Fine Gael’s Deputy Director of Elections for the Seanad Abolition Referendum, Regina Doherty TD, has today (Tuesday) described Fianna Fáil’s personal attack on Kieran Mulvey as a red herring, aimed at distracting voters from its own flip flopping on the issue of the Seanad.
“Given Fianna Fáil’s spectacular u-turn on the Seanad, it is not surprising that the Party would now choose to play the man and not the ball. Fianna Fáil has launched a personal attack on a distinguished public servant because, as a concerned citizen, he is supporting the abolition of the Seanad.
“Instead of launching personal attacks, Fianna Fáil should concentrate on explaining why, after supporting the abolition of the Seanad during the General Election, it is now campaigning to save the second house.
“It is the norm for public figures to get involved in referenda campaigns. Indeed, I do not recall Fianna Fáil complaining when civic society groups, with high profile members, campaigned in favour of various referenda while the Party was still in Government.
“Yesterday, Kieran Mulvey made it clear that he is acting in a personal capacity because he feels strongly that the time has come to abolish the Seanad. Fianna Fáil failed to do anything to reform the Seanad during its time in Government, and was in favour of Seanad abolition two years ago during the General Election. The Party’s decision to resort to personal attacks so early in the campaign exposes its desire to distract voters from its increasingly weak stance on the Seanad.
“Fine Gael will continue to campaign on the facts about the Seanad, focussing on how voting Yes to abolition will save €20 million a year, reduce the number of national politicians by a third and bring us into line with other small countries in Europe.”