20 May 1999 Edition

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Referendum to be held on 11 June

Voters in the 26 Counties are to be asked to endorse a constitutional amendment to give recognition to local government and to fix local government elections at five-year intervals. The referendum will be held on 11 June in conjunction with the European and local elections.

The wording to be inserted into the Constitution was passed in the Dáil and Seanad on Wednesday, 12 May Welcoming the referendum proposal, Sinn Féin TD Caoimhghín O Caoláin said:

``The most significant points about the wording is that for the first time it gives constitutional recognition to local government and ensures that elections are held every five years. This is very welcome. The actual recognition given to local government, however, is not as strong as it could have been.

Despite this reservation, I endorse the proposal as passed and will be urging a Yes vote.''

Proposed Article 28A

1. The State recognises the role of local government in providing a forum for the democratic representation of local communities, in exercising and performing at local level powers and functions conferred by law and in promoting by its initatives and interests of such communities.

2. There shall be such directly elected loca authorities as may be determined by law and their powers and functions shall, subject to the provisions of this Constitution, be so determined and shall be exercised and performed in accordance with law.

3. Elections for members of such local authorities shall be held not later than the end of the fifth year after the year in which they were last held.

An Phoblacht
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