TALKS on government formation took the limelight away from the Seanad elections. It is important this time around that the recommendations made in the Manning Report, commissioned in the wake of the failed attempt by Taoiseach Enda Kenny in a referendum in 2013 to have the Upper House abolished, are implemented.
Fianna Fáil with 14 seats and Fine Gael with 13 each gained one seat, while Sinn Féin increased its representation from three to seven seats, Labour got five and the Green Party one. However, Fine Gael will have to do deals with at least seven of the nine independents to complement the Taoiseach’s 11 nominees in order to get legislation through the Seanad.
It is hoped that this will provide the impetus to have implementation of the Seanad reform recommendations put firmly at the heart of any deals made, including an agreed timeline.