The controversy over the government’s willful blocking of any attempts to call the long over-due by-elections continues. The following letter appeared in today’s Irish Times:
Madam, – The Government chief whip, John Curran said it is inappropriate for the Dublin South byelection to go ahead now because the Dáil “is in the middle of an extremely busy legislative programme” (Dáil Report, June 24th). I suppose that is the same reason Donegal South West has been without a TD since May 2009.
Maybe if the Dáil stopped taking such long recesses (so much longer than any normal worker could dream of), and instead put in the hours that they are so well paid for, then democratic Ireland would have the time to allow all her citizens to be represented. – Yours, etc,
FINNIAN E MATHEWS
Does this really feel like such an ‘exceptionally busy time’ for the Dail?
As was discussed in an earlier posting, we’re now approaching record stakes in the delay in calling the Donegal South West by-election. It’s clear that the junior coalition partners are starting to get twitchy about the delay. For instance, on June 20, Senator Dan Boyle tweated: ‘Gap for Donegal SW is unacceptable. Should be held in the autumn. John Gormley said that at our Nat. Coun. meeting yesterday.’
But there is little sign that the Fianna Fail leadership are persuaded of the need to set the dates. The rest of us can do nothing else but wait.