Hanafin rules out early bye-elections

Monday 15 February 2010 12.32
Mary Hanafin - Autumn date possible for elections
Mary Hanafin - Autumn date possible for elections

The Minister for Social and Family Affairs has said the bye-elections for Dublin South and Donegal South-West will not be held until at least the ‘back end’ of the year.

Bye-elections are required following the resignation of former Fine Gael TD George Lee and the election of Donegal South West TD Pat The Cope Gallagher to the European Parliament last year.

Speaking on RTE's The Week in Politics, Mary Hanafin said these elections - along with the election of a Dublin Mayor - and a constitutional referendum should take place ‘around the same time.’

She added that the Government is awaiting the report of the Oireachtas committee on the Constitutional Amendment on Children.

Another constitutional referendum on a court of civil appeal is also promised in the programme for Government she said.

Minister Hanafin said no agreement on a constitutional referendum is likely before the Autumn.