A UL graduate Tomás Heneghan has taken a constitutional challenge in the High Court to the system of electing members of the Seanad. Under the current university franchise system, 3 representatives are elected from the University of Dublin and 3 from the NUI Universities. Graduates from UL, DCU and other higher institutes do not currently have a vote, though an Amendment to the Constitution in 1979 would allow for this but successive government have failed to implement this, leading to the current situation which, Mr Heneghan submits is discriminatory towards him and other graduates being denied this representation. He has also challenged the panel voting system which is not provided for in the Constitution but in subsequent legislation.
Dr Laura Cahillane appeared as an expert witness to give evidence on the constitutional history of the Seanad as well as the 1979 referendum and amendment.
The case has now concluded and the divisional court will issue its judgment in due course.