Dáil Éireann - Volume 592 - 17 November, 2004

Written Answers. - Election Management System.

  623. Mr. J. O’Keeffe asked the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government the universities and other institutes of higher education, to the graduates of which voting rights to Seanad Éireann are denied; and if he has proposals to extend the franchise as provided for in Article 18 (4)(2) of the Constitution. [28667/04]

  Mr. Roche: Section 7 of the Seanad Electoral (University Members) Act 1937 provides that every citizen of Ireland who has received a degree, other than an honorary degree, from the National University of Ireland or from the University of Dublin is entitled to be registered as an elector for the National University of Ireland or Dublin University constituency, respectively.

The report on Seanad reform by the sub-committee of the Seanad Committee on Procedure and Privileges was published earlier this year. It sets out a comprehensive package of recommendations for further consideration and action concerning the composition, functions and future role of the Seanad. These include proposals to widen the electorate for the higher education constituency.

The Taoiseach has asked me to chair an informal all-party parliamentary group to establish the extent of cross-party agreement on the report’s recommendations and to advance, with consensus, proposals for the implementation of Seanad reform. I will be approaching party leaders in relation to this very shortly.