Post on behalf of Joe Mulholland
The papers presented at the 2013 MacGill Summer School are now available to read (see here).
For several years now, and especially since the sudden and brutal fall of the Celtic Tiger, the MacGill School has focussed on reform of the institutions of the state – political, social and economic. With webcasting and the sterling work of our colleagues in broadcasting and the press, this message goes far beyond the conference hall. As has been pointed out many times at MacGill, radical reform of our politics and governance in general has to be a priority if we are not to have recurring crises of the kind we are living painfully through at this time and it has to come from the bottom up.
Of course, other European countries are also in deep crisis but we appear to have had nothing but crises since the foundation of the state and have only once been able to offer our citizens the fundamental right of a job in their own country and that was in the first decade of the 21st century. We blew it by having people in authority in various sectors who were, to say the least, negligent and incompetent – and unaccountable.
As the 100th anniversary of the 1916 Rising approaches, what better time is there to look at the republic which came about as a result of that event? Is this the republic that was dreamt of by Pearse, Connolly and the other brave men and women who marched up to the GPO on that fateful Easter morning? Do we even recognise and cherish the republic we live in? Do we act and behave according to republican principles? The greed and avarice and the irresponsible behaviour which we have witnessed in the last decade would indicate that the answer is definitely, no and that respect throughout the population, young and old, for the republic and its institutions is not what it should be.
We have almost three years to prepare ourselves to honour the memory of 1916. We have the horrendously difficult task of rebuilding our economy and all the signs are that we have quite a long way to go before that crucially important objective is achieved. But we must, in parallel, reform our institutions so that we have a republic that is a model of the highest standards of integrity and of competence and one to which we are proud to give our loyalty. ‘Standing by the Republic’ is an expression we need to hear more often.
To see the papers from the 2013 MacGill summer school, click here.