The former PD leader and Tánaiste Michael McDowell has said that the Government's proposal to abolish the Seanad is nothing more than a gimmick.
He told the MacGill Summer School in Glenties last night that scrapping the Seanad would amount to the mutilation of the constitution.
Taoiseach Enda Kenny has insisted that the Government will proceed with its plan for a referendum, saying that reform of the Seanad has failed.
McDowell is convinced that the Government's proposal will fail.
"A reformed Seanad could bring far more voices, not elected by County Councillors and members of the Oireachtas, but elected by the people on broad mandates to deal with broad aspects of Irish society, I'm confident that once this issue is put to the Irish people, they will reject out of hand a referendum to abolish Seanad Éireann as a gimmick," he said.