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Working Group on Seanad Reform - Consultation Process


The Working Group on Seanad Reform held its first meeting yesterday, 17th December 2014. Speaking after the meeting its chairman Dr Maurice Manning said the group would welcome submissions and suggestions from interested parties. He said the group would be taking into consideration the eleven official reports since 1937 and the very many submissions made during the recent Seanad referendum process.
Dr Manning stressed however that any new submissions should be within the Working Group’s terms of reference which stipulates that all changes must be within the existing constitutional framework.
Submissions (preferably via email) should be sent to:

email: seanadreformwg@taoiseach.gov.ie


clearly marked "Seanad Reform Working Group" and posted to:

Mary Timmins
Protocol and General Division
Department of the Taoiseach
Government Buildings
Merrion Street, Dublin 2

The closing date for submissions is January 20th 2015.

Freedom of Information: Please note that it is intended that all submissions received may be made available under the Freedom of Information Acts.


Note for Editors: The Taoiseach has established a Working Group on Seanad Reform. The principal focus of the working group will be on possible reforms of the Seanad Electoral system within the existing constitutional parameters. The Working Group will also explore ways of reforming Seanad Éireann generally and the manner in which it carries out its business. The Group will examine these issues also within existing Constitutional parameters.

The Working Group will examine submissions and proposals for reform which have already been made and will also look at:
• the role of a reformed Seanad within the political process;
• the powers and functions of a reformed Seanad; and
• any such matter as the working party sees as relevant.

Members of the Working Group: The Group is chaired by Dr. Maurice Manning (Chancellor of the National University of Ireland and former Senator) and the members will be Mary O'Rourke (former Minister and Senator), Pat Magner (former Senator), Dr. Maurice Hayes (former Senator, former Northern Ireland Ombudsman and former Chairman of the National Forum on Europe), Joe O’Toole (former Senator), Tom Arnold (former Chairman of the Constitutional Convention), Dr. Mary C Murphy (lecturer in politics in UCC) and Dr. Elaine Byrne (commentator and author on public policy).