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More elements of the constitutional convention yet to be addressed – Ó Snodaigh

14 January, 2016 - by Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD

Sinn Féin TD Aengus Ó Snodaigh has spoken on the Convention on the Constitution Reports which said that TDs are hampered in their work by the restriction in the Constitution which prevents them submitting amendments or legislation that have a financial cost.

Teachta Ó Snodaigh said:

“I was honoured to take part in the Convention on the Constitution on behalf of Sinn Féin, alongside Gerry Adams TD and Mary Lou McDonald TD. Our remit was to consider and deliberate on certain matters and recommend issues to be prioritised for discussion by the Government and the Oireachtas as possible future amendments to the Constitution. This was a relatively successful exercise in deliberative democracy.

 “Dáil reform was the chosen topic of discussion for the eighth plenary meeting, with Convention members considering improvements to the way public representatives function in the Dáil. 

 “One of the recommendations I was instrumental in bringing to the Convention in relation to Dáil reform regards Article 17.2; which is a restriction in the Constitution which prevents any amendment or legislation being introduced that may involve a financial cost. This is a straightjacket on TDs and Senators in trying to engage fully in their role as legislators. The Convention recommended the removal of Article 17.2 of the Constitution.

“The Convention agrees that TDs should be allowed to make recommendations that may incur a cost on the Exchequer. We are calling on all parties to commit to a referendum to seek to remove this Constitutional restriction.

“As we approach the centenary of 1916, the project of a truly national dialogue on constitutional renewal, as another step on the road to unity, peace and reconciliation, would be a fitting tribute to the vision of the founders and signatories of the Proclamation.” 

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