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Poll shows over 50 per cent support for abolition of Seanad

Meanwhile, just under one third want it to be reformed.

First sitting of the 24th Seanad in May 2011.
First sitting of the 24th Seanad in May 2011.
Image: Laura Hutton/Photocall Ireland

A NEW MILLWARD BROWN poll for the Sunday Independent has revealed that 53 per cent of Irish people want to see the Seanad abolished.

Just seven per cent want to keep the upper house in its current format, while 30 per cent want it reformed in some way.

A referendum on the issue is expected in autumn next year.

Taoiseach Enda Kenny has insisted that the chamber is beyond saving; that getting rid of it is central to the Government’s political reform plan. Supporters of the Seanad say, though, that scrapping it won’t save much money and will mean less oversight of the lawmaking process.

The upper house of the Oireachtas, which marked its 90th anniversary earlier this month, has already survived abolition once: having been scrapped in 1936, in revenge for blocking many of Eamon de Valera’s reform plans, only to be recreated under the new Irish constitution of 1937.

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