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Statement by the Taoiseach on the Report of the Working Group on Seanad Reform

I have today received the Report of the Working Group on Seanad Reform and held discussions with the Chairperson on its contents. Last December, I gave this independent Working Group a wide remit to propose Seanad reform within the constitutional parameters.

I very much welcome this Report. It is innovative and radical, and contains some far-reaching recommendations to the way members are elected to the Seanad, and on how the Seanad should perform its functions. There now needs to be a public and political discussion and consultation on it.

As a first step, I intend on meeting with the opposition party leaders to discuss its contents. I have also requested the Working Group to make a presentation to the Oireachtas Committee on Environment, Culture and the Gaeltacht, and the Committee on Procedure and Privileges on the Seanad. I hope that the Chairperson and some members of the Working Group will also attend a hearing in the Seanad for further debate and analysis.

Finally, I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Chairman and members of the Working Group for their time and commitment in producing such a comprehensive Report, and I look forward to the debate it will no doubt generate.