Seanad should not be abolished - McFadden

Senator Nicky McFadden has spoken out against her party leader Enda Kenny’s proposals to abolish the Seanad.

Deputy Kenny sparked controversy last week when he announced that his party’s programme for government would include a referendum to abolish the Seanad, which he said had outgrown its usefulness.

Speaking to the Advertiser yesterday, Senator McFadden said that while the Senate is in need of radical reform, it plays an important role as a Government ‘watchdog’.

“While I pledge my support to Enda Kenny and it is his prerogative as leader of the party, I do not believe the Seanad should be abolished,” she said.

“I am using the Senate to do my best. I feel that now, more than ever, the Government is in need of checks and balances, and the Senate acts as this watchdog.”

However, she acknowledged that the public are eager for reform, and that improvements could be made to the way the Seanad operates.

“The Senate is useful, but it needs to be reformed radically. It needs to be given more powers and made more relevant.

“The great thing is that this has provoked massive debate,” she added.

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