Sinn Féin Seanadóir Fintan Warfield has welcomed a Supreme Court judgement that current Seanad voting provisions are unconstitutional, and said reform must be enacted immediately to extend voting rights.
Speaking today, Seanadóir Warfield said:
“Today’s Supreme Court judgment, holding that the limitation of the Seanad franchise to NUI and TCD is unconstitutional, should serve as a wake up call to Government. I welcome the judgement and it is crucial that the required reforms are now delivered without delay.
“Sinn Féin worked tirelessly on the Seanad Reform Implementation Group. A full report and draft legislation were developed that would radically reform the Seanad.
“It proposed one six-seat university constituency that would replace the NUI and Trinity constituencies. The new six-seat constituency would be elected by graduates who hold a Level 6 degree or above.
“Sinn Féin fundamentally believe that a majority of the Seanad should be elected by the public including Irish citizens in the north and overseas. The Seanad Reform Implementation Group provided for that.
“Sinn Féin also won a series of key amendments to this Report and Bill that would provide for a greater gender balance amongst candidates; and that the Taoiseach gives consideration to diversity, gender balance and representation from marginalised communities when nominating 11 Senators as per the constitution.
“Our Seanad must be representative of the diversity of Irish life, to ensure that people get equal and fair representation. Sinn Féin will continue to advocate for fair reforms to deliver this equality. The Seanad must be reformed to be fit for purpose in the twenty-first century.”