29 September 2013: The Environmental Pillar calls for a “No” vote in the Seanad referendum, and demands the reform of the Seanad rather than its abolition.
– stated Attracta Uí Bhroin, spokesperson for the Environmental Pillar. She continued:
Ms Uí Bhroin highlighted the Seanad’s role in many key environmental outcomes with the following examples:
- Many critical environmental amendments to legislation were only possible through the Seanad, directly or indirectly. One example was the amendment of the National Lotteries Bill 2012 to include ‘the natural environment’ as a beneficiary.
- The prospect of the Seanad amending a bill often forces the Government to make changes itself without acknowledging the Seanad’s role.
- A Seanad Adjournment debate summoning a Minister was the only mechanism available to clarify facts in time to launch a court challenge against the British Government’s decision to build a nuclear power plant near Ireland without consulting the Irish people.
- European Law has raised the bar in environmental protection in Ireland. The Seanad plays a key role in advising and discussing its transposition and implementation into Irish Law, and can be a key channel for ensuring the delivery of intended protections.
Ms Uí Bhroin concluded:
Note: Whilst this statement was developed through the processes of the Environmental Pillar it does not necessarily represent the policies of all its members.