Fine Gael’s Director of Elections for the Seanad Referendum, Minister Richard Bruton TD, has today (Wednesday) announced details of Fine Gael’s programme of regional activity for the Referendum campaign. This will kick off with a public meeting in Dublin tomorrow night.
Speaking after a meeting with his Regional Directors in Leinster House this afternoon, Minister Bruton said: ‘Fine Gael will be leading an intensive programme of regional activity across the country in the coming weeks in a bid to communicate to as many people as possible about how abolishing the Seanad would:
· Save €20 million a year
· Reduce the number of national politicians by a third
· Bring us into line with best practice in other small European countries such as Sweden and Denmark’.
“Public meetings will be held in a number of locations including several in Dublin and town hall style meetings in Cork, Limerick, Waterford, Galway, Meath, Louth and Tipperary, among others. The meetings will be addressed by senior members of the Cabinet including the Taoiseach and the Minister for Finance, and will feature independent guest speakers who will explain why they believe it is time that we abolish the Seanad.
“The first meeting will take place in Dublin Bay North tomorrow night, chaired by Gina Menzies and featuring commentator and journalist Eamon Delaney as the independent guest speaker.
“We have a strong team of Regional Directors in place, who will be mobilising the Fine Gael organisation and co-ordinating regional activity in the coming weeks, including canvassing and public events. This will be accompanied by a nationwide poster campaign. As part of its social media strategy, Fine Gael will maintain a focussed presence across all online platforms.
“We will be aiming to communicate a number of key facts about the Seanad, including:
· It can only delay legislation, not overturn it, and the last time it did this was in 1964
· It is elected by 1% of the population
· 90% of Senators are chosen by other politicians
“The Irish people are being given a simple choice on October 4th; do they want to abolish the Seanad, Yes or No? A No vote is a vote to retain a costly, undemocratic and powerless second chamber that mirrors the work of the Dáil.
“A Yes vote is a vote to bring Ireland into line with other small countries in Europe, to reduce the number of politicians by one third and to save €20million a year which can be spent on other valuable services.”