The Government is considering holding a referendum on abolishing the Seanad on the same day as the General Election, it has been reported.
The Irish Times quoted Defence Minister Tony Killeen as saying that the future of the Seanad will be discussed at the first Cabinet meeting of the New Year.
Minister Killeen said there was a "strong mood" among senior members of Government for the referendum to take place parallel to the election.
There does seem to be a public appetite for reform,” Minister Killeen was quoted as saying, “and we need to facilitate it."
Fine Gael and Labour have previously called for the abolition of the upper house.
Fine Gael suggested the move over a year ago, saying it would hold a referendum on the future of the Seanad when it gets into power.
Now the opposition party is accusing the Government of trying to muddy the water before the General Election.
It is understood the Green Party is prepared to support Fianna Fáil in the move.