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Radical political reform vital to restore confidence in State institutions – Ó Snodaigh

1 March, 2016 - by Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD

Sinn Féin TD, Aengus Ó Snodaigh, has said it is a bit rich of Fianna Fáil to preach about Dáil reform given its 12 years of inaction on the subject when it was in government.

Deputy Ó Snodaigh said his party wants meaningful radical reform of the Dáil rather than the political posturing that Micheál Martin is currently engaging in.

Deputy Ó Snodaigh said:

“Dáil reform has never been a big ticket item for Fianna Fáil. It wasn’t a feature of their electoral campaign. Nor did they implement any real reform for the 12 years they were in government. Now their appeals for reform seem utterly hollow as it is their legacy of cronyism and corruption that has eroded the public confidence in the political system.

“Sinn Féin has consistently argued for radical political reform in order to rebuild public trust and confidence in the political system and institutions of the State. We want meaningful reform, not the meaningless political posturing that Micheál Martin is promising.  

“We want to introduce gender quotas at Cabinet, equality proof Government policy and budgets, as well as establish a new Oireachtas committee to scrutinise the Department of An Taoiseach, which would comprise Opposition Leaders.

“We also want to end the use of guillotines on legislation and debate, a dedicated period in each Dáil session allocated to debate the North and extension of voting rights in Presidential elections to citizens in the North and abroad.

“We would also introduce direct election by way of universal franchise to the Seanad, representation of marginalized minority sections within Irish society. Fianna Fáil has a serious record of cronyism in the Seanad, with former Taoisigh appointing party faithful, awarding them with perks, privileges and an elite status at taxpayers’ expense.

“We also want to see increased press facilities including space for opposition members to brief and host press conferences.

“Míchéal Martin needs to get real. He needs to get real about where the Irish people are at and what radical political reform is urgently required. Only Sinn Féin would bring about reform that actually delivers real transparency and real change.”

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