Fine Gael minister calls for Seanad reform

Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture Tom Hayes TD says that the Government will pursue the issue of reform of the Seanad following last week’s vote.

Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture Tom Hayes TD says that the Government will pursue the issue of reform of the Seanad following last week’s vote.

The vote to abolish the Seanad was defeated, with 51.7% voting against the proposal and 48.3% voting for abolition. But Tipperary bucked the trend with voters in both North and South Tipp voting to abolish the upper house.

Speaking following the referendum, Minister of State Hayes said that although Tipperary voters voted to keep the Seanad, the voice of the majority must be heard.

“Fine Gael will immediately look at what we can do to reform the Seanad, one of the main issues that concerned people was the process of electing people on to the Seanad and we must now look at ways to make it more inclusive.”

“There is no doubt that any reform will more than likely involve another referendum, which I don’t envisage happening until after next year’s local elections. Having spent four years in the Seanad myself, I support the work done by senators and I’m glad that voters saw the importance of the Seanad and the critical need for debate and analysis within our Government.”