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Constitutional Convention won't discuss Seanad abolition

The members of the convention voted by 57 to 41 per cent not to write to the Taoiseach seeking an opportunity to discuss the abolition of the chamber.

THE MEMBERS OF the Constitutional Convention voted today not to discuss the abolition of the Seanad.

A vote took place during the Convention on the Constitution, following a short discussion on the question that the convention write to the Taoiseach seeking an opportunity to discuss the abolition of the Seanad in advance of the referendum currently planned for the autumn.

The results of the vote showed that:

  • 41 per cent voted Yes
  • 57 per cent voted No
  • 2 per cent said they had no opinion

The convention has been meeting this weekend to discuss possible amendments to the Dáil electoral system.

The planned referendum on the abolition of the Seanad is due to take place later this year. However, many within Leinster House expect that even if people voted for it to be abolished, the current Seanad would remain place until the next Dáil election. This would minimise disruption to the running of joint Dáil-Seanad operations like committees.

An Ipsos MRBI poll at the end of 2012 found that 55 per cent of those polled back the abolition of the Seanad.

Last week, two independent senators, Katherine Zappone and Feargal Quinn, launched a Bill which would reform Seanad and prevent its abolition.

Read: Members launch plan to reform Seanad and prevent abolition>

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