Referenda turnout could be among worst ever

With one of the lowest turnouts in the history of the State being forecast for today’s referendums, both Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil have appealed to the country’s 3.1m voters to get out and cast their votes.

Referenda turnout could be among worst ever

“I hope there will be a high turnout,” said Taoiseach Enda Kenny as he launched one last attack on Fianna Fáil, saying his opponents thought so much about the Seanad that they adjourned business one day so they could all head off to a golf competition.

“I suppose you could say the attitude of the Fianna Fáil party towards Seanad Eireann was epitomised a few years ago when the Senate was adjourned so the members could go and participate in the Oireachtas golf competition,” Mr Kenny said as he announced 75 jobs at the Irish tech firm IT Alliance in Dublin.

Mr Kenny said if there was a yes vote today he would prove to Irish people that the reform of politics he had promised would be implemented.

“We will involve civil society and people to a far greater extent, far more comprehensively in the drafting and analysis and consideration of legislation.

“The Senate was hijacked by the political process for 70 years. It has never, it has never measured up to principles for which it was intended, to represent particular sectors of society. All of that will now happen through the committee system in the changed way the Dáil will do its business.”

Meanwhile, the Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin predicted the result of the Seanad referendum would be “very tight and very close”.

Speaking to the Irish Examiner, Mr Martin said: “We are going to be campaigning right until close of polls tomorrow night, and I would call on everyone who has a vote to exercise their right and make their voice heard. Our campaign, led by Niall Collins TD, has been very encouraged over the last 48 hours, when there has been a very definite sense of momentum behind the vote no argument.

“A lot of people have watched the debates of the last 24 hours very carefully and realised the dangers posed by the raft of constitutional changes the Government is proposing.”

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