Creating a national interest

There’s a better way to choose the Seanad. In 1925, the Seanad was directly elected by all the people. There was a single nationwide constituency, covering the 26 counties. And since emigration is starting up again, many emigrants should have a vote too. The count would take a while, but that’s hardly a logistical problem […]

Basic Law

In a attempt to appear radical, Fine Gael are pitching a series of constitutional amendments if elected into government. Some are cosmetic. Reducing the president’s term of office from seven to five years, the right to petition the Oireachtas. Some are welcome. More powers to (some) Oireachtas committees. Some are sheer populism. Cut the number […]

Blue Pencilling the Bunreacht

The NUI is to be abolished, with implications for Seanad elections. So how about proper reform, instead of minimalist tinkering? Seanad Éireann shall be composed of sixty members, of whom eleven shall be nominated members and forty-nine shall be elected members. A person to be eligible for membership of Seanad Éireann must be eligible to […]


Yesterday, the government published the Murphy report, the results of an investigation into the sexual abuse of children in the Dublin diocese, and how complaints were handled. This is not the first such report. The Ferns Inquiry was published in 2005. Earlier this year Ryan looked at institutional child abuse. So after the initial rage […]

Any Other Business

It’s going to be an interesting week in Dáil Éireann. Desperate not to cut back on their holiday time,the government has opted instead to cut debating time, and plans to guillotine several bills into law by Friday. Among the highlights: The blasphemy clause in the Defamation bill, making it illegal to say naughty things if […]

Does Dermot Ahern Read Blogs?

Does Dermot Ahern read this blog? On May Day, I wrote here that the justice minister’s proposal to create a criminal offence of blasphemous libel with a fine of up to €100000 was ‘a return to the brilliance that gave us revenue generating innovations like duty free shopping, DIRT tax, the airport departure tax.’ ‘We […]

The Unelected Government

Yesterday two hundred economists met in Dublin to discuss the future of the nation. I happened to find myself in Buswell’s Hotel, opposite Leinster House, when the economists retired for refreshments after their meeting. The meeting was addressed by Colm McCarthy, the UCD economist heading An Bord Snip Nua. It says something about our government’s […]

End Result

Cops planted fake bombs, then ‘discovered’ them, in order to get promotion. A cop was involved in blackmail. Cops coerced a man to make a false witness report. As a result, twelve innocent people were arrested for murder. Several of them were mistreated in custody, and the cops obtained a false confession. Cops harassed those […]