What would a 32 county Dáil Éireann look like?

Public support for Irish unity amongst the Northern Ireland electorate has increased in recent years, with a recent Lucid Talk poll suggesting that a third of the electorate would vote for unity were a referendum to take place. There has been scant discussion, however, on what the politics of a new 32 county state might look like. Would the two largest political parties in the South, Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael, dominate an all-Ireland Parliament? The Constitution of Ireland states: …

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Dail takes note of the nature of Sinn Fein’s bargain basement ‘win’ in the #EUReferendum…

It’s a bit of a red letter day when Slugger gets read into the record of any of our legislatures. So far we’ve made it into the Seanad, and the House of Lords, now we’re in the official record of the proceedings in Dáil Éireann. This snippet (and it’s exchanges) is worth sharing: Deputy Brendan Howlin: The people of Northern Ireland voted to remain part of the European Union. The largest nationalist party in Northern Ireland, Sinn Féin, failed to register for …

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The varying costs of the last southern election per constituency…

CHEAP SEATS: One of the advantages the big parties in #AE17 is how the scale of their operation drains costs.  Karl Brophy has tweeted this fascinating breakdown of costs from the last Irish election… Spend per seat won in € for #ge16 AAAPBP 44,460FF 38,361FG 55,377SF 28,269Greens 73,396.Soc Dems 63,529Labour 154, 816 — Karl Brophy (@KarlBrophy) January 13, 2017 The Greens only won two, so at 73,396 those were a costly capture. But a desperate Labour party throw everything they …

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Dáil’s Committee to test the boundaries of Parliamentary privilege over Daly case

This is one to keep an eye on, not least because of how it relates to a matter that’s already a matter of controversy, ie Dail Privilege. Clare Daly used her privilege to express annoyance that a circuit court judge treated her in court, claiming she’d been singled out because she was a TD. In fairness to the Deputy, the judge’s language does seem to have been a little melodramatic. But under the separation of powers between the judiciary and parliament, the …

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Getting close to time for the Independents to either fish or cut bait

Great take on the continuing deadlock in the Republic from Harry Magee in the Irish Times Inside Politics newsletter (sign up here)… As we report this morning, Burton is now striking a more realistic (and fatalistic) tone, telling her party’s supporters to prepare for another election. She is probably not far off the mark. The Fine Gael and Fianna Fail negotiations should produce a workable outcome. The difficulty will be with the Independents. It always has been. The first thing …

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New Dail will be all about who can tag whom with legislative responsibility…

Brilliant from Jason O’Mahony, on the awkward situation Fine Gael now find themselves in. If you still struggle with understanding the difference between Fine Gael and Fianna Fail (and despite all guff being written recently there definitely is one: it’s just not ideological), read this: Someone once said to me that the problem with Fine Gael is that they’re that lethal mixture of being both arrogant and stupid. You can survive by being arrogant but clever, or by being dim but …

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How to build coherent government when power is becoming more distributed?

Suddenly, so much to blog and so little time to do it in. This from Noel Whelan is well worth a few minutes of your time on the politics of stalemate… In particular, this minor note which hints at the larger at play here… When someone loses power it becomes obvious – one can literally see it drain away. Kenny is still in office, as caretaker for now, but he has lost power. Fine Gael lost the campaign and they …

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32nd Dail balanced between those with policies, and those without…

It is worth noting that yesterday – apart from the moment when after nearly 100 years the Irish Parliament finally earned the right to elect its own speaker – thereafter everything was very much the damp squib it had been predicted it would be. Or as me learned friend, Brian Greene, DJ, put it… Irish media spent a 3 week election talking horse race politics – now they will debate a photo finish pile up on the line for 6 …

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Introducing Stadler and Waldorf – your guides to the 2016 Dáil Éireann elections…

Within the next few weeks or months the people of the Republic of Ireland [or as the readers of Slugger know it – the place they go to get jobs and do their shopping] will go to the polls to vote in a General Election. We thought it was important to bring this to the readers of Slugger as it’s the only election that actually has anything to do with power on this island.

“Sinn Féin has, at best, walked off the pitch. At worst, it is an enormous act of political cowardice.”

DING DING: Joan Burton with a rolling haymaker at Gerry Adams over his party’s deliberate equivocation over a welfare deal it helped to move and shape. “At the first sign of a major political challenge, Sinn Féin has, at best, simply walked off the pitch. At worst, it is an enormous act of political cowardice.’’

Left parties (AAA-PBP) propose a unity government with Sinn Fein only…

Fascinating twist in Dublin as speculation intensifies over a November election… TDs Richard Boyd Barrett, Paul Murphy and Ruth Coppinger attended a press conference in a Dublin city centre hotel on Thursday, saying they were preparing for a November election. The new grouping, to be known as Anti-Austerity Alliance-People Before Profit (AAA-PBP) plans to contest 27 constituencies. Also at the top table at the event were Dublin Councillors Bríd Smith and Gino Kenny, along with Cork Councillor Mick Barry. Outgoing …

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A Constitutionally guaranteed ‘freedom of speech’, or is the Dáil just going a bit rogue?

By far (for me anyway) the most interesting story of the week took place yesterday in the south. And it’s a real poser. Not least because it involves a clash between the common perception of parliamentary privilege in the UK and what it means under the Irish Constitution. The disclosure made in the Dail yesterday by Deputy Catherine Murphy was both partial and (unlike a similar disclosure by Sinn Fein’s Mary Lou McDonald’s earlier in the year) a deliberate run …

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Devaluing parliamentary privilege as vital tenet in a democracy…

Great piece by a very measured Mick Clifford on what constitutes an abuse of Parliamentary privilege in Dail Eireann. Takes for an example the ways in which two TDs – Mick Wallace and Claire Daly – who have each made important contributions to investigations into Garda practice have strayed across a crucial line: Filtering is required to find out which have substance and demand further attention. My friend in North Cork is not alone in harbouring a grudge against a …

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“…why else would MLA’s fail to protest when their office expenses are taken from them?”

As the Irish Times reports Former Minister of State, Ned O’Keeffe has been fined €3,500 and given a suspended seven month jail sentence after he pleaded guilty to five counts of submitting false invoices to claim over €3,700 in mobile phone expenses. O’Keeffe of Ballylough, Mitchelstown, Co Cork was arrested by gardaí this morning and brought before Cork District Court where he was charged with five offences contrary to Section 26 of the Criminal Justice (Theft and Fraud Offences) Act. …

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Dail Eireann “system is too complex and contains rules that are not mutually compatible…”

The Council of Europe is a Strasbourg based international organisation concerned with the development of legal and judicial structures in member countries. It is not part of the EU, and its recommendations are advisory rather than mandatory. There’s a report out today from one of their programmes flagging up some concerns about corruption in Ireland the details of which are well worth considering. Interesting, it praises the increasing transparency of the parliamentary process. That’s not to say that some inside the …

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Treating the Dail (and therefore the people) with disdain does not help govt’s #IrishWater case…

Here’s a still from the live feed from the Dail yesterday just as Fianna Fail Environment spokesman Barry Cowen called for an adjournment of the Dail until the Minister returned from briefing the press to hear what the opposition might have to say… [Decoded: the opposition sits to the right where the benches are full, and on government benches to the right there’s just three frontbenchers and the chief whip.] If you want to get straight to the action, you …

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Mary Lou’s second defenestration from the Dail in a month… What’s the problem Mary Lou?

So, ahem, Mary Lou got herself thrown out and then didn’t go? Result. That’s the end of business in the Irish parliament for the day. When’s the last time Mary Lou got herself flung out? That would be about a month ago on Tuesday 14th October. That would be the same day of Spotlight’s Cahill documentary: In case you miss it (as we may be meant to), take some time and listen to Ms Cahill’s rather combative interview on LMFM …

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The Taoiseach: “I will ask them the question that the Deputy will not answer.”

There was a clear attempt at political revisionism this week, as the Sinn Féin president, Gerry Adams, TD, sought to, as Anthony McIntyre put it, “claw back lost ground” following an “unprecedented” Leaders’ questions in the Dáil on Wednesday 22 Oct – aided and abetted by interventions from the legal representative of four of those accused, and acquitted, in the Maíria Cahill case. [added in-line link] This is the position the Sinn Fein president attempted to end the week with “I further understand that Peter …

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“Assertion in blog is shameful and cruel” – McDonald

Sinn Féin deputy leader Mary Lou McDonald has posted a twitter response to a blog circulating on social media which describes Maíria Cahill’s alleged rape ordeal as “a year long sexual liaison”. The blog describes the alleged rapist as a man “whom many a 16-year-old would likely fancy”. The blog prompted a twitter question from  Maíria Cahill to Ms. McDonald who replied two hours later. The anonymous blogger who reportedly resides in West Belfast and calls himself “Ruaidri Ua Conchobai” …

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