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One House

Because One House is Enough www.onehouse2013.com

STATEMENT BY  FORMER  MINISTERS     ALAN  DUKES,  DES  O’MALLEY,  BARRY   DESMOND,  GEMMA  HUSSEY,  MERVYN   TAYLOR,  LIZ  MCMANUS      

• A yes vote is a vote for progress, reform and democracy • People should not fall for scare tactics of the No side. • The Seanad has failed to find a meaningful role in 75 years. 2pm Sunday 29 September 2013 Six former Ministers have today called on voters to give a resounding Yes to the referendum to abolish the Seanad. In a joint statement the former ministers said: “This is an important vote and it will be a big step forward for Irish democracy.” The statement was signed by former ministers: Alan Dukes, Des O’Malley, Barry Desmond, Gemma Hussey, Mervyn Taylor and Liz McManus. “The Seanad has not served the need for checks and balances, and in fact has acquiesced in every Bill passed by the Dail for 50 years. It serves no function that cannot be performed more democratically by the Dail alone. The abolition of the Seanad will improve our democracy.”


At a media conference in Dublin today, Liz McManus said: “People should not fall for scare tactics of the No side. The Seanad has failed to find a meaningful role over 75 years. The vote on Friday is a once in a lifetime opportunity to bring an end to this unnecessary element of our system. If we don’t take this opportunity to scrap the Seanad, it might not arise again for another 75 years.” Gemma Hussey said: ‘I was elected as an Independent Senator from the National University of Ireland in 1977, with no intention of going any further in politics. But I learned quite quickly that Seanad Eireann had virtually no role in influencing national events. If I wanted to get real change in the areas dear to me – legislation for women’s rights, social justice, pluralism, reconciliation in Northern Ireland – it was not going to happen in the Senate.’ Barry Desmond said: ‘The Seanad has an elitist and undemocratic structure, which is written into the Constitution. The notion of reforming the Seanad is not realistic, because any reform would simply turn it into a second Dáil, which Ireland neither needs nor wants.’ In their joint statement the six former ministers added: “The Irish people can be reassured that a Yes vote is a safe vote for progress, reform and democracy, and stands by the principle of equality of citizens that underpins our republic.” All six former ministers are involved in the independent civil society group One House that is calling for a Yes vote in the referendum on 4 October.


Contact details: Web: Twitter: Phone: Email:

www.onehouse2013.com @onehouse2013 089-4857451 onehouseYES@gmail.com

About One House One House is an independent civil society group supporting a yes vote in the referendum to abolish Seanad Éireann. One House is not aligned with any political party and exists solely as a campaign group for the 2013 Seanad referendum. It is funded by its supporters and its budget will not exceed €2,000. One House Supporters Eamon Delaney, author and columnist; Barry Desmond, former minister; Martina Devlin, author and columnist; Sean Patrick Donlan, law lecturer UL; Alan Dukes, former minister; Blair Horan, trade unionist; Richard Humphreys, senior counsel and local councillor; Gemma Hussey, former minister; Finola Kennedy, member of Constitutional Review Group; Liz McManus, former minister; Arthur Morgan, former TD; Kieran Mulvey, public servant; Jason O’Mahoney, political blogger; Eoin O’Malley, university lecturer; Jim Power, economist; Kevin Rafter, university lecturer and former journalist; Mervyn Taylor, former minister; Liam Thornton, law lecturer UCD; Mary Trayers, solicitor.

Pr2 29 september 2013  
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