A 40-year wait for Seanad reform


Sir, – It is now 40 years since the 1979 referendum on Seanad Éireann elections was passed by 92 per cent of the electorate.

It meant that legislation could be developed to extend voting rights on the university panels to all graduates of higher education. In four decades, no political action has been taken.

At this rate, it does not look likely that this Government will act on their promise of Seanad reform or the recommendations in the Manning report.

The Taoiseach has not provided any clear commitment on bringing forward legislation for Seanad reform during this Government’s term.

It’s been over six years since Ireland narrowly voted to keep the Seanad. Many people like me campaigned to retain the Seanad because we saw the importance of it and the potential for meaningful reform. It is a disgrace that no reform has taken place.

It is a disgrace that no reform has taken place. In order to bolster public confidence in the Seanad, and in our public representatives who have promised political reform, we need to see action.

Acting on the result of the 1979 referendum would be a good place to start. – Yours, etc,



Dublin 7.