ie for free access to Opinions.

Sign In

Don't Miss