TAOISEACH Enda Kenny has announced that graduates of all third level institutions in Ireland will get a vote in Seanad elections.
In news which will be warmly welcomed by former students of the University of Limerick, as well as those at LIT and Mary Immaculate College, Mr Kenny confirmed legislation will be prepared to give effect to a decision made in 1979 to extend the Seanad electorate to all graduates.
In his keynote speech at the Fine Gael conference at the South Court Hotel, he said he accepted the decision of the public to retain the Seanad.
He added: “We will now continue reforming the political system, and ensuring that the Seanad is effective as possible. I intend to discuss this the leaders of the Dail and the Seanad in the next two weeks, and as a small first step, I have asked that legislation be prepared to give effect to the 1979 decision of the Irish people to extend the Seanad electorate to all graduates.”
Up until now, only National University of Ireland graduates could vote in these elections.
The University of Limerick’s Student Union has fought a long campaign to secure the vote for its students.
Fine Gael’s leader on Limerick City Council, Cllr Diarmuid Scully - a student of UL - warmly welcomed the decision.
“I am delighted its happening. I think it is exactly the right thing to do. Graduates are on in three of the population. If we are going to have a Senate, we should have one which is as wide as possible. Let’s end the rotten borough which Trinity College has seen in particular for so long. Let people come down here and canvass for a few votes,” Cllr Scully said.
For more, see the Limerick Leader on Monday.