Sinn Féin councillor, Matt Carthy said: “If Fianna Fáil was really interested in reforming the Seanad, they had three terms of government and decades of opportunity to do so, but they chose time and time again not to reform the Seanad but to use it as a prop for their own party interests.”
Cllr Carthy said:
“Over the last two weeks we have seen Fianna Fáil spokespersons lining up in the most opportunistic fashion to call for the reform of the Seanad, ignoring the fact that the Fianna Fáil leadership who were in the best position to introduce such reforms in recent years.
“For Fianna Fáil the Seanad has always been an instrument of their power, not a check or balance to it. It was where they provided a political lifeline for former TDs or provided an office and perks to aspiring candidates.
“The Seanad is elitist, undemocratic and outdated and has no role in a modern society. In the last two-and-a-half years, it has supported the government on every single occasion.
“Senators cannot prevent a bill from being passed into law. They can delay a bill, for just 90 days. The last time the Seanad did this was 1964 – it was a Pawnbrokers Bill – and the Seanad voted against it by accident. They cannot delay a money bill at all.
“The Seanad is an affront to democracy because it goes against the most basic principal of a modern democratic electoral system – the principal of equality between citizens – one person one vote. That is why we should vote yes and abolish it on 4 October.”