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Video: Shane Ross says the Seanad should be 'burned at the stake'

But the independent TD and several of his colleagues want the upper house reformed and hopes to get support from Labour and Fine Gael TDs this week.

YouTube: Hugh O’Connell

A NUMBER OF independent TDs have called for the Seanad to be reformed rather than abolished but one former member of the upper house has admitted that in its current state it is “totally and utterly dysfunctional body”.

“The Seanad, I think, is really past its sell by date. It should be burned at the stake,” independent TD Shane Ross said today as he was joined by several other independent TDs to campaign for the saving of the second chamber in the forthcoming referendum.

Other TDs campaigning for the saving of the upper house include Noel Grealish, Stephen Donnelly, Thomas Pringle, Maureen O’Sullivan, Mattie McGrath and Finian McGrath.

Ross said it was his intention to force the reform bill proposed by senators Fearghal Quinn and Katherine Zappone on to the Dáil agenda this Thursday and hopes that he will be supported by dissidents within Labour and Fine Gael who have indicated they will oppose the abolition of the Seanad in the October plebiscite.

“We will fight them in the Dáil, we will fight them in the Seanad, we will fight them in every street and every constituency in Ireland,” Finian McGrath told a press conference at Leinster House today.

Mattie McGrath said the Seanad was “badly needed” and said its abolition was the Taoiseach’s “pet project”.

You can watch the senators’ full comments in the video above.

Read: Government indicates Seanad will be reformed if abolition is rejected

Read: First major opinion poll shows 52pc in favour of scrapping Seanad

Read: Hogan appoints five-member panel to oversee Seanad referendum

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Hugh O'Connell

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