This is not the way to implement meaningful #constitutional reform

This Broadsheet.ie column from June 18th looks at the Government’s plans to hold a referendum later in 2019 to extend voting rights in future Irish presidential elections to both Northern Irish voters and the diaspora. 

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A session of the Irish Constitutional Convention 2012/2013

If last week’s reports are right –  and the Taoiseach has said that they are – then all of us will be heading back to our local polling stations sometime in October or November.

No, it won’t be to elect new Dáil and a new government… well, it does yet not seem that will be the reason, but who knows what may change over Summer?

For now, it looks like Irish citizens across all 40 Dáil constituencies are about to be invited to vote in yet another referendum. This one on extending voting rights in future presidential elections. (I mention the 40 Dáil constituencies, as voters in four of them will likely be voting in by-elections occasioned by the election to the European Parliament of TDs: Billy Kelleher, Frances Fitzgerald, Clare Daly and Mick Wallace).

Confirming the reports in the Dáil last week the Taoiseach said that Cabinet has signed off on legislation to “extend voting rights for presidential elections to Irish citizens in Northern Ireland and around the world” and that he plans to have it debated before the Dáil rises for its summer recess [planned for July 11th].

He also said that the government has produced a 100-page, detailed paper on how it is going to work.

I sincerely hope it has, but why are we still waiting to see it?

Continue reading “This is not the way to implement meaningful #constitutional reform”

You thought #Aras2018 was bad… just wait for #DubMayor2024!

This column appeared on Broadsheet.ie on Nov 6th, 2018.

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Some of you may have noticed that, apart from one piece back in mid-July, I had avoided writing anything here about the Presidential election.

This was not due to any lack of interest or me not having any views on it. I had many views on it but, as I had worked with one of the candidates in the council nomination phase, I felt it would be unfair to comment until the election was over and the results were in.

The strange thing however, is now that it is over I don’t really feel the need to opine on the election or any of the individual campaigns, as such.

I understand much of the online and media hoopla over Peter Casey’s second place showing, especially as it seemed, for much of the campaign that he was going to struggle to even finish last. But, it is far too big a stretch to ascribe his second place showing to his nasty dog whistles alone.

Continue reading “You thought #Aras2018 was bad… just wait for #DubMayor2024!”