Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams has said Mícheál Martin and Fianna Fáil are being opportunistic in opposing the abolition of the Seanad.
Deputy Adams also said if Mícheál Martin is sincere in his wish for Northern representation in the Oireachtas then he should support Sinn Féin’s call for speaking rights in the Dáil for Northern MPs.
Speaking from Dublin today where he is attending his party’s Ard Comhairle meeting Deputy Adams said;
“The Fianna Fáil leadership has performed an opportunistic u-turn on Seanad abolition. Fianna Fáil went into the last general election with a commitment to abolish the Seanad yet he now opposes its abolition.
“This is a cynical and populist move.
“This referendum is not about reform. It simply isn’t on the table. Mícheál Martin and his party had plenty of time to reform the Seanad when they were in power but they never did. The Seanad must is elitist and undemocratic. It must be abolished.
“Deputy Martin now says that the only way to get Northern representation in the Oireachtas is to support the retention of the Seanad yet his party never did anything to support northern representation during it 14 years in power.
“This is despite Fianna Fáil agreement that there would be opportunities for Northern MPs to participate in Dáil debates without voting rights. This commitment, like others, was reneged on.
“If Mícheál Martin wants Northern representation in the Oireachtas then he should support Sinn Féin’s call for speaking rights in the Dáil for Northern MPs.”