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Dublin: 12 °C Wednesday 17 October, 2018
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Over two dozen academics urge No vote in Seanad referendum

A total of 27 academics have put their name to a letter in the Irish Times today.

TWENTY-SEVEN ACADEMICS have signed a letter published in this morning’s Irish Times urging a No vote in the Seanad referendum which takes place in exactly a week’s time.

The letter published today includes the signatures of Ivana Bacik, a Labour senator and law lecturer at Trinity, and Democracy Matters campaigner and DCU law lecturer Gary Murphy.

Other notable signatories include the well-known UCD historian Diarmaid Ferriter and TheJournal.ie contributor and NUIG lecturer Larry Donnelly.

The signatories state that “as academics engaged in research in a variety of different disciplines we strongly advocate a No vote”.

The academics acknowledge that as currently constituted the Seanad is not “sufficiently equipped” to deliver on the ideals of scrutinising legislation and the executive, as well as providing vocational expertise in the Irish parliamentary system.

The letter goes onto detail the proposals for reform contained in a bill jointly proposed by Senators Feargal Quinn and Katherine Zappone.

The letter comes with the referendum now less than seven days away. Voters will be asked to vote Yes or No on the proposal to abolish the Seanad.

There will be no option for reform on the ballot paper but advocates of a No vote believe rejection of the referendum will lead to reform of the upper house.

Read: The Reform Alliance is calling for a No vote in the Seanad referendum

‘Fundamentally undemocratic’: Ex-Labour TDs want Yes vote in Seanad referendum

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Hugh O'Connell

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