Seanad being recalled to push through emergency Covid-19 legislation

Seanad being recalled to push through emergency Covid-19 legislation

The current Seanad will be recalled this week for the last time to push through more emergency legislation related to Coronavirus.

The current Seanad will hold its elections next Monday, however the final makeup of the upper house will not be completed until the newly instated Taoiseach makes their 11 nominations.

Since the February election, in which no party received a majority, Leo Varadkar remains in a caretaker role, and cannot appoint Seanad nominees.

Talks to form a government are ongoing but unlikely to be concluded in the next week.

Without the nominations from the Taoiseach, the constitutionality of the Seanad could be challenged, leading to further complications if emergency legislation needs to be passed after Monday, as any new legislation must have full Seanad approval before being signed into law.

Leo Varadkar said that the current Seanad will be recalled this week in an effort to pass any further emergency legislation needed, which is expected to be on further social welfare reform and supports for employers,

"The current senate is still in situ, and they can continue to legislate up until the weekend," he said.

We will be recalling the Seanad and asking them to put through legislation before the weekend.

"When the new Seanad is elected and the votes are counted on Monday of next week, then there is a question as to whether that Seanad is legally constituted in the absence of Taoiseach's nominees, and I don't have the authority to appoint those nominees.

"So that does mean that any legislation passed thereafter could be open to constitutional challenge, so we need to get all the legislation that we need through by the weekend ideally.

"The objective obviously is to get through as much legislation as we can by the weekend to get through everything we need, or we think we need.

"Whether legislation is needed after that is an open question, but what I am saying is that there is a risk that it could be open constitutional challenge

but almost all legislation is open to constitutional challenge, or a lot of it is."

It's widely expected that more new legislation will need to be introduced as the evolving nature of the Coronavirus pandemic calls for further government intervention.

    Useful information
  • The HSE have developed an information pack on how to protect yourself and others from coronavirus. Read it here
  • Anyone with symptoms of coronavirus who has been in close contact with a confirmed case in the last 14 days should isolate themselves from other people - this means going into a different, well-ventilated room alone, with a phone; phone their GP, or emergency department;
  • GPs Out of Hours services are not in a position to order testing for patients with normal cold and flu-like symptoms. HSELive is an information line and similarly not in a position to order testing for members of the public. The public is asked to reserve 112/999 for medical emergencies at all times.
  • ALONE has launched a national support line and additional supports for older people who have concerns or are facing difficulties relating to the outbreak of COVID-19 (Coronavirus) in Ireland. The support line will be open seven days a week, 8am-8pm, by calling 0818 222 024

More on this topic

Covid-19 Locator Form mandatory for overseas arrivals from todayCovid-19 Locator Form mandatory for overseas arrivals from today

Letter to the Editor: Open pubs but make sure you wear a maskLetter to the Editor: Open pubs but make sure you wear a mask

Troy Deeney receives abuse after expressing his concerns over football’s returnTroy Deeney receives abuse after expressing his concerns over football’s return

Emily Maitlis to miss Newsnight after BBC criticises Cummings row coverageEmily Maitlis to miss Newsnight after BBC criticises Cummings row coverage