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Taoiseach forced to accept that minimalist Seanad reform is unacceptable - Adams

9 July, 2015 - by Gerry Adams TD


Taoiseach Enda Kenny invited Opposition party leaders to meet with him on Tuesday evening at Government Buildings to discuss the issue of Seanad reform.

Speaking after the meeting Sinn Féin Leader Gerry Adams TD said:

"The Working Group on Seanad Reform submitted its recommendations to Government in April.

"Sinn Féin gave a cautious welcome to the report on the basis that we were yet to be persuaded that the Government is in fact serious about real political reform.

"Taoiseach Enda Kenny and Minister for Communication Alex White have confirmed that the Government has yet to consider the report of the Seanad Reform Working Group or to take a view of its recommendations. This is astounding.

"The Government's current exercise on reform was hurriedly cobbled together following the controversy of the McNulty affair, which exposed ongoing and blatant cronyism at the heart of this Government.

"Nothing that I have heard from the Taoiseach persuades me that this cynical attitude to political reform has changed.

"Enda Kenny has offered to establish a group with one nominee from each party to begin introducing the most minimalist reforms, which girded part of the Seanad Reform Working Group's recommendations.

These include:

- Consideration to Secondary Legislation of the EU

- Consult with relevant bodies prior to and during Second Stage debate

- Investigate and report on matters of public policy interest

- Consider reports from regulators and other statutory inspectors

"Sinn Féin has unequivocally rejected this proposal.

"We have made clear that the Oireachtas should consider the Report's recommendations and the Government, as recommended, should bring forward legislation on Seanad Reform.

"The Taoiseach has been forced to accept that his proposal of minimalist reform is unacceptable.

"He has now conceded to bring the Report before the Dáil for debate and also to bring forward a Seanad Reform Bill before Christmas."

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