Tens of thousands more people could soon be able to vote in Seanad elections under a plan Minister Darragh O'Brien brought to the Cabinet.

Work will now begin on drafting legislation to extend the franchise for electing members of Seanad Éireann to all graduates.

Eligible voters must be an Irish citizen aged over 18 and hold a degree from a designated higher education institution.

A Supreme Court judgment requires that the change is in place by the end of May 2025.

This plan was first approved in a referendum as far back as 1979 but have never been implemented.

A new six-seat 'Higher Education' constituency for electing University members of Seanad Éireann will now replace the existing NUI and University of Dublin university constituencies.

At the moment the six University Seanad Éireann seats are elected in two three-seat constituencies.

These are the National University of Ireland (NUI) constituency, comprising of NUI graduates and the University of Dublin constituency, consisting of Trinity College Dublin graduates.

The Supreme Court judgment in the Heneghan case means that the Oireachtas must remedy the unconstitutional provisions of the 1937 Seanad Electoral Act.

Meanwhile, the Tánaiste was due to update Cabinet ahead of publishing the Implementation Plan for the Report of the Commission on the Defence Forces.

The Commission on the Defence Forces was a key commitment in the Programme for Government and published its report in February 2022.