Galwegians are being asked to exercise their democratic right to vote tomorrow in the Seanad and Court of Appeal referenda in one of the 15 polling stations open across the city from 7am to 10pm.
The Referendum Commission is today calling on people of Galway to vote on whether or not they want to abolish Seanad Éireann and whether or not they want to establish a court of appeal and make other changes to the Courts system.
Polling stations will be located in St Patrick’s Band’s Hall, Fairgreen; Westside Community Centre; Scoil Chaitríona NS, Renmore; Castlegar GAA Club; Ballybane Community Centre; Mervue NS; Tirellan NS; Presentation NS; Shantalla NS; Seamus Quirke Road Community Centre; Bushy Park NS; Gaelscoil Mhic Amhlaigh; St Enda’s NS, Salthill; Dominican NS, Taylor’s Hill; and Claddagh NS.
Voters will be given two separate ballot papers: a white one for the Seanad referendum, and a green one for the Court of Appeal referendum.
If the Seanad referendum is passed, the Seanad will be abolished after the next General Election. It would mean in future laws would have to be passed only by the Dáil, before being sent to the President to be signed.
At the moment, for a law to be made in Ireland, a Bill must be passed by the two Houses of the Oireachtas: The Dáil and the Seanad. There would be some other changes to the Constitution to remove references to the Seanad, and to make new arrangements to deal with certain functions in which the Seanad currently has a role.
If the Court of Appeal referendum is passed, a new court of appeal will be set up at a level between the High Court and the Supreme Court. It would deal with most appeals which are currently dealt with by the Supreme Court. In some cases the Supreme Court could hear a further appeal, and it could also decide to hear an appeal directly from the High Court. The referendum on the Court of Appeal also includes a proposal to change how the Supreme Court gives its decision in certain cases.
The count for the Galway West verdict on the referenda will be held in the new Knocknacarra Community Centre in Cappagh Park on Saturday from 9am.