Abolishing Seanad Just One Measure in Dáil Reform


  • Extending Dáil sitting week and providing additional time for legislative debate
  • The Dáil will start earlier each day meeting at 12.30pm on Tuesday and 9.30am on Wednesday and Thursday.
  • Friday sittings will take place every second week and be extended to include a 2 hour debate on a Private Member’s Bill and a 2 hour discussion of a Committee Report.
  • Oireachtas Committees will be able to consult with civil society groups, advocacy groups and individuals with expertise in a specific area at Pre-Legislative Stage to develop legislation before bills are drafted.
  • Pre-Legislative Stage will be a requirement for all Bills. Where a Minister does not bring a Bill to Committee for Pre-Legislative Stage, they will be required to outline to both the Cabinet and the Dáil the reasons for this decision.
  • Extended involvement of Oireachtas Committees in the Budget process

I am advocating a Yes Vote in the Referendum. The Seanad is undemocratic and ineffective.

  • Just over 1% of the Irish population elected the current Seanad
  • Politicians pick 90% of the members of the Seanad. The rest are chosen only by graduates of Trinity and NUI Colleges
  • The Taoiseach’s 11 nominees effectively guarantee a Government majority in each Seanad
  • The Seanad’s main power of oversight is to delay (not veto) legislation by referring it back to the Dáil. This has only happened twice, most recently in 1964
  • “The total cost of running the Seanad is over €20 million per year, according to the Oireachtas Commission. That amounts to €100 million across a five year Dáil term.

Ireland has 33% more national politicians that any similar sized country in Europe and is the only such country with two houses of parliament. Abolishing the Seanad and reducing the Dáil as planned will bring us in line with the average in those countries and is the first step on the way to meaningful political reform. Politics, like every other part of Irish life, must do more with less.





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