Brendan Howlin, right, speaks to Joe Costello today at Dublin Castle. Niall Carson/PA Wire

Amendment on Oireachtas inquiries is defeated

However, Brendan Howlin indicated earlier that we haven’t heard the end of the issue – and we may go to the polls on a new version.

THE RESULT OF the referendum on extending powers to Oireachtas committees to hold inquiries has been defeated.

The returning officer at the National Count Centre in Dublin Castle has just announced the following figures for the referendum on the 30th Amendment to the Constitution:

  • Total of votes cast – 1,785,208
  • Total spoiled votes – 45,025
  • Total valid votes – 1,740,183
  • Votes in favour/ ‘Yes’ - 812,008 (46.7%)
  • Votes against/ ‘No’ - 982,175 (53.3%)

Earlier today, Brendan Howlin – the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform – suggested to reporters at Dublin Castle that this won’t necessarily be the last we hear of the issue.

He said that “if it is defeated, we’re going to have to think again about how we’re going to get our reform agenda back on track”.

The minister said that the referendums – the one on judicial pay passed earlier this evening by a majority of one million votes - had been lost in the “backdrop of controversy” surrounding the Presidential election. He also said that the public clearly had an “appetite for reform” as evidence by the change of Government in the February general election and he would continue to pursue reforms in the Constitution and in law.

As with the judicial pay enquiry, there was a large number of spoiled votes: 45,025 in this case. (There were 37,696 spoiled in the judicial pay poll.)

More people voted in the Presidential election than did in the judicial pay referendum or in the Oireachtas inquiries referendum.


Howlin hints that if Committee amendment doesn’t pass… it won’t be the end of it>

Referendum on judges’ pay is passed with huge majority>

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