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Is a Seanad debate on Brexit really too much to ask? – Senator Niall Ó Donnghaile

21 November, 2017 - by Niall Ó Donnghaile

Sinn Féin Senator Niall Ó Donnghaile has written to the Leader of the Seanad following an exchange in the chamber this evening where the Leader Senator Jerry Buttimer would not commit to holding a debate on the issue of Brexit.

Speaking this evening, Seanadóir Ó Donnghaile said;

“Today in the Seanad I called for an urgent debate on Brexit.

“Given the severity of the political period we find ourselves in, it is my firm view that the Seanad and individual Seanadóirí across the political spectrum have and must continue to make an active and worthwhile contribution on this issue of truly national importance.

“I am disappointed that the Leader of the Seanad Jerry Buttimer would not commit to holding a debate on this matter or even my lesser request to have the Minister for Foreign Affairs or the Taoiseach update Senadóirí on the current state of play.

“I have tonight written to the Senator Buttimer urging him to reconsider.

“While parties and independents in the Seanad have some differences of opinion on aspects of this issue, we have all been united in wanting to see the best possible outcome delivered for all of Ireland.

“A short while ago, following weeks of extensive engagements, the Seanad Special Select Committee on Brexit published comprehensive findings after weeks of hearings on Brexit.

“This was good work, warmly received and supported by stakeholders across the political, economic, social, agricultural and legal spectrums. Sadly however, that report lies dormant. That is simply not good enough.

“The Seanad is a parliamentary institution, it is a debating chamber, given the period we are now in in relation to the negotiations, is a debate on Brexit really too much to ask of this Government?”

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