A call for debate about political renewal

David Farrell (July 17, 2010)

A letter in today’s Irish Times calls for debate about political renewal:

Madam, – Now that the members of the Dáil and Seanad have gone to the beaches and the races, discussion of public affairs moves to the summer schools, where participants listen to the great and the good in decentralised locations.

In view of the state of the country, perhaps there is a need and an opportunity for participants in at least one school to take a collective initiative by calling for renewal, outlining what it requires and suggesting how it is to be achieved.

Renewing the Republic will not occur without proposals and pressure by people who care about the common good and who are willing to speak up for radical renewal. – Yours, etc,


This sunday sees the start of a week-long summer school on that very issue.

The MacGill Summer School in Glenties, Co. Donegal is dealing with the question of political reform. Speakers have been invited to comment on a number of the themes that have been covered in postings on this blog over the past few months including: institutional reform, the electoral system, standards in public life, the need for effective leadership and governance, public service reform, time for a new Constitution?  There will also be a number of sessions on the economy, the banking crisis, and the state of Irish education.

Let’s hope the MacGill Summer School attracts some media interest, and let’s hope too that other summer schools also take up the mantle.  Every effort to bring political reform to the forefront of the Irish political agenda is to be welcomed.

4 thoughts on “A call for debate about political renewal

  1. Good luck with the gabfest in the Glenties. Will the ensuing revolution be televised?

    Nothing will happen until a sufficiently large number of TDs decides to behave like members of a parliament rather than unswerving supporters of tribal factions – even if most of their constituents would prefer them to organise the mending of potholes, etc.

    • Shouldn’t the ‘change’ come from the people – after all TDs are merely a reflection of the people who elect them and when was Ireland not tribal? Gaelic Ireland was as tribal and gombeen ridden as it is now – what event will be required for the penny to drop with Irish people if they do really want honest government and all that entails … the evidence is that Irish people are actually not in the least bit bothered at the corruption that is endemic in every single sector of society because they all benefit from it one way or another.

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