An Taoiseach officially launches Fine Gael’s campaign for a Yes vote on October 4th

10th September 2013 - Fine Gael Press Office

An Taoiseach, Enda Kenny TD, has today (Tuesday) joined Director of Elections, Minister Richard Bruton TD, and the Minister for Justice, Alan Shatter TD, to launch Fine Gael’s campaign for a Yes vote on October 4th in the Referendums on abolishing the Seanad and establishing a Court of Appeal.

Speaking at the Fine Gael Campaign Launch today, An Taoiseach said: ‘I believe the Irish people are demanding a new politics that is leaner, more responsive and more democratic. A politics that will truly meet the needs and demands of this country. At a time of shared sacrifice for all our citizens, we believe that the political system must lead by example’.

“We in Fine Gael believe that Ireland does not need a powerless, elitist second House. We believe that fundamental change is now required. That one House, for a country of our size, is definitely enough. Opponents of the Seanad abolition point to the weakness of the Dáil and argue that it’s not working properly.

I agree. But that’s a stronger argument for fixing the Dáil – not for keeping the Seanad. Director of Elections for the Referendum Campaign, Minister Richard Bruton TD said: ‘Just like every family and business across the country has had to change over recent years, so too politics must become more cost-effective and better in the way it does business. That is what is at the heart of our proposal to abolish the Seanad’.

“We will be running an energetic campaign in an effort to communicate to people clear fact-based information about what the Seanad is, what it does
and why it should be abolished. For example:

  • The Seanad can only delay – not block – a piece of legislation, and it has only used this power twice in 75 years
  • Only 1% of the population elected the Seanad
  • 90% of Senators are elected exclusively by other politicians
  • The Government has a guaranteed majority in the Seanad

“The facts are overwhelmingly on the Yes side in this referendum. On October 4th, people will have a chance to vote Yes for €20 million annual savings, Yes for 33% fewer politicians and Yes for a strong single-chamber Parliament doing its business effectively in line with international best practice.”

As well as the Referendum to abolish the Seanad, voters will have the opportunity to vote Yes to establish a Court of Appeal on October 4th.

Speaking at today’s launch, the Minister for Justice, Equality and Defence, Alan Shatter TD, said: ‘The establishment of a Court of Appeal is very much in the public interest.

Should you ever have to appeal a High Court judgement or have a judgement in your favour appealed, it is in your interest that the appeal does not drag on for years at great personal and financial cost’. “Presently, it can take up to four years for the Supreme Court to hear an appeal from the High Court.

Voting Yes will ensure that any individual who finds themselves involved in a court case can have the issue resolved within a reasonable timeframe.

A Yes vote is essential to ensuring we have a modern and efficient courts service.

“Establishing a Court of Appeal is also important for job creation, as it will ensure that Ireland remains an attractive destination for multinational companies wishing to locate or expand here.

If legal disputes arise that require a business or multinational company to resort to the courts, it is important that they are assured that justice will be administered within a reasonable timeframe.

Voting Yes to establish a Court of Appeal will ensure that appeals are dealt with much more quickly, which is good for business and job creation.” 

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