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Date set for referendum on Seanad abolition

Fine Gael has confirmed in a tweet this evening that the referendum will take place on Friday, 4 October.

Updated 6.05pm

THE REFERENDUM ON the abolition of the Seanad will take place on Friday, 4 October.

Fine Gael has confirmed in a tweet this evening that the referendum will take place on that date. A government spokesperson was not immediately able to confirm the date:

Later Fine Gael said that it had sourced the information in its tweet from RTÉ News which reported that 4 October is the date for the plebiscite:

Fianna Fáil is among the parties to have expressed anger with the announcement coming from Fine Gael and not the government:

The announcement came just over half-an-hour after the legislation giving effect to the referendum was passed in the Seanad itself after lengthy debate and much acrimony among senators.

The decision on the future of the upper house will now be in the hands of the voters who will be asked whether they want to abolish the Seanad or retain it.

The campaign for the abolition will be led by the government although a number of Fine Gael and Labour backbenchers have expressed reservations about abolition while there is even more opposition among government senators.

Fianna Fáil and Sinn Féin have outlined their opposition to abolition while a number of independent TDs and almost all independent senators are opposed to abolition.

The date will mean that the campaign will be in full-swing by the time the Dáil returns on 18 September. The vote will also come just over a week before the announcement of the Budget.

First published 5.15pm

Read: Senator claiming he was offered holiday to skip Seanad vote won’t pursue matter

Column: Seanad abolition would widen the democratic deficit in Ireland and Europe

Read: “Personal animosity” shouldn’t be part of Seanad abolition debate – Howlin

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Hugh O'Connell

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