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FG policy on Seanad abolition abandoned by FG Senators

21 October, 2009 - by Pearse Doherty TD


Sinn Féin Senator Pearse Doherty has accused Fine Gael of abandoning its policy on Seanad reform for the third time this year. Senator Doherty was speaking today after Fine Gael Senators voted in favour of not only retaining the Seanad but of increasing the number of Senators from 60 to 65 and the number of Taoiseach’s nominees from 11 to 12.

Speaking after a vote in the Seanad this afternoon Senator Doherty said:

“It is quite obvious that Fine Gael are all over the place when it comes to the development of policy in relation to the future of the Seanad. Its party’s Senators today voted in favour of not only retaining the Seanad but of increasing the number of Senators from 60 to 65 and the number of Taoiseach’s nominees from 11 to 12 despite their party leader calling for the abolition of the Seanad just last four days ago.

“I have, since my election to the Seanad in 2007, been a lone voice in calling for the abolition of the Seanad in its current format. In that time Fine Gael has had three different positions ranging from retention of the Seanad to increasing membership, to abolition and now back to increasing membership.

“Today’s vote now puts in question everything Fine Gael has promised as part of their bid to gain power at the next election as it is quite clear that they are making up policy as they go along in a haphazard and populist manner.” ENDS

Note to editor:

Below is the motion which was supported by both Fine Gael and the Labour Party in the Seanad today.

That Seanad Éireann deplores that delay in implementing the recommendations on Seanad reform and demands of Government that it do so immediately.

This report recommends the increase in the number of Senators from 60 to 65 and the number of Taoiseach’s nominees from 11 to 12.

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