This is the text of an article published in the Sunday Business Post 22nd December 2013
On the night of 6th December 2008 there were widespread protests against the government in Athens. In one middle class district in the centre of Athens, Exarcheia, there were confrontations with the police. Police were ordered to leave the district, but two policemen decided to stay, parked their car, and followed a group of youths. It’s not clear what happened next, but one of the policemen shot Alexandros Grigoropoulos, a 15 year-old boy from a wealthy family, who attended a private school. This sparked a wave of rioting throughout Greece that lasted a number of weeks.
By Kevin Rafter (Dublin City University)
Some years ago when writing a biography of Martin Mansergh – then a backroom political adviser – I had the opportunity to interview Fr Alec Reid, the Redemptorist priest who was a central player in the Irish peace process, and whose funeral took place this week.
President Michael D. Higgins has caused some controversy (though this might be too strong a word) for his more outspoken comments on some issues. In a speech he gave in DCU in September he was highly critical of neo-liberalism as an ideology and economics as a discipline. We should hardly be surprised. Most know where he stands on these issues, and given that, President Higgins has probably been restrained.
The underpinning values in freedom of information are openness and transparency. They can be regarded separately as openness represents an individuals right to access information and transparency representing a persons ability to scrutinize the decision making process. The need for adequate freedom of information provisions was summed up the Australian Senate Standing Committee on Legislation and Constitutional Affairs on the Freedom of Information Bill 1978. Continue reading
There is an assumption in the literature on the media coverage of elections that it is being Americanised or ‘dumbed down’. Election coverage can be thought to vary on whether substantive policy issues are discussed or if the coverage centres on the likely result and/ or the parties’ electoral strategies. For instance in the last few days of the 2012 US Presidential election 20 Continue reading
Post by Mary C. Murphy, University College Cork
The 2011 Irish general election produced an exceptionally high level of turnover of TDs. 76 or 45% of the current 166 Dáil members were never TDs before. This represents the first time since 1923 that a majority of those elected did not belong to the previous Dáil. Continue reading
The Quality of Government Institute in Sweden has released a new cross-national and time-series dataset on. Details below
A couple of interesting stories in the Irish media today caused me to re-consider the notion that political reform should be the exclusive domain of elected politicians. With their electoral mandates, experience of the day-to-day functioning of political institutions and (in Ireland, at least) their exclusive right to initiate constitutional change, our professional politicians certainly have more claim than most other social groups or organisations to take the lead on this issue.
Posted by Eoin O’Malley (12 March 2013)
The ‘sort-of’ revelation on Twitter that Deputy Luke ‘Ming’ Flanagan may have used his Oireachtas privilege have penalty points wiped juxtaposes nicely with the eight month sentence imposed on the former UK cabinet minister, Chris Huhne, for perverting the course of justice in a case that started from misallocated penalty points. Huhne’s case is worthy of a soap opera, but Ming’s may be the comic relief in a tragedy. It shows a profound misunderstanding of the purpose of parliamentary privilege.
Ireland’s constitution gives members of the Oireachtas parliamentary privilege through Article 15.13: Continue reading
Posted by Eoin O’Malley (21 February, 2013)
A poll released today by the Pro-Life Campaign seeks to ‘challenge the notion that there is broad middle ground support for abortion in Ireland.’ This polls claims to show that two-thirds of Irish people want ‘legal protection of the unborn’ and suggests that this means Irish people are against legalised abortions. This should surprise some as it follows on from a IpsosMRBI poll in the Irish Times recently which showed a substantial majority in favour of legalised abortions in a variety of circumstances. Continue reading