You Are Wanted: A New Preamble for The Irish Constitution…

Reading David McCann’s Slugger article reporting on Leo Varadkar’s Fine Gael Ard Fheis speech that sets out his vision of what Irish unity could be, I was saddened to read a comment from the_swerve: “Fundamentally, people here want to feel wanted”. To the_swerve, I would say: you are wanted, all of you. There is a great desire among many southern Irish people to actualise their belief in the essential fraternity of sharing this island together. The vast majority of southern …

Read more…

#Redacted: “One thing you can not do is silence the national parliament…”

Just to bring you up to date with what they are now calling the redacted crisis (see our report on Friday), here’s a fascinating three way conversation between RTE presenter Richard Crowley, Denis O’Brien’s spokesman James Morrissey, and Fianna Fail leader Micheal Martin. Update: Scroll do down to see the legal correspondence in which Denis O’Brien’s legal representatives threatened Broadsheet.ie’s hosts. It seems to me there’s a few things worth noting. There’s a tension in this story between O’Brien’s claim …

Read more…

“To interfere with the definition of marriage is not a simple or a trivial matter” – Archbishop Martin

Whilst some political parties are being pilloried in Northern Ireland, the chief super-naturalist head of the Catholic Church in Ireland [That’s North and South? – Ed], Archbishop Eamon Martin, has issued a statement [pdf file] of the church’s opposition to a proposed change to the Irish Constitution on same-sex marriage. From the RTÉ report [Primate of All Ireland and Archbishop of Armagh Eamon Martin] said: “Until now, Ireland has accepted that it is in the best interests of children and of society to promote …

Read more…

Ireland – a world innovator in deliberative democracy?

In December 2012 with the creation of the Convention on the Constitution, Ireland became a world innovator in deliberative democracy. Like similar international deliberative forums on constitutional reform (British Columbia, Ontario and the Netherlands) the Convention included randomly selected citizens. However unlike them it also included politicians from both parts of the island. Meeting over the course of 9 week-ends, the Convention concluded its work in March 2014 having made 38 recommendations, 18 of which, it is estimated, will require …

Read more…

The Catholic church is behaving as if it knows it does not speak for the Irish people over abortion

Just a reflection or two on the issues of Mick’s post. When you see it written down so starkly out of the mouth of one Cardinal Burke from the real life perspective of the Roman Curia, the effect is breathtaking. Will  Catholics now rush to contradict him? I wonder. Many people seem to want to defy the Church silently. and this is mightily frustrating for the Church establishment. It’s as if they’re being ignored. More and more Irish Catholicism is becoming a private …

Read more…

Ireland in desperate need of its own set of secular morals and ethics?

There’s a rather disturbing story on the front page of today’s Irish Times, which recounts the tragic case of Savita Halappanavar. Despite the fact that she was found to be miscarrying Savita was denied an abortion because ‘the foetal heartbeat was still present and they were told, “this is a Catholic country”.’ Here’s a fuller account of what happened: Speaking from Belgaum in the Karnataka region of southwest India, Mr Halappanavar said an internal examination was performed when she first …

Read more…

Is Crotty killing off any sane domestic consideration of Irish foreign policy?

Before the landmark Crotty vs the Taoiseach judgement in 1987, the Irish Constitution had amassed nine amendments in the previous fifty years of its existence. In the twenty five years since it has scored another seventeen. Some of those were responses to the massive social changes the country has undergone in those years. Three originate from reversals of previously negative decisions over the very sorts of treaties Anthony Crotty originally hoped to stymie, and a fourth though approved is still …

Read more…

Time for a Constitutional review that takes the Irish public into its confidence

Compare a print copy of the US Constitution and that of Ireland’s Republic and the first thing that strikes you is the difference in length. It is almost possible to have the US by rote, and many more passionate citizens do. The Irish Constitution may critical to the good function of the state, but it is largely unknown (never mind unloved) by the vast majority of citizens of the State. So it’s hard to disagree with Donncha O’Connell’s assertion that …

Read more…

Fianna Fail’s ‘shimmy’ on Seanad abolition…

Given the government is now falling in with Fine Gael’s decision over a year ago to get rid of Seanad Eireann, without telling a lot of their own Senators, here’s my interview with Brian Hayes at that time for a literate overview of how we’ve come to this pass… (Bear in mind that it looks like they may have to force that one without the help of the Greens – ed) For reference, here’s Fianna Fail’s attack on the move …

Read more…

“Ireland must enact an abortion law” orders the European Court of Human Rights

As expected, the European Court of Human Rights has just ruled against the Irish State’s refusal to enact an abortion law. The ruling is precise and appears to dismiss the Irish government’s case in detail, adding that the State has  failed to uphold a woman’s constituional rights.  RTE reports that : the ECHR concluded Ireland had breached the woman’s right to respect for her private life given the failure to implement the existing Constitutional right to a lawful abortion in Ireland. The …

Read more…