Written answers

Tuesday, 15 June 2021

Department of Housing, Planning, and Local Government

Seanad Reform

Photo of Alan KellyAlan Kelly (Tipperary, Labour)
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640. To ask the Minister for Housing, Planning, and Local Government if he will report on plans for reform of Seanad Éireann. [30931/21]

Photo of Darragh O'BrienDarragh O'Brien (Dublin Fingal, Fianna Fail)
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The Seanad plays an important role as part of our legislature under the Constitution. In a democracy, any reform of the legislature must enjoy the confidence of the public as well as legislators. In this regard The Programme for Government contains a broad range of electoral reforms including a commitment to establish an independent, statutory Electoral Commission. The Government is committed as a priority to the establishment of the Commission to enhance the governance of our democratic electoral processes.

While Seanad electoral reform is a matter for my Department, wider Seanad Reform is a matter for the Department of An Taoiseach. The all-party Seanad Reform Implementation Group published its report in December 2018, which contained many recommendations that related to electoral matters, and included proposals on implementation of the 2015 Manning Report. The report’s recommendations were not unanimously endorsed by the group’s members.

An Taoiseach has confirmed previously that while there was some brief consideration of that report by the Houses in late 2019, if further examination of its proposals by the current members of the Houses were to lead to a consensus around some of the report’s recommendations, such a consensus would provide a basis for their implementation.


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