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Vacant Seanad seat should be filled by someone with a unionist background, says senator

14 February 2018 15:57
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Vacant Seanad seat should be filled by someone with a unionist background, says senator

Leo Varadkar previously said he would like to see people from both nationalist and unionist communities take seats.

ONE OF THE two vacant seats in the Seanad should be filled by a person with an Ulster unionist background, according to Fine Gael Senator Frank Feighan.

The senator argues that having a “unionist voice” in the Upper House would be “helpful”, particularly given the current impasse at Stormont.

Feighan, who is on the record as believing that Ireland should consider rejoining the Commonwealth, added that in light of Brexit he believes it is “imperative from a symbolic, political and practical level that a Unionist voice is now needed more than ever in the Oireachtas”.

Speaking about Seanad reform earlier this month, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said people from Northern Ireland – from both nationalist and unionist communities – should be able to take seats in the Seanad, stating that it would add an “all-island dimension”.

Varadkar said having both nationalist and unionist representatives would provide “different voices on issues which concern us all”.

The Sunday Independent reported last weekend about speculation the Taoiseach intends to nominate former Ulster Farmers’ Union president Ian Marshall to the Seanad.

Source: thejournal.ie

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