No election before 2016, says Fine Gael Seanad leader

Upper House has 28 Bills to pass before Christmas, Maurice Cummins tells Senators

Senator David Norris: said the byelection  to fill Jimmy Harte’s seat was a  “complete farce with only 100 voters”

Senator David Norris: said the byelection to fill Jimmy Harte’s seat was a “complete farce with only 100 voters”

 

Seanad leader Maurice Cummins has told the Upper House there are at least four months to go before a general election.

Mr Cummins said they had 28 Bills to pass before Christmas. The Fine Gael Senator said his colleagues need have no fear about a byelection taking place close to a general election. He was referring to the contest to succeed Labour Senator Jimmy Harte, who has retired for health reasons.

Labour has nominated community activist Maíria Cahill as their candidate in the byelection, due next month.

Fine Gael will not be putting forward a candidate while Fianna Fáil has yet to reveal their party’s representative, but Ms Cahill is expected to win.

Labour Seanad leader Ivana Bacik said the Belfast woman nomination was “really fine and wonderful candidate”.

Selection convention

Marie Moloney

Independent David Norris said that while Ms Cahill was a fine person the election was a “complete farce with only 100 voters. It is not even an election because Fine Gael has withdrawn from it.”

Mr Cummins said: “I am sure we will a very good person . . . because we still have about four months to go before an election.”

When Fianna Fáil’s Paschal Mooney said to the leader “don’t be trying to fool the Labour Party”, Mr Cummins said: “I can assure the Senator that we have at least 28 Bills to pass by Christmas so we will have a very busy time.”