Fianna Fáil Director of Elections Niall Collins has responded to Deputy Robert Dowds’ criticism of Fianna Fáil’s position in the upcoming Seanad referendum.

Deputy Collins commented, “Quite frankly I am puzzled by Deputy Dowds statement. Fianna Fail is among a number of parties, individual Oireachtas Members and civic society groups supporting a No vote in order to demand real reform.

“Among those arguing for reform rather than abolition is Deputy Dowds’ constituency and Labour Party colleague Deputy Johanna Tuffy. She, among many others, has played an important role in media debate arguing the case for a NO vote and the much needed Oireachtas reform which must follow.

“Fianna Fáil’s proposals for reform include giving a vote to every citizen in the country, improved representation for marginalized groups and a special role in developing relationships between North and South.

“As the Deputy would know if he took the time to read our 2011 Manifesto, our support for abolishing the Seanad was conditional on radical reform of how the Dáil works and how the Oireachtas is ordered.  Only the most loyally deluded Government supporters would claim that this has taken place over the last two years. 

“Enda Kenny’s proposals amount to constitutional vandalism and Fianna Fáil’s opposition to his power grab is strong and well founded.  In stark contrast to Deputy Dowds’ Labour Party, Fianna Fáil is united in its support for real reform and a NO vote.”