When is a Seanad not a Seanad?

The length of time it’s taking to form a government has so far not really concerned the proper functioning of the state – though the government has been unusually reticent in using its prerogative powers, perhaps afraid that any decision it makes will be seen as undemocratic or stroke politics. The decision in the High Court yesterday…

Government report on the diaspora snubs the diaspora, the Dáil and the Irish Constitutional Convention

The government launched its new diaspora policy last week – Global Irish – in which it applauded itself on its diaspora policy. Lots of warm words waft throughout the 57-page glossy document. But buried in the detail is a confirmation (on p. 21) that the government has chosen to ignore the recommendation of the Irish…

Survey on Seanad Reform*

The rejection of the Seanad-abolition referendum in 2013 left more questions unanswered than it asked. However, what was clear from discussion during the referendum is that the Seanad as-is is unsatisfactory to the consensus of people. With the question still lingering, and numerous reform bills circulating the Oireachtas, the Government announced in December that it was setting…

The Irish Constitutional Convention completes its work

*Declaration of interest: I am the research director of the Convention (in a voluntary capacity). Last weekend, the Constitutional Convention completed its work.  At its closing dinner last Saturday, the snappy slogan on the menu summed things up well: ‘100 members, 10 meetings, 1 constitution’. With a budget of some €900,000 and a deadline of…