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Govt may face constitutional crisis over Seanad's ability to pass laws next month

The Government faces a potential constitutional crisis amid confusion about whether new laws can be passed after next week.

A new Seanad will be elected at the end of the month, and there is conflicting opinion on whether Senators will be able to meet before a new government is formed.

Eleven members of the Seanad are appointed by the Taoiseach, but Leo Varadkar cannot do this as outgoing Taoiseach.

Some TDs and Senators believe the Seanad cannot sit without those members, meaning no new laws could be passed after next week until a government is formed.

It comes after the bill granting the Government emergency powers of detention during the coronavirus crisis was today passed in the Dáil and Seanad.

[ul][b]Useful information[/b] [li]The HSE have developed an information pack on how to protect yourself and others from coronavirus. Read it here [/li] [li]Anyone with symptoms of coronavirus who has been in close contact with a confirmed case in the last 14 days should isolate themselves from other people - this means going into a different, well-ventilated room alone, with a phone; phone their GP, or emergency department;[/li] [li]GPs Out of Hours services are not in a position to order testing for patients with normal cold and flu-like symptoms. HSELive is an information line and similarly not in a position to order testing for members of the public. The public is asked to reserve 112/999 for medical emergencies at all times.[/li] [li]ALONE has launched a national support line and additional supports for older people who have concerns or are facing difficulties relating to the outbreak of COVID-19 (Coronavirus) in Ireland. The support line will be open seven days a week, 8am-8pm, by calling 0818 222 024[/li] [/ul]