Vous êtes sur la page 1sur 426



THERETO. [21st April, 1924.]
WHEREAS it is enacted by the Constitution of Saorstt Eireann that
there shall be a Council responsible to Dil Eireann to aid and advise
in the Government of Saorstt Eireann, and that the said Council
shall be styled the Executive Council and shall consist of not more
than seven nor less than five Ministers, all being members of Dil
Eireann and appointed by the Representative of the Crown on the
nomination of the President of the Executive Council with the assent
of Dil Eireann, who shall be collectively responsible for all matters
concerning the Departments of State administered by Members of
the Executive Council, and shall meet and act as a collective
AND WHEREAS it is by the said Constitution provided that the
Ministers who form the Executive Council shall include the President

of the Council, the Vice-President of the Council and the Minister in

charge of the Department of Finance:
AND WHEREAS it is also by the said Constitution enacted that
Ministers other than those who shall be members of the Executive
Council may be appointed by the Representative of the Crown, and
that every such Minister shall be nominated by Dil Eireann on the
recommendation of a Committee of Dil Eireann constituted for that
purpose, and it is thereby further provided that every such Minister
shall be the responsible head of the Department or Departments
under his charge and shall be individually responsible to Dil
Eireann alone for the administration of the Department or
Departments of which he is the head:
AND WHEREAS it is also by the said Constitution enacted that the
total number of Ministers, including the Ministers who are members
of the Executive Council, shall not exceed twelve, and that Ministers
shall receive such remuneration as may from time to time be
prescribed by law but that the remuneration of any Minister shall not
be diminished during his term of office:
Establishment of the Departments of State.
1.There shall be established in Saorstt Eireann the several
Departments of State specified and named in the eleven following
sub-paragraphs, amongst which the administration and business of
the public services in Saorstt Eireann shall be distributed as in the
said sub-paragraphs is particularly mentioned, and each of which
said Departments and the powers, duties and functions thereof shall
be assigned to and administered by the Minister hereinafter named
as head thereof, that is to say:
(i) The Department of the President of the Executive Council which
shall comprise the business, powers, authorities, duties and
functions by the Constitution or by any existing or future Act of the
Oireachtas or otherwise conferred on or to be discharged or
performed by the Minister, who shall hold the office of and be styled
Uachtarn na hArd-Chomhairle or (in English) the President of the
Executive Council, and also the custody of and responsibility for all
public archives and records and of papers and documents of State
and of grants, deeds and other instruments of title relating to the
property corporeal and incorporeal, real and personal for the time
being vested in Saorstt Eireann and of records of the Executive
Council and also the custody of the Seal of the Executive Council
and also the responsibility for and control of the official publications
of the Executive Council and also the administrative control of and
responsibility for such public services and the business, powers,
duties and functions thereof as may not for the time being be
comprised in any of the Departments of State constituted by this
(ii) The Department of Finance which shall comprise the
administration and business generally of the public finance of

Saorstt Eireann and all powers, duties and functions connected

with the same, including in particular the collection and expenditure
of the revenues of Saorstt Eireann from whatever source arising
(save as may be otherwise provided by law), and the supervision
and control of all purchases made for or on behalf of and all supplies
of commodities and goods held by any Department of State and the
disposal thereof, and also the business, powers, duties and functions
of the branches and officers of the public service specified in the
first part of the Schedule to this Act, and of which Department the
head shall be, and shall be styled an t-Aire Airgid or (in English) the
Minister for Finance.
(iii) The Department of Justice which shall comprise the
administration and business generally of public services in
connection with law, justice, public order and police, and all powers,
duties and functions connected with the same (except such powers,
duties and functions as are by law reserved to the Executive Council
and such powers, duties and functions as are by the Constitution or
by law excepted from the authority of the Executive Council or of an
Executive Minister), and shall include in particular the business,
powers, duties and functions of the branches and officers of the
public service specified in the Second Part of the Schedule to this
Act, and of which Department the head shall be, and shall be styled,
an t-Aire Dl agus Cirt or (in English) the Minister for Justice.
(iv) The Department of Local Government and Public Health which
shall comprise the administration and business generally of public
services in connection with local government, public health, relief of
the poor, care of the insane (including insane criminals), health
insurance, elections to each House of the Oireachtas, elections to
local bodies and authorities, registration of voters, maintenance of
public roads, and highways, registration of births, deaths and
marriages, and vital statistics and all powers, duties and functions
connected with the same, and shall include in particular the
business, powers, duties and functions of the branches and officers
of the public service specified in the Third Part of the Schedule to
this Act, and of which Department the head shall be, and shall be
styled, an t-Aire Rialtais Aitila agus Slinte Puibl or (in English) the
Minister for Local Government and Public Health.
(v) The Department of Education which shall comprise the
administration and business generally of public services in
connection with Education, including primary, secondary and
university education, vocational and technical training, endowed
schools, reformatories, and industrial schools, and all powers, duties
and functions connected with the same, and shall include in
particular the business, powers, duties and functions of the
branches and officers of the public services specified in the Fourth
Part of the Schedule to this Act, and of which Department the head
shall be, and shall be styled, an t-Aire Oideachais or (in English) the
Minister for Education.
(vi) The Department of Lands and Agriculture which shall comprise

the administration and business generally of public services in

connection with agriculture and lands, including the fixing of rents
and tenure of lands, acquisition by occupying tenants of full
ownership by means of public funds, enlargement and other
economic improvement of holdings of land, purchase of land for
distribution by way of re-sale, relief of rural congestion and like
uneconomic conditions, promotion of agriculture by means of
educational grants, and of lectures on special subjects, agricultural
statistics, forestry, veterinary services, survey and mapping of land,
and all powers, duties and functions connected with the same, and
shall include in particular the business, powers, duties and functions
of the branches and officers of the public services specified in the
Fifth Part of the Schedule to this Act, and of which Department the
head shall be, and shall be styled, an t-Aire Tailte agus Talmhaochta
or (in English) the Minister for Lands and Agriculture.
(vii) The Department of Industry and Commerce which shall
comprise the administration and business generally of public
services in connection with trade, commerce, industry, and labour,
industrial and commercial organisations and combinations,
industrial and commercial statistics, transport, shipping, natural
resources, and all powers, duties and functions connected with the
same, including the promotion of trade and commerce by means of
educational grants, and shall include in particular the business,
powers, duties and functions of the branches and officers of the
public services specified in the Sixth Part of the Schedule to this Act,
and of which Department the head shall be, and shall be styled, an
t-Aire Tionnscail agus Trchtla or (in English) the Minister for
Industry and Commerce.
(viii) The Department of Fisheries which shall comprise the
administration and business generally of public services in
connection with fisheries, including deep-sea fisheries, tidal waters
fisheries, coastal fisheries, inland waters fisheries, and industries
connected with or auxiliary to the same, and all powers duties and
functions connected with the same, and shall include in particular
the business powers, duties and functions of the branches and
officers of the public services specified in the Seventh Part of the
Schedule to this Act, and of which Department the head shall be,
and shall be styled, an t-Aire Iascaigh or (in English) the Minister for
(ix) The Department of Posts and Telegraphs which shall comprise
the administration and business generally of public services in
connection with posts, telegraphs, and telephones, and all powers,
duties and functions connected with the same, and shall include in
particular the business, powers, duties and functions of the
branches and officers of the public services specified in the Eighth
Part of the Schedule to this Act, and of which Department the head
shall be, and shall be styled, an t-Aire Puist agus Telegrafa or (in
English) the Minister for Posts and Telegraphs.
(x) The Department of Defence which shall comprise the

administration and business of the raising, training, organisation,

maintenance, equipment, management, discipline, regulation, and
control according to law of the Military Defence Forces of Saorstt
Eireann, and all powers, duties and functions connected with the
same, and of which Department the head shall be, and shall be
styled, an t-Aire Cosanta or (in English) the Minister for Defence, and
shall be assisted by a Council of Defence as hereinafter provided.
(xi) The Department of External Affairs which shall comprise the
administration and business generally of public services in
connection with communications and transactions between the
Government of Saorstt Eireann and the Government of any other
state or nation, diplomatic and consular representation of Saorstt
Eireann in any country or place, international amenities, the
granting of passports and of viss to passports, and all powers,
duties and functions connected with the same, and of which
Department the head shall be, and shall be styled, an t-Aire Gntha
Coigrche or (in English) the Minister for External Affairs.
Ministers to be corporations sole and to have certain powers.
2.(1) Each of the Ministers, heads of the respective Departments
of State mentioned in Section 1 of this Act, shall be a corporation
sole under his style or name aforesaid (which may be lawfully
expressed with equal validity and effect whether in the Irish
Language or in its English equivalent as set out in the preceding
section), and shall have perpetual succession and an official seal
(which shall be officially and judicially noticed), and may sue and
(subject to the fiat of the Attorney-General having been in each case
first granted) be sued under his style or name aforesaid, and may
acquire, hold and dispose of land for the purposes of the functions,
powers or duties of the Department of State of which he is head or
of any branch thereof.
(2) The Executive Council shall on the recommendation of the
Minister appoint the principal officer of each of the said
Departments and each of the said Ministers may appoint such other
officers and servants to serve in the Department of which he is the
head, as such Minister may, with the sanction of the Minister for
Finance, determine, but every appointment made under this subsection shall be subject to the provisions of the Civil Service
Regulation Act, 1923 (No. 35 of 1923) or of any Act for the time
being in force replacing or amending that Act.
(3) The terms and conditions of appointment of all officers and
servants appointed by any Minister shall be prescribed by the
Minister for Finance and there shall be paid out of moneys provided
by the Oireachtas, or if there be any fund properly applicable by law
to such payment, then out of such fund to such officers and servants
such salaries or remunerations as the Minister for Finance may from
time to time determine.
(4) The expenses of each of the Departments of State established
under this Act, to such amount as may be sanctioned by the Minister
for Finance, shall be paid out of moneys provided by the Oireachtas.

Allocation of Departments of State among Ministers.

3.(1) The President of the Executive Council for the time being
shall so soon as may be after his appointment as such President
determine and declare how many and which of the said
Departments of State established by this Act shall be assigned to
and administered by the members of the Executive Council to be
appointed on his nomination pursuant to the Constitution.
(2) It shall be lawful to assign two or more of the said Departments
of State to a single person who in such case shall be appointed to be
the Minister head of each of such Departments.
Remuneration of Ministers.
4.There shall be paid out of moneys provided by the Oireachtas to
the President of the Executive Council an annual sum by way of
salary not exceeding 2,500 and to each of the members of the
Executive Council an annual sum by way of salary not exceeding
1,700 and to each Minister not a member of the Executive Council
an annual sum by way of salary not exceeding 1,700 but so that no
person shall be paid more than one such salary.
Collective responsibility of Executive Council preserved.
5.Nothing in this Act contained shall derogate from the collective
responsibility of the Executive Council as provided by the
Constitution notwithstanding that members of the Executive Council
may be appointed individually to be Ministers, heads of particular
Departments of State.
The Attorney General.
6.(1) There shall be vested in the Attorney-General of Saorstt
Eireann (who shall be styled in Irish Promh-Atrnae Shaorstit
Eireann and shall be appointed by the Governor-General on the
nomination of the Executive Council) the business, powers,
authorities, duties and functions formerly vested in or exercised by
the Attorney-General for Ireland, the Solicitor-General for Ireland,
the Attorney-General for Southern Ireland, the Solicitor-General for
Southern Ireland, the Law Adviser to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland
and any or all of them respectively, and the administration and
control of the business, powers, authorities, duties and functions of
the branches and officers of the public services specified in the
Ninth Part of the Schedule to this Act and also the administration
and business generally of public services in connection with the
representation of the Government of Saorstt Eireann and of the
public in all legal proceedings for the enforcement of law, the
punishment of offenders and the assertion or protection of public
rights and all powers, duties and functions connected with the same
respectively, together with the duty of advising the Executive
Council and the several Ministers in matters of law and of legal
(2) The Attorney-General may be or become a member of Dil
Eireann, and if he is a member of Dil Eireann at the time of his
appointment he shall not be under any obligation to resign his seat
or to submit himself for re-election. He shall hold office so long only

as the President of the Executive Council by whom he was

nominated continues to hold office.
Power to Executive Council to appoint Parliamentary Secretaries.
7.(1) The Executive Council may from time to time, on the
nomination of the President of the Council, appoint so many
persons, being members of the Oireachtas and not exceeding seven
in number as the Executive Council shall consider necessary, to be
Parliamentary Secretaries to the Executive Council or to Executive
Ministers, and may at any time remove any Parliamentary Secretary
so appointed.
(2) Every person appointed under the next preceding sub-section to
be a Parliamentary Secretary shall continue to hold office so long
only as he continues to be a member of the Oireachtas and the
President of the Executive Council by whom he was nominated
continues to hold office.
(3) A Minister who is not a member of the Executive Council may,
with the approval of Dil Eireann expressed by resolution, appoint a
person being a member of the Dil to be his Parliamentary Secretary
and may at any time remove a Parliamentary Secretary so
(4) Every person appointed under the next preceding sub-section
shall continue to hold office only so long as he continues to be a
member of the Dil and the Minister by whom he was appointed
continues to hold his office.
(5) There shall be paid out of moneys provided by the Oireachtas to
each Parliamentary Secretary appointed under this Act who shall not
by his appointment be declared to be appointed without salary such
annual salary not exceeding in any case the annual sum of 1,200
as shall from time to time be fixed by the President of the Executive
Council, with the consent of the Minister for Finance: Provided
however that the total number of persons who shall at any one time
be in receipt of salaries as Ministers or as Parliamentary Secretaries
shall not exceed fifteen.
(6) Not more than one Parliamentary Secretary shall be appointed in
respect of any one Department of State.
(7) Each of the Parliamentary Secretaries appointed under this
section shall by his appointment be assigned to act as Parliamentary
Secretary to the Executive Council or to a Minister and shall have
such powers and perform such duties as the Executive Council or
such Minister with the consent of the Executive Council (as the case
may be) may from time to time delegate or assign to him.
Constitution of the Council of Defence.
8.(1) There shall be and there is hereby constituted a Council of
Defence to assist the Minister for Defence in the administration of
the business of the Department of Defence, but without derogating
from the responsibility of the Minister for Defence to the Dil for all
the administration and business of the Department of Defence and
for the exercise and performance of all the powers, duties and
functions connected therewith.

(2) The Council of Defence shall consist of the following members,

namely the Minister for Defence, who (under the style of
Commander-in-Chief) shall be Chairman of the Council of Defence,
and four other members amongst whom shall be distributed the
principal divisions or branches of the business of the Council of
Defence, that is to say, a civil member being a member of Dil
Eireann who shall be responsible to the Minister for Defence for the
finance of the Military Defence Forces and for so much of the other
business of the Council of Defence as may be from time to time
assigned to him by the Minister for Defence and who shall act as
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Defence and three
military members being commissioned members of the said
Defence Forces who shall be the Chief of Staff, the Adjutant-General
and the Quartermaster-General and shall be respectively
responsible to the Minister for Defence for the administration of so
much of the business relating to the raising, training, organisation,
disposition, personnel, supply, equipment, armament, management,
discipline, control and maintenance of the Defence Forces as shall
be from time to time assigned to them or any of them by the
Minister for Defence.
(3) The Minister for Defence may specially reserve to himself any of
the business of the Council of Defence.
(4) The Secretary of the Department of Defence shall act as
Secretary of the Council of Defence and shall perform such duties as
may be from time to time assigned to him by the Minister for
(5) Each of the military members of the Council of Defence shall
hold that office at the pleasure of the Executive Council acting upon
the recommendation of the Minister for Defence, but in no case for a
longer period continuously than three years.
(6) The Council of Defence shall meet and act as a collective body
and shall be collectively responsible to the Minister for Defence for
all matters entrusted to it in its collective capacity whether by any
Act of the Oireachtas or otherwise.
(7) The Council of Defence may, subject to the approval of the
Minister for Defence, regulate its own procedure and time and place
of meeting but it shall meet whenever required by the Minister for
Defence so to do and in any case there shall be at least one meeting
of the Council every six months.
Powers of Executive Council in respect of statutory bodies.
9.(1) It shall be lawful for the Executive Council
(a) by an Order of the Executive Council, to dissolve any Board of
Commissioners or statutory body to which this section applies; and
(b) by the same Order to transfer to, or confer or impose on, the
Minister or Ministers who is or are head or heads of the appropriate
Department or Departments of State concerned with the public
services of any Board of Commissioners or statutory body dissolved
under this section, all or any of the jurisdictions, powers, duties, and
functions of such dissolved Board of Commissioners or statutory

body; and
(c) by the same or any subsequent Order to vest in the Minister or
respective Ministers who is or are the head or heads of such
appropriate Department or Departments of State as aforesaid, all or
any part of the lands, hereditaments, tenements and premises
situate in Saorstt Eireann and all other property and assets
(including choses-in-action) which were on the 6th day of December,
1921, or shall at the time of making any such Order under this subsection be vested, whether by statute, deed, contract, or otherwise,
in or held in trust for any Board of Commissioners or statutory body
dissolved by an Order under this sub-section, so that the same shall
under and by virtue of such Order without the necessity for any
other conveyance or assignment whatsoever but subject where
necessary to transfer in the books of any bank, company or
corporation become and be vested in such Minister or respective
Ministers for all the estate, term, and interest, or respective estates,
terms, and interests for which the same were immediately before
the making of such Order vested in or held by such dissolved Board
of Commissioners or statutory body, but subject to such (if any)
trusts and equities as shall affect the said lands, hereditaments,
tenements and premises property and assets respectively at the
time of making such Order and shall be then legally subsisting and
capable of being performed; and
(d) by the same or any subsequent Order to determine and declare
which is or are the appropriate Department or Departments of State
for the purposes of this sub-section to or on whose Minister or
respective Ministers the jurisdictions, powers, duties, and functions
of any such dissolved Board of Commissioners or statutory body
shall be transferred, conferred, or imposed as aforesaid; and
(e) by the same or any subsequent Order to make such adaptations
and modifications as the Executive Council may consider necessary
of or in any British Statute relating to any Board of Commissioners
or other statutory body dissolved under this section.
(2) It shall be lawful for the Executive Council
(a) by an Order of the Executive Council to transfer to and confer or
impose on any Minister any of the jurisdictions, powers, duties, and
functions of any Board of Commissioners or statutory body to which
this section applies, and to declare that the public services and
officers concerned with the jurisdictions, powers, duties and
functions transferred, conferred, or imposed by such Order as
aforesaid are comprised and included in the public services and
officers of the Department of State administered by or under such
Minister as head thereof; and
(b) by the same or any subsequent Order to vest in the Minister or
respective Ministers who is or are the head or heads of such
appropriate Department or Departments of State as aforesaid all or
any part of the lands, hereditaments, tenements, and premises
situate in Saorstt Eireann and all other property and assets
(including choses-in-action) which were on the 6th day of December,

1921, or shall at the time of making any such Order under this subsection be vested, whether by statute, deed, contract or otherwise,
in or held in trust for any such Board of Commissioners or statutory
body and which were connected with the exercise or performance of
any of the jurisdictions, powers, duties or functions transferred,
conferred, or imposed by an Order under this sub-section so that the
same shall under and by virtue of such Order without the necessity
for any other conveyance or assignment whatsoever but subject
where necessary to transfer in the books of any bank, company or
corporation become and be vested in such Minister or respective
Ministers for all the estate, term and interest, or respective estates,
terms and interests for which the same were immediately before the
making of such Order vested in or held by such Board of
Commissioners or statutory body, but subject to such (if any) trusts
and equities as shall affect the said lands, hereditaments,
tenements and premises property and assets respectively at the
time of making such Order and shall be then legally subsisting and
capable of being performed; and
(c) by the same or any subsequent Order to determine and declare
which is or are the appropriate Department or Departments of State
for the purposes of this sub-section to or on whose Minister or
respective Ministers the jurisdictions, powers, duties and functions
of any Board of Commissioners or statutory body shall be
transferred, conferred, or imposed as aforesaid; and
(d) by the same or any subsequent Order to make such adaptations
and modifications as the Executive Council may consider necessary
of or in any British Statute relating to any Board of Commissioners
or statutory body whose or any of whose jurisdictions, powers,
duties and functions are transferred, conferred, or imposed by an
Order under this sub-section.
(3) So long as any Board of Commissioners or statutory body to
which this section applies shall continue to exist, and until the same
shall be dissolved under this section, the jurisdictions, powers,
duties and functions of such Board of Commissioners or statutory
body, or such of those jurisdictions, powers, duties or functions as
shall not have been divested or transferred from such Board of
Commissioners or statutory body by any Order under this section,
and the exercise and performance thereof shall be and remain
subject to the direction and control of the Minister who is head of
the appropriate Department of State concerned with the public
services of such Board of Commissioners or statutory body, and
such Minister shall be responsible for the administration of the
services of such Board of Commissioners or statutory body, and if
any question shall arise as to which is the Minister or appropriate
Department of State concerned with any public service for the
purposes of this sub-section, such question shall be determined by
the President of the Executive Council, whose decision shall be final.
(4) The Boards of Commissioners and statutory bodies to which this
section applies are all statutory Boards of Commissioners and other

statutory boards and bodies exercising any function of government

or discharging any public duties in relation to public administration
in Saorstt Eireann, and also any Board of Commissioners
established by Order of the Executive Council under Section 7 of the
Adaptation of Enactments Act, 1922 (No, 2 of 1922), but this section
shall not apply to or affect any university established by Royal
Charter or any body corporate similarly established for the
regulation of the admission, qualification, and conduct of the
members of any profession or business notwithstanding that such
university or body is in other respects a statutory body.
Expenses of public services payable out of special funds.
10.Wherever the expenses or any part of the expenses of any
public service assigned by or under this Act to any Department of
State are now payable out of any specific departmental or other
public funds other than the Central Fund or moneys provided by the
Oireachtas, or any specific departmental or other public funds other
than as aforesaid are now applicable to or towards the discharge of
the expenses or any part of the expenses of any such public service,
it shall be lawful for the Executive Council by Order to do all or any
of the following things:
(a) to provide for the continued discharge of any such expenses as
aforesaid or any part thereof out of the funds out of which the same
are now payable or which are now applicable to or towards the
discharge thereof;
(b) to make all such apportionments of public funds as may be
rendered necessary by reason of the allotment by this Act of
different portions of any such public service to different
Departments of State;
(c) to provide for the winding-up and the payment into or disposal
for the benefit of the Exchequer, in such manner as the Minister for
Finance may appoint, of the whole or any part of the specific
departmental or other public funds out of which such expenses or
any part thereof have heretofore been payable or which have
heretofore been applicable in or towards the discharge of such
expenses or any part thereof as aforesaid, and to declare that such
expenses shall hereafter be paid out of moneys provided by the
Power to Minister to function through agency of another Minister.
11.It shall be lawful for any Minister pursuant to any arrangement
or agreement previously authorised by an Order of the Executive
Council to exercise or perform any of the duties or public services of
any other Minister as agent for such other Minister and without
relieving such other Minister of his responsibility for the
administration of such public service.
Power to Executive Council to redistribute public services amongst
12.(1) It shall be lawful for the Executive Council from time to time
by Order to prescribe the organisation of all or any of the said
Departments of State and of the business and administration

thereof in any manner which may seem to the Executive Council to

be expedient or proper in the public interests and in particular to
create units of administration to be called offices (divisions or
branches) which may be wholly self-contained or not as may seem
expedient and to make such Orders consequential on or necessary
for giving effect to any such scheme of organisation as the
Executive Council may consider expedient or proper: Provided,
however, that in the case of any Department of State the Minister in
charge of which is not for the time being a member of the Executive
Council no such Order shall be made without the concurrence of
such Minister first obtained.
(2) It shall be lawful for the Executive Council from time to time by
Order to re-distribute all or any of the public services and officers,
and the administration, jurisdiction, powers, duties and functions
thereof amongst the several Ministers and Departments of State or
any of them in any manner which may seem to the Executive
Council to be expedient or proper in the public interests, and to
make such Orders consequential on or necessary for giving effect to
any such re-distribution as the Executive Council may consider
expedient or proper.
Orders of Executive Council to be laid before each House of the
13.Every Order made by the Executive Council under this Act shall
be laid before each House of the Oireachtas forthwith, and unless
and until a resolution annulling such Order is passed by either
House of the Oireachtas within the next subsequent twenty-one
days on which that House has sat after such Order is laid before it,
such Order shall have effect as if enacted in this Act, but no such
resolution shall operate to prejudice the validity of anything
previously done under such Order.
Apportionment of funds between Ministers.
14.If and whenever any question or doubt shall arise as to the
apportionment of any lands, moneys, funds, or other property which
shall become transferable to or liable to be vested in any two or
more Ministers under or by virtue of this Act or any order made
thereunder, every such question or doubt shall be determined by
the Minister for Finance, whose decision shall be final and
Authentication of official documents.
15.(1) The seal of each Minister who is a head of a Department of
State established under this Act shall, when affixed to any
instrument or document, be authenticated by the signature of such
Minister, or of some person authorised by that Minister to act in that
(2) Every document purporting to be an order or other instrument
issued by a Minister who is the head of a Department of State
established by this Act, and to be sealed with the seal of such
Minister authenticated in manner aforesaid, or to be signed by such
Minister, shall be received in evidence and be deemed to be such

order or instrument without further proof, unless the contrary is

(3) A certificate signed by a Minister that any order or other
instrument purporting to be made or issued by such Minister, or by
the Department of State for the time being assigned to him, or by
any branch or officer thereof, is so made or issued, shall be
conclusive evidence of the fact so certified.
(4) Nothing in this Act shall render the affixing of the official seal of
a Minister who is the head of a Department of State established by
this Act to any order or other instrument (not being a deed,
conveyance or other instrument which if made by a person other
than a corporation would be required by law to be sealed with the
seal of such person) made by such Minister necessary to the validity
of such order or other instrument, and any such order or other
instrument, unless expressly required by any statute to be under
seal, shall be sufficiently authenticated by the signature of such
Minister or of the secretary or other officer of such Department of
State duly authorised by such Minister to authenticate such orders
and instruments.
Executive Council to have a seal.
16.(1) The Executive Council shall have an official seal which shall
be officially and judicially noticed.
(2) The seal of the Executive Council shall, when affixed to any
instrument or document, be authenticated by the signature of the
President of the Executive Council or of the Vice-President or of a
secretary or other officer of the Executive Council authorised by the
President of the Executive Council to act in that behalf.
(3) Every document purporting to be an Order or other instrument
issued by the Executive Council, and to be sealed with the seal of
the Executive Council authenticated in manner aforesaid, shall be
received in evidence and be deemed to be such Order or instrument
without further proof, unless the contrary is shown.
(4) A certificate signed by the President or the Vice-President of the
Executive Council that any Order or other instrument, purporting to
be made or issued by the Executive Council, is so made or issued
shall be conclusive evidence of the fact so certified.
Proof of official Orders, etc.
17.Prima facie evidence of any Order, regulation or other official
instrument made or issued by the Executive Council or by any
Minister who is the head of a Department of State established by
this Act may be given in all Courts of Justice and in all legal
proceedings in all or any of the ways hereinafter mentioned, that is
to say:
(a) by the production of a copy of the Iris Oifigiil purporting to
contain such Order, regulation or instrument; or
(b) by the production of a copy of such Order, regulation or
instrument purporting to be printed under the superintendence or
authority of the Stationery Office; or
(c) by the production of a copy or extract purporting to be certified

to be true, in the case of an Order, regulation or instrument made or

issued by the Executive Council, by a secretary or other officer
authorised in that behalf by the President of the Executive Council,
and in the case of an Order, regulation or instrument made or issued
by a Minister, by the secretary of such Minister or of the Department
of State of which he is head or some other officer authorised in that
behalf by the Minister to whom such Department of State is for the
time being assigned, and it shall not be necessary in either case to
prove the signature of such secretary or officer or that he is in fact
such secretary or officer or was in fact authorised as aforesaid.
References to Ministers in existing Acts.
18.Every mention or reference contained in any Act of the
Oireachtas passed before this Act or which shall be passed in the
present Session of the Oireachtas or in any Order, rule, or regulation
made or to be made under any such Act, of or to any of the
Ministers mentioned in the first column of the Tenth Part of the
Schedule to this Act shall be construed and take effect as a mention
of or reference to the Minister, head of a Department of State
established under this Act, mentioned in the second column of the
said Tenth Part of the said Schedule opposite the Minister mentioned
in the said first column.
Laying of reports before the Oireachtas.
19.Wherever any statutory board of commissioners or other
statutory or public board or body or public authority is by any
existing law required to present any annual or other report to the
Lord Lieutenant or to Parliament or to any Parliamentary head of any
Department of State, every such report shall after the passing of
this Act be presented in the first instance to the Minister who is
head of the Department of State for the time being concerned with
the services or functions of such board, body, or authority, and if
such Minister be for the time being an Executive Minister he shall
present the report to the Executive Council, which shall cause the
report to be laid before each House of the Oireachtas, but if such
Minister be not for the time being an Executive Minister he shall
himself cause the report to be laid before each House of the
Short title and commencement.
20.(1) This Act may be cited for all purposes as the Ministers and
Secretaries Act, 1924.
(2) This Act shall come into operation on such day as may be fixed
by an Order of the Executive Council either generally or with
reference to any particular provision of this Act and different days
may be appointed for different purposes and different provisions of
this Act.
(3) In every case if any person has prior to the actual passing of this
Act been acting as and discharging the functions by this Act
attributed to the office of any Minister or Secretary constituted by
this Act, his acts shall be as valid and effective as if this Act had
been already passed at the time when he so purported to act.

First Part.
Particular Branches of Administration assigned to an Roinn Airgid
(The Department of Finance).
The business and functions formerly administered, and discharged
by the British Treasury in Ireland.
The Revenue Commissioners.
The Paymaster General and Deputy Paymaster for Ireland.
The Government Actuary.
The Commissioners of Public Works in Ireland.
The Civil Service Commission.
The Commissioner of Valuation and Boundary Surveyor for Ireland.
The Ordnance Survey.
The Superintendent of the Teachers' Pension Office.
The Stationery Office.
The Old Age Pensions, save as regards appeals governed by Statute.
The Post Office Savings Bank (administered through the Minister for
Posts and Telegraphs as agent).
The Registrar of Friendly Societies.
Second Part.
Particular Branches of Administration assigned to an Roinn Dl agus
Cirt (The Department of Justice).
All Courts of Justice and the Offices thereof save in so far as the
same are reserved to the Executive Council or are excepted from
the authority of the Executive Council or of an Executive Minister.
The General Prisons Board for Ireland and all Prisons.
The Registrar of District Court Clerks.
The Public Record Office.
The Registry of Deeds.
The Land Registry.
The Commissioners of Charitable Donations and Bequests for
Third Part.
Particular Branches of Administration assigned to an Roinn Rialtais
Aitila agus Slinte Puibl (The Department of Local Government and
Public Health).
The Local Government Board for Ireland, including appeals under
the Old Age Pensions Acts.
The Inspectors of Lunatic Asylums in Ireland.
National Health Insurance Commission.
The Registrar-General of Births, Deaths and Marriages in Ireland.
Roads Department (formerly Ministry of Transport).
Clerk of the Crown and Hanaper so far as concerned with Elections.
General Nursing Council and Central Midwives Board.
Fourth Part.
Particular Branches of Administration assigned to an Roinn
Oideachais (The Department of Education).
The Commissioners of National Education in Ireland.

The Intermediate Education Board for Ireland.

The Commissioners of Education in Ireland (Endowed Schools).
The Inspector of Reformatory and Industrial Schools.
The Department of Agriculture and Technical Instruction for Ireland
(business and functions relating to Technical Instruction only).
The College of Science.
The Geological Survey in Ireland.
The National Museum of Science and Art.
The National Library of Ireland.
The National Gallery of Ireland.
The Metropolitan School of Art.
Meteorological Services.
Fifth Part.
Particular Branches of Administration assigned to an Roinn Tailte
agus Talmhaochta (The Department of Lands and Agriculture).
The Irish Land Commission (including the late Congested District
Board for IrelandAgricultural and Land Branches).
The Department of Agriculture and Technical Instruction for Ireland
(except the business and functions relating to Fisheries and
Technical Instruction).
The Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries except so far as concerned
with the Ordnance Survey.
The Royal Veterinary College of Ireland.
The Public Trustee in Ireland.
The Forestry Commission.
Farm Institutes of or controlled by Government.
Royal Botanic Gardens.
Sixth Part.
Particular Branches of Administration assigned to an Roinn
Tionnscail agus Trchtla (The Department of Industry and
Ministry of Transport (excluding the Roads Department).
The Board of Trade.
Registrar of Companies.
Registrar of Business Names.
Registration of Shipping.
Minister for Labour.
Electricity Commissioners.
Chief and other Inspectors of Factories.
Seventh Part.
Particular Branches of Administration assigned to an Roinn Iascaigh
(The Department of Fisheries).
Department of Agriculture and Technical Instruction for Ireland
Fisheries Branch.
Congested Districts Board for IrelandFisheries Branch, and Rural
Industries Branch.
The Conservators of Fisheries.
Eighth Part.
Particular Branches of Administration assigned to an Roinn Puist

agus Telegrafa (The Department of Posts and Telegraphs).

Postmaster General.
Ninth Part.
Particular Services assigned to an Promh-Atrnae (The AttorneyGeneral)
Chief Crown Solicitor for Ireland.
Chief State Solicitor's Department and all local State Solicitors.
Treasury Solicitor for Ireland.
Parliamentary Draftsman.
Estates of illegitimate deceased persons.
Tenth Part.
Ministers named in former Acts.
Corresponding Ministers under this Act.
Minister for Finance
Aire Airgid (Minister for Finance)
Minister for Home Affairs
Aire Dl agus Cirt (Minister for Justice)
Minister for Local Government
Aire Rialtais Aitila agus Slinte Puibl (Minister for Local
Government and Public Health)
Minister for Education
Aire Oideachais (Minister for Education)
Minister for Agriculture
Aire Tailte agus Talmhaochta (Minister for Lands and Agriculture)
Minister for Industry and Commerce
Aire Tionnscail agus Trchtla (Minister for Industry and Commerce)
Minister for Fisheries
Aire Iascaigh (Minister for Fisheries)
Aire Puist agus Telegrafa (Minister for Posts and Telegraphs)
Minister for Defence
Aire Cosanta (Minister for Defence)
Minister for External Affairs
Aire Gntha Coigrche (Minister for External Affairs)


ACT 2011


Amendment of National Film Studios of Ireland Limited Act
1980. ... Ministers and Secretaries Act 1924 1924, ...
Ireland) Act 1838. ... Health by the Ministers and
Secretaries Act 1924 and later to the Minister for ...
Adoption Act, 2010 provides that the Minister may make



From the earliest times, knowing about the number and
condition of the population has been accepted as
important. To assist in this, systems of registering births,
deaths and marriages have been a feature of developed
states for hundreds of years. However, registration came
relatively late to Great Britain and Ireland. It was not until
1538 that Thomas Cromwell, Henry Vlll's Chancellor,
introduced a system whereby the clergy of the Established
Church were required to keep registers of all baptisms,
weddings and funerals at which they officiated. But
despite the imposition of penalties for neglect, the system
never attained the high standards sought.
There followed a number of attempts over the years to
make registration comprehensive and compulsory but it
was not until 1836, following a Parliamentary report, that
legislation was introduced creating a civil registration
system in England and Wales. During the passage of this
legislation, the government made clear its intention to
extend the principle of registration to Ireland.
Nevertheless, some eight years were to elapse before this
was to occur.
The provisions introduced in England and Wales
empowered the Established Church to register the
marriages but marriages in other churches were to be
registered by a civil registrar. In Ireland the Roman
Catholic Church was concerned that this latter
requirement might detract from the religious nature of the
marriage ceremony. Consequently, provisions were
introduced by the government in 1845 to enable the
registration of non-Catholic marriages and for the
appointment of registrars who were also given the power
to solemnise marriages by civil contract. In addition, the
post of Registrar General of Marriages was created and
given responsibility for the central collection and custody
of marriage records.
Over time, demand grew for a general registration system
of births, deaths and marriages. The lack of a
comprehensive system in Ireland was having

repercussions in Britain where many Irish emigrants had

gone or were going.
The growing number of laws regulating factory
employment, public health conditions and the rights of
inheritance were creating circumstances in which it was
necessary for the ordinary citizen to prove such things as
his age and legitimacy. This was causing various problems.
For instance, in 1854, the Inspector of Factories for
Scotland reported great difficulty in the operation of the
Factory Acts because of the large number of young Irish
emigrants presenting themselves for employment with
fictitious "birth certificates". The inspector for the Eastern
and Metropolitan areas of England reported similar
difficulties. By hiring young Irish labourers, factory owners
were getting around the legal ban on employing young
persons under 18 years on the task of looking after
machinery required to be kept in motion during the night.
In Ireland a variety of interests also pressed for the
registration of births and deaths. Members of the
Presbyterian community complained that the absence of
this facility made it very difficult to establish rights of
inheritance and noted that those of its members seeking
commissions in the Indian service could not show proof of
their age or origins. The Irish Poor Law Commissioners
were finding it very difficult to impose compulsory
vaccination against smallpox because of the absence of
information about births and deaths and both the Royal
College of Surgeons in Ireland and the Royal College of
Physicians of Ireland also argued persistently in favour of a
registration system. Eventually, in 1861, two private
Members Bills were put before the House of Commons.
One proposed the establishment of a registration system
based on the Royal Irish Constabulary and the other
proposed the use of dispensary doctors as registrars. Both
proposals were referred to a Select Committee of
Parliament which concluded that the dispensary doctors
were the most appropriate persons to act as local
registrars. For Catholic marriages, it also recommended an
arrangement whereby Catholic clergymen would forward
to the Registrar General details of all marriages
solemnised in their churches.

Eventually, in 1863, a Bill providing for the registration of

births and deaths in Ireland drafted along the lines
suggested by the Select Committee was introduced and
passed. Whilst the Act did not encompass Catholic
marriages, a Private Members Bill was successfully
introduced later that year which resulted in the civil
registration by the state of marriages celebrated
according to the rites of the Catholic Church. A complete
Irish civil registration system was then in place.
In the early days, the organisation of the service was
based on the "unions" of parishes set up under the Poor
Law (Ireland) Act 1838. Initially, these unions formed the
registrars' districts (for Protestant and civil marriages) and
later the superintendent registrars' districts (for births,
deaths and Roman Catholic marriages). The Clerk of the
Union was usually the superintendent registrar and also
often registrar of Protestant and civil marriages. The
medical officer of the dispensary district was usually also
the registrar of births, deaths and Roman Catholic
Throughout Ireland there were 163 union based
registration districts each headed by a superintendent
registrar and there were also around 798 dispensary
based registration districts, each headed by a registrar of
births, deaths and Roman Catholic marriages who
reported to the relevant superintendent registrar. In
addition, there were 130 registrars of Protestant and civil
marriages who reported directly to the Registrar General.
The first Registrar General (1844-1876) was William
From the start, those who worked in the service were
remunerated on a fee-paid basis, the amount depended
on the volume of business conducted. The superintendent
registrars received from the Register General a fee of two
pence for each entry made in their areas and the district
registrars were paid out of the local rates, levied by the
Poor Law Union, a fee of one shilling for each entry made
by them.
1845 was the first year in which marriages (other than
Roman Catholic Marriages) were registered and 6,114
marriages were recorded in the last nine months of the

year. The majority of these (4118 were according to the

rites of the Established Church, 1586 were in Presbyterian
Meeting Houses and 348 marriages were before Registrars
of Marriages. In 1864 the first year for the registration of
Births, Deaths and Marriages (including Catholic
Marriages) - there were 136,643 births, 94,095 deaths and
27,373 marriages recorded.
The original Registration Acts placed a requirement on the
Registrar General to supply a sufficient number of strong
iron boxes to hold the register books. Every such box was
to "be furnished with a lock and 2 keys and no more and
one of the keys shall be kept by the registrar and the other
by the superintendent registrar".
A waterproof bag was part of the
registrar's stock in trade, as was also
the special registration ink required
by statute to be used for entries in
the registers. The use of the iron box
and the registration ink were strictly
regulated. For example, the former
was required to be kept "in some dry
and secure part of his dwelling-house
or office" and for the latter, the jar
containing the ink "ought not to be
left uncorked" and the ink "must not
be diluted". Further, if the registrar
found the ink to be "not of a good
colour" he should report the matter to
the Registrar General. These and
various other provisions were, of
course, designed to prevent any illegal tampering with the
Throughout the latter part of the nineteenth century and
the early twentieth century additional legislation was
introduced which had implications for the registration
system. For example, the Marriage Law (Ireland)
Amendment Act 1863 dispensed with the need for
registrars to attend marriages in Protestant Dissenting
Churches and other Christian denominations and provided
for the registration of such marriages by the celebrant. It

also introduced the present notice procedure for marriage

in the office of the registrar. The Matrimonial Causes and
Marriage Law (Ireland) Amendment Act removed the
restrictions on the conduct of marriage between
Protestants and Catholics and introduced the necessary
changes to marriage preliminaries.
The law relating to births and deaths also underwent a
number of changes. For example, an Act in 1879 provided
for the registration of births and deaths outside the United
Kingdom in respect of Irish born officers and soldiers of the
Crown on foreign service and their dependants. The pre
1921 records are held by the General Register
Advertisement for Registration Ink from Henderson's,
Belfast Directory 1846/47. Permanent high quality ink was
to be used for registration purposes.
Office, Roscommon to this day whilst in Northern Ireland
the records are still maintained by the General Register
Office, Belfast.
There was a continuing need to design a procedure to
capture all births and deaths accurately and in a timely
manner. Some people remained unregistered due to the
failure of their parents to register them at birth and others
who nominally complied with the law made incorrect
entries. Much of the work necessary to ensure more
complete coverage was completed during the period
1879-1900 when Thomas Grimshaw was Registrar
General. The Births and Deaths Registration Act (Ireland)
1880 set out the procedures to be followed and the
persons who were required to give information to the
registrars in respect of births and deaths. It laid down time
limits for persons to comply with the regulations and
provided a system for the correction of errors. Provision
was also made for the appointment of assistants to
registrars and superintendent registrars and penalties
designed to protect the integrity of the records from fraud
were introduced.
In addition, regulations governing the duties of registrars
of births and deaths were published in 1880. These were
followed by regulations for Superintendent Registrars in
1881 and regulations for registrars of marriages in 1892.
This codification of registration practice still underpins the
present system.

The development of the system was continued by

Grimshaw's successor, Sir Robert E. Matheson
(Registrar-General 1900-1909), who published 'An
analysis of Surnames and Forenames in Ireland for
the guidance of registration officers' (1901) and the
'Analytical Index to the Irish Marriage Acts' (1904), in The
Right Honourable Sir Robert Edwin addition to a number of
other works. In recognition
of his public services Matheson received a Knighthood in
When Saor Stt ireann was established in 1922 the civil
registration service was restructured to provide separate
and independent registration systems for each of the two
new states of Ireland. The establishment of the office of
the Registrar-General, Belfast provided separate
administration for Northern Ireland under the newly
created post of Registrar General for Northern Ireland. At
the same time the Adaptation of Enactment's Act, 1922
ensured the continuance of the legislative base for
registration for the rest of the country. The responsibility
hitherto exercised by the Lord Lieutenant was transferred
to the Minister for Local Government and Public Health by
the Ministers and Secretaries Act 1924 and later to the
Minister for Health, when the Department of Health was
established as a separate entity in 1946.
Matheson Registrar-General 1900 - 1909.
The registration procedures in Ireland have remained
largely unchanged although some changes have been
introduced. The Legitimacy Act of 1931 made provision for
the re-registration of children born prior to the marriage of
their parents. The naming of the father in birth entries
where the parents were not married to each other
continued to be a problem until the passing of the Status
of Children Act 1987. The Register of Adopted Children
was introduced in 1952. The Short Birth Certificate
Regulations of 1953 provided for a common extract from
the Register of Births and the Adopted Children Register
which were to be used for many civil purposes. (The
Adoption Act, 2010 provides that the Minister may make
regulations for the issue of birth certificates that do not
disclose that the person to whom the certificate refers is

The production of statistical reports based on the
information recorded at the time of registration of birth,
marriage and death events, which was a function of the
Registrar General under the Registrations Acts, was
transferred to the new Central Statistics Office by the
Births, Deaths and Marriages Registration Act 1953. This
remains the case today. That Act also changed the title of
"Registrar-General" to "An tArd- Chlraitheoir" and also
changed his Seal from the original elaborate seal which
cited the Victorian Acts and bore a coat of arms depicting
a crown surmounting a lion and a unicorn to a simpler
device comprising of the Irish harp with the words "Oifig
an Ard-Chlraitheora".(Office of the Registrar General).
The Births, Deaths and Marriages Act, 1972 made changes
in the structure of the registration system by assigning to
the new eight regional health boards, created by the
Health Act 1970, the office of Superintendent Registrar
and the responsibility for making appointments of
Registrars of Births, Deaths and (Roman Catholic)
Marriages. When the Health Service Executive(HSE) was
established in 2005 the registration areas were renamed
in accordance with the legislation establishing the HSE.
Some minor changes were also made to the Marriages
Acts. In 1956 the format of entries in the marriage
registers were amended to omit the "rank or profession of
the father" of the bride and groom, and record mother's
maiden name. The Marriage Act 1972, raised the minimum
age for marriage to 16 years (the approval of the High
Court has to be obtained in order to marry at a lower age).
That Act also made provision for the registration of
marriages which had occurred in Lourdes, France prior to
its enactment. This was to resolve the difficulty of a
significant group of Irish citizens who had married in
Lourdes over the years, according to the rites and
ceremonies of the Catholic Church but who subsequently
found that, because the local civil procedures had not
been observed, these marriages were not registerable in
A change in registration law in 1994 introduced a system
for the registration of the births of stillborn children in a
new register from 1 January, 1995.

The Civil Partnership and Certain Rights and Obligations of

Co-habitants Act, 2010 introduced a system for the
registration of Civil Partnerships.
Over the course of a number of years the Irish civil
registration service has undergone a major modernisation
programme. In addition to updating the law governing civil
registration with the passing of the Civil Registration Act,
2004, the system of registration has been computerised.
All civil registration records, dating back to 1845, have
been captured in a digitised format and a computerised
system of registration is now in place.
This use of technology has enabled the introduction of a
more flexible service for the public, whereby a vital event
can be registered at any registrars office, regardless of
where it took place, and a certificate can be obtained from
any registrars office, regardless of where the event was
registered. The 2004 Act requires births and stillbirths to
be registered by the parents, deaths to be registered by
relatives, and for notice of intention to marry to be given
in person at the registrars office. This improves the
quality of the registration process and promotes a more
active citizenship.
Marriages can now be held at pre-arranged alternative
venues so there is greater choice for those who do not
wish to get married in a church or registry office.
Most recently, the Civil Partnership and Certain Rights and
Obligations of Cohabitants Act, 2010 provides for the
registration of civil partnerships between cohabiting
persons of the same sex. The first civil partnerships were
registered in Ireland in 2011.
The modernisation programme has also made a significant
contribution to the eGovernment agenda. Electronic data
interchange enhances delivery of public services and
facilitates better control over those services. Currently,
deaths data is available to all public service bodies and is
a valuable source of information for control of services,
including pensions. Births data is transmitted to the
Department of Social Protection where a PPSN is assigned
to each record. The data is then used by that Department
for the purpose of processing child benefit payments. Data
in respect of all vital events is transmitted to the Central

Statistics Office to assist in the compilation and

publication of vital statistics. It is intended that these
services will be expanded and enhanced in the coming
The historical information contained on this page is
extracted from a 1995 Department of Health publication
Registering the People, 150 years of civil registration

Court sided against the

people in ruling against her,
says Collins
Dublin TD loses bid to have Anglo Irish Bank promissory
notes deemed unconstitutional
Fri, Dec 16, 2016, 20:13 Updated: Fri, Dec 16, 2016

Joan Collins outside the Four Courts yesterday after judgment in her Supreme
Court action. Photograph: Collins Courts

Dublin South Central TD Joan Collins has said that the

Supreme Court sided against the Irish people by
rejecting her bid to have the Anglo Irish Bank
promissory notes deemed unconstitutional.
The decision was an affront to the people who have

been lumbered with this bill, Ms Collins told The Irish

Asked why she believed the Supreme Court was taking
sides rather than applying the law, Ms Collins said:
The reason I used that language is because of the
contradictions in the judgment.
In an earlier statement, Ms Collins said she was
disappointed but not particularly surprised with the

Joan Collins loses Supreme Court appeal on promissory


She said she had made a robust legal case that article
28 of the Constitution forbids borrowing or spending
without a Dil vote.
The courts judgment, Ms Collins said, has weakened
our political system, placing fewer checks on the
actions of the minister for finance and the government
of the day.
Ms Collins said her opinion promissory note debt was
unchanged by the courts decision.

Odious debt

This is an odious debt. Our Government made a

decision that benefitted a handful of well-connected
Irish bankers as well as French and German financial
institutions which are insulated from the costs of their
recklessness by a European framework demanding full
repayment of bondholders. The interests of Irish
citizens were never a consideration, she said.
As the bonds which replaced these promissory notes
are sold off huge sums of public money will flow to
private interests and 31 billion of debt will be
copperfastened to the state for decades. This decision
made by the Fianna Fil, and backed by Fine Gael and
Labour in government, will be with us for a long, long
time, Ms Collins said.

People should remember this when we are told we

cant afford to solve urgent crises in housing or
healthcare we can, but our money is going
Costs in the case will be addressed by the court after
Now this is just reflective of how unaccountable the state
is to the people....
In other words, can anybody really sue the state??
I am beginning to wonder....
This is an odious debt. Our Government made a decision
that benefitted a handful of well-connected Irish bankers
as well as French and German financial institutions which
are insulated from the costs of their recklessness by a
European framework demanding full repayment of
bondholders. The interests of Irish citizens were never a
consideration, she said.As the bonds which replaced
these promissory notes are sold off huge sums of public
money will flow to private interests and 31 billion of debt
will be copperfastened to the state for decades. This
decision made by the Fianna Fil, and backed by Fine Gael
and Labour in government, will be with us for a long, long
time, Ms Collins said.People should remember this when
we are told we cant afford to solve urgent crises in
housing or healthcare we can, but our money is going

joan-collins-v-minister-for-finance-delegatespending But in a unanimous judgment, six

Supreme Court judges dismissed her appeal.
Ms Collins argued that the Minister for Finance did
not have the power to allocate an unlimited sum of
public money. She appealed the High Court's
rejection of her challenge. But in a unanimous
judgment, six Supreme Court judges dismissed her


Constitutional Treaty: the "reflection

Published: Thursday 1 June 2006 | Updated: Friday 1 June 2007

After the rejection of the EU Constitutional Treaty in France and the

Netherlands in late spring 2005, a "period of reflection" on the future of
Europe was launched to reconnect the citizens with the European project
and to decide the fate of the Constitution. In January 2007, the German
Presidency declared the reflection period was over, still its outcome is

Dutch PM faces defeat over EU

treaty vote
Referendum issue splits country and coalition
Netherlands could again sabotage EU initiative
Ian Traynor in Brussels
Saturday September 22, 2007
The Guardian
The Dutch government rejected mounting calls for a
referendum on Europe's new reform treaty last night, two years
after Dutch voters killed off the European constitution in a
referendum that stunned the EU.
After a cabinet meeting yesterday of the coalition of Christian
and Social Democrats, the Christian Democrat prime minister,
Jan Peter Balkenende, announced that a second referendum
was not needed on the grounds that the new treaty was not a
constitution and that Dutch concerns had been assuaged in the
treaty negotiations this year.
But Mr Balkenende's determination to avoid another
referendum after the fiasco he faced two years ago could still
fall foul of the parliament in The Hague, where three small
parties are demanding a popular vote on the treaty that is
supposed to be agreed by the 27 EU governments next month.

A decision to stage a referendum in the Netherlands would

complicate Gordon Brown's attempts to avoid a national vote
on the treaty. Downing Street has been put on the defensive by
demands for a referendum from the trade unions, a Tory
campaign, calls from the rightwing press and the danger of a
Labour backbench revolt.
Despite yesterday's decision in The Hague, the Dutch coalition
is split. Whereas the prime minister is fiercely opposed, his
centre-left partner fought an election last year pledging a
Senior Dutch Labour figures support a vote. Jan Pronk,
expected to be made Labour chairman next week, is backing a
plebiscite, as is the party's caucus leader in parliament,
Jacques Tichelaar.
Of the three parties demanding the referendum in parliament,
two are solidly pro-EU and one is strongly Eurosceptic. If
Labour voted with them as well as the pro-referendum
conservative PVV, they would muster a majority and rout Mr
Last week a government advisory body, the council of state,
told the cabinet that a referendum was not needed since the
new treaty, unlike its ill-fated predecessor, was not a
constitution. Mr Balkenende said he would be steered by the
council's advice.
But the scenario of 2005 could still be repeated. The Dutch
voted by almost two to one to kill off the constitution and
spared prime minister Tony Blair the need to hold a referendum
in Britain. Mr Balkenende opposed a referendum on that
occasion too, but lost in parliament.
The reform treaty was drafted this year under German
leadership in response to the crisis triggered by the Dutch and
French no votes two years ago. An EU summit next month in
Portugal is meant to endorse the treaty, which then has to be
Like Mr Brown, Mr Balkenende hopes to restrict the ratification
process to parliament. If the Dutch leader is forced to call a
referendum, the pressure will mount on Mr Brown to follow suit
and there will probably be demands for a public vote elsewhere
in the EU - in Denmark, for example.
That could spell a death sentence for the treaty, even if the
Dutch government is confident it could win a referendum if
Article is not commented: 0


EU treaty summit: nothing left to discuss? (18 October 2007)

Dutch PM rules out EU Treaty referendum (24 September 2007)
Gordon Brown faces EU Treaty referendum battle (23 August 2007)
EU opens up Treaty revision with launch of IGC (23 July 2007)
Sport and the European Constitution (19 October 2007)
The EU's 'Reform Treaty' (18 October 2007)
Constitutional Treaty - key elements (20 April 2007)
German EU Presidency: In Brief (04 January 2007)
Analysis: A Europe of projects without a plan? (01 August 2006)
Analysis: Absorption capacity - a fallacious concept? (27 June 2006)
Analysis: History and Implications of the Constitutional Treatys Rejection
(12 June 2006)
EU moves from 'disastrous' Constitution experiment (11 July 2007)

This initiative symbolizes our determination to take action on two pressing

matters: enhancing public awareness about development cooperation and
strengthening the effectiveness of the European Union's development
Indeed, it is essential that European citizens feel committed to engage in a
stronger partnership with developing countries and in particular Africa. It is key
for the future that we contribute to mobilizing younger generations.
It is also pivotal for Europe to deliver more, better and faster aid in view of the
implementation of the Millennium Development Goals. I am convinced that
bringing all European professionals involved in development, in an open
dialogue, will help to further improve our ideas, working methods and delivery.
Africa is a continent that remains trapped in poverty and distress but it is also
a continent full of hope and potential. I am therefore proud that the first edition
of the European Development Days will give us an opportunity to work
towards a better future for Africans. The focus on Africa for its 2006 edition
illustrates the conviction that we, Europeans, have the means and the will to
help Africa turn this situation around.
Poverty reduction requires more than aid money: Africa needs to pursue the
strengthening of their governance systems. The Governance Forum builds on
the European Consensus on Development, through which the Commission,
the EU Member States and the European Parliament reaffirmed good
governance, democracy and respect for human rights as key pillars of EU
development cooperation and a cornerstone of the EU Strategy for Africa.
This high level EU-Africa forum will give us an opportunity to take into
consideration the various perspectives on Governance and the numerous
challenges to address.
The first edition of the European Development Days marks the beginning of a
process, which shall contribute to the work Europeans must undertake
towards a more effective and harmonised development assistance. We are
opening a new road and we will have to work all together to develop it.

In light of this agenda, I very much look forward to welcoming you in Brussels.
I am also very enthusiastic for the future editions of the European
Development Days.
Proceedings before the Court of Justice and the Court of
First Instance of the European Communities: Practical
This seminar aims to provide a practical overview of the most
important phases of proceedings before the Court, in particular the
written and oral phases. It will also set out how to plead in an appeal
case or ask for legal assistance, so as to promote the quality of
judicial protection in the Community legal system and to ensure
speedy and smooth proceedings. Taking a practical approach and
using practical examples, the seminar will discuss the written and
oral proceedings before the Court of Justice of the European
Target Group
This seminar is meant for all those concerned by Community law
and the functioning of the Court of Justice and the Court of First
Instance, such as European lawyers and judges, but also members
of the legal and judicial professions, academics, and people working
in national and European administrations.


Enforcement Actions under EU Law: The New Member

The issue of who is entitled to institute proceedings under
Article 226 has been widely debated
Working Paper 2007/W/01
Actions under EU Law: The New Member States
Lora Borissova
Enforcement Actions under EU Law: The New Member
2007, European Institute of Public Administration.
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be

reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in

any form or by any means, mechanical, photocopying, or
otherwise, without prior written permission of the publisher, EIPA. For translation or reproduction rights please
contact: European Institute of Public Administration, O.L.
Vrouweplein 22, P.O. Box 1229, 6201 BE Maastricht, the
EIPAs website: http://www.eipa.eu
Typeset by the Publications Service, EIPA, the Netherlands.
Enforcement Actions under EU Law: The New Member
Lora Borissova1
European Institute of Public Administration, Antenna
The European Commission supports EIPA through the
European Union budget
2007, European Institute of Public Administration /
Institut europen dadministration publique Maastricht,
the Netherlands / Pays-Bas http://www.eipa.eu
1. The views expressed in this paper are personal and only
reflect the opinions of the author. This article has
benefited from EIPAs in-house research fund (European
Commissions expanded budget line).
Table of Contents
Pages Introduction 5
I. The Bedrock of the Infringement Procedure 6
A. Ratione personae 6
B. Ratione materiae 7
1. The author of the incriminating act 8
2. Type of measure 8
C. Infringement proceedings per se and the Commissions
discretion 9
1. The complaint 10
2. The different steps of the procedure Exercise of the
Commissions discretion 10 2.1 Article 226 TEC 10 2.2
Article 227 TEC 11 2.3 Article 228 TEC 12
II. Article 228 TEC and its Application to New Member
States 13
A. Examples of state justifications 13

B. Recently initiated infringement proceedings against

new Member States 15
1. Administrative stage
2. Judicial stage
The Czech Republic
Through the infringement procedure, provided for by
Article 226 of the Treaty establishing the European
Community (TEC), the Commission can stimulate Member
States to comply effectively with their obli- gations under
Community law.2 In cases of non-compliance, the
Commission may bring Member States before the Court of
Justice of the EC (ECJ). Indeed, the Commission may use
this possibility because it is the guardian of the Treaty
and has to ensure the proper application of Community
law, in line with Article 211 TEC.
The White Paper on European Governance published by
the Commission in 20013 emphasises that the primary
responsibility for applying Community law lies with
national administrations and courts in the Member States.
Therefore, the primary objective of enforcement actions
against Member States is to monitor their compliance and

to respond to cases of non-compliance. However, through

adequate exer- cise of its discretion and improved
cooperation with Member States, the Commission aims to
encourage them to comply voluntarily with Community
law as quickly as possible. Furthermore, under the current
Commissions strategic objectives for the period 20052009, prompt and adequate transposition and vig- orous
pursuit of infringements are considered critical to the
credibility of European legislation and the effectiveness of
The infringement procedure is of crucial importance to the
new Member States and of high relevance to the
candidate countries that have applied for accession to the
EU. On the one hand, they have to adopt the whole acquis
upon accession with only few transitional periods granted
in a limited number of areas. New Member States have
already submitted a large number of transposition
notifications to the Com- mission. On the other hand and
despite their huge efforts, new Member States experience
considerable difficulties in implementing directives and
other EC legislative instruments. The process of
implemen- tation is a challenging stumbling block for all
new Member States.
This paper will focus on the recent and main trends in the
application of enforcement actions against new Member
States, not only taking an empirical angle (infringements
by Member States and by sectors) but also involving
analytical reasoning. This analysis serves to present the
fundamentals and relevance of the infringement
procedure in the framework of the enlarged European
Union (the object of the first part of this paper) where
administrations of the new Member States will have to
adopt this new way of thinking and of implementing knowhow (addressed in the second part) while acquiring a
better under- standing of the principal characteristics of
the EC/EUs legal system (direct effect, supremacy,
indirect effect, state liability) and of the ECs general
principles of law. Therefore, the second part of the paper
will also focus on justifications deemed acceptable by the
ECJ and others that are considered inadmissi- ble.
New Member States have to adjust to the requirements of
the acquis (possibilities of opting out are not included in

the Accession Treaties) and this obligation applies to all

independent state institutions (including the judiciary
where reforms represent a prerequisite for accession by
some candidate coun- tries). Efficient further
implementation of the acquis and adequate understanding
of the infringement procedure will facilitate new Member
States (and candidate countries) integration in the EU
and, even- tually, make their accession a success.
2. By way of preliminary and quite important legal remark,
it should be emphasised that the infringement procedure
does not exist under Pillar II (CFSP) and Pillar III (Police and
Judicial Cooperation in Criminal Matters).
3. European Governance A White Paper (COM (2001)
4. See the European Commissions Strategic Objectives
2005-2009, COM (2005) 12 final, p. 5.
I. The Bedrock of the Infringement Procedure
Instead of discussing all the details of the infringement
procedure and subsequent steps, this part will focus on a
number of relevant aspects that are most problematic or
most important to the old as well as new Member States
and candidate countries.
The issue of who is entitled to institute proceedings under
Article 226 has been widely debated. The Commission is
the only one (together with the Member States under
Article 227) that is authorised to bring Member States that
fail to comply with Community obligations before the ECJ.
Natural and legal persons are not allowed to institute
proceedings under this procedure. The rationale behind
the Treatys prohibition is that individuals have other
possibilities for direct action before their national courts.
Hence, the ECJ has established fundamental principles to
help private parties enforce their rights. The principle of
state liability is the last and logical continuation of the
ECJs teleological construction com- prising the principles
of direct effect and indirect effect. Through the state
liability principle and by re- stricting private parties direct
access to the ECJ in the context of other proceedings,5 the
European legislator and the ECJ have endeavoured to
prevent the latter from becoming overloaded, thus

avoiding a situation like that at the European Court of

Human Rights.6
Another remedy for the prohibition for individuals to
bring cases against Member States before the ECJ is the
possibility they have had since the 1993 Treaty of
Maastricht to lodge complaints directly with the European
Ombudsman or to petition the European Parliament (EP)
(Art. 21 TEC). Petitions are often presented at the same
time as complaints to the Commission. Statistics show
that between one quarter and one third of the petitions is
related to or gives rise to infringement proceedings.7
Depending on the circumstances, the Committee on
Petitions of the EP has different options to suc- cessfully
close the dossier concerned. These options vary from
asking the Commission to provide infor- mation about
compliance with the relevant Community legislation, to
referring the petition to other EP committees for further
action, submitting a report to the EP to be voted on in a
plenary session, drawing up an opinion and asking the
President of the EP to forward it to the Council and/or
European Commis- sion for action, forwarding the petition
via the EP President to the appropriate national
authorities, and last but not least, organising a fact-finding
mission in the relevant country.8
Furthermore, according to Article 195 TEC, any natural and
legal person can send complaints to the European
Ombudsman about instances of maladministration at the
Community institutions or bodies,
5. In the framework of the action for annulment (Article
230 TEC) and the action for failure to act (Article 232 TEC)
natural and legal persons face considerable difficulties as
regards admissibility before the ECJ since they have to
prove their individual and direct concern.
6. Individuals are automatically entitled to bring a case
before the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg
after having exhausted all possible internal remedies.
7. See the 23rd Annual Report of the Commission on
monitoring the application of Community law (2005),
Brussels, 24 July 2006, COM (2006) 416 final. See also the
Commission Communication to the European Parliament
and the European Ombudsman on relations with the
complainant in respect of infringements of Community

law, Brussels, 20 March 2002, COM (2002) 141 final.

8. This useful information and other related aspects can be
found in the Citizens Guide to European Complaint
Mechanisms that aims to help individuals and NGOs to
successfully use existing institutional mechanisms to
protect their rights and to ensure effective and adequate
use of public funds. The Guide was published in
September 2006 by CEE Bankwatch Network with the
financial support of the European Commission.
Enforcement Actions under EU Law: The New Member
with the exception of the Court of Justice and the Court of
First Instance acting in their judicial role. This includes
cases involving complaints against Member States brought
and dealt with by the Commission in an unsatisfactory
way. Though it is true that the Commission has full
discretion in investigating and further proceeding with
complaints received under the infringement mechanism of
Article 226 TEC, the European Ombudsmans role in
promoting good administration in this process has clearly
increased in recent cases.9 To set a good example of
public service, the European Ombudsman deals with
complaints as quickly as possible. It aims to acknowledge
the receipt of complaints within one week, to decide
whether to open an inquiry within one month and to close
inquiries within one year.10
However, while the rationale behind the restriction
regarding individuals direct access to the ECJ could be
regarded as adequate considering the abovementioned
reasons, another issue is raising contro- versy. Indeed,
private parties are barred from intervening before the ECJ
to support the Commissions conclusions in enforcement
actions against Member States, even in cases where
complaints are lodged by the parties applying for
intervention.11 This contradicts the stated objective to
increase transparency and to develop EU policies closer to
the citizens.
The Commission is entitled to bring cases before the ECJ in
each of the areas of Community activity.12 As we will try
to demonstrate below, the bulk of complaints and

subsequent actions brought before the ECJ involves

concerns about the environment, the internal market,
agriculture or consumer protection. However, traditional
economic considerations are increasingly supplemented
by social and fiscal is- sues.13
This pattern is confirmed by the landmark Marks and
Spencer ruling. In this case, the ECJ ruled that the British
retail company should be compensated by the UK taxation
scheme for losses suffered in other Member States where
it has shops in order to ensure the full exercise of its right
of free establishment.14 This and some other judgments
have given rise to much criticism from Member States
accusing the ECJ of systematically expanding European
competencies to areas of mixed or purely national
The possibility for the Commission to bring cases in all
areas of Community law excludes from the material scope
of the infringement procedure all aspects of EU law
(Second and Third Pillar). According to Article 226 TEC,
Member States that fail to fulfil an obligation under this
Treaty (i.e. the TEC) can be subject to an infringement
procedure. Furthermore, in this respect no jurisdiction has
been granted to the ECJ by the Treaty on the European
Union (TEU), which may be considered as unfortunate
consid- ering the very important developments in the
above areas, particularly the rapidly-adopted and evolving
Third Pillar instruments.
The reluctance of Member States to confer jurisdiction on
the ECJ may be explained by the highly sensitive nature of
the provisions in this field. It should be noted that the
majority of the instruments are adopted with a security
rationale, which is part of the Member States prerogative
powers. Therefore, logical reference can be made to
Article 35(5) TEU, which denies jurisdiction to the ECJ as
regards measures related to the maintenance of law and
order and the safeguarding of internal security. The practical application of this provision may give rise to breaches
of Member States obligations arising from, for instance,
non-communitarised parts of the Schengen acquis. The
rights of individuals could be jeop9. See the speech of the European Ombudsman, Mr P.
Nikiforos Diamandouros, to the Committee on Petitions of

the European Parliament, Brussels, 13 September 2006.

Also see the Ombudsmans annual and special reports.
10. See for further information the abovementioned
Citizens Guide.
11. Carlos Botelho Moniz, Overview of the Mechanisms of
Enforcement of Community Law; Jean Mischo,
Lmergence du
principe de la responsabilit de lEtat.
12. See, inter alia, the abovementioned 23rd Annual
Report of the Commission on monitoring the application of
law, .
13. See EU Observer, 13 February 2006. For further
developments as regards infringement proceedings in the
area of
competition, refer to Frank Montag, The Case for a
Radical Reform of the Infringement Procedure under
Regulation 17, European Competition Law Review 8,
1996. For further developments as regards infringement
proceedings in the area of the environment, see Sibylle
Grohs, Commission Infringement Procedure in
Environmental Cases, Europe and the Environment,
Publications Ludwig Krmer.
14. Case C-446/03 of 15 December 2005.
15. See the statement of the then Austrian Chancellor in
EU Observer, 13 February 2006.
Lora Borissova
ardised and, by not granting jurisdiction to the ECJ, full
respect and compliance with human rights and
fundamental freedoms (in our example, the free
movement of people) cannot be fully ensured.16
1. The author of the incriminating act
The Commission may decide to launch proceedings
against Member States that infringe on or do not fully
comply with their Community obligations. The scope of the
concept of state covers central gov- ernment but also
regions and federal districts, public undertakings (in which
case connections with the state are decisive), public
administration, the legislature and the judiciary. Although
the inclusion of the latter could be considered as a
potential breach of the principle of separation of powers

and the independ- ence of the judiciary, it is interesting to

see what the ECJs response might be in this respect.
The Kbler case partially addressed the controversial issue
of the judiciarys liability. This judgment elaborates on the
principle of state liability before national courts and does
not deal with enforcement proceedings before the ECJ.17
However, it is important to point out that the ECJ has
recognised the pos- sibility for individuals to obtain
redress in the national courts for the damage caused by
the infringement of those rights owing to a decision of a
court adjudicating at last instance.18 The latter
statement could be used in other cases under the
infringement procedure per se. It is of crucial importance,
in particular for new Member States, to refer to future
cases of the ECJ that deal with such controversial issues as
the potential liability of the judiciary.
2. Type of measure
A Member State can be brought before the ECJ because of
an action (for instance an internal legislative act that
incorrectly implements a directive) but also of an omission
(failure to transpose a directive or failure to ensure free
movement of goods19). Non-binding acts may also be
taken into consideration by the Commission when
assessing the relevant infringement (such as publicity
campaigns) or individual acts (e.g. public procurement).
This list is non-exhaustive and may also comprise all kinds
of adminis- trative and judicial practices.
As regards the broad concept of breach of Community law,
all sources of Community law can be considered as an
acceptable basis: primary law, secondary law,
conventional law, general principles of law and ECJ case
law. An element which is worth mentioning at this stage of
the analysis and which is of high relevance to the new
Member States and candidate countries is the capacity of
public adminis- trations. Covered by the 1993 Copenhagen
criteria for membership, this capacity is not specifically
men- tioned in the 90,000 pages of the acquis
communautaire. Therefore, if following their accession
new Member States break commitments which were
undertaken during the pre-accession phase but which are
not legally part of the acquis, there is no obvious remedy,
and natural or legal persons cannot rely on their rights

under the acquis and cannot expect the Commission to

bring such breaches before the ECJ.20
Other derogations falling outside the scope of the
infringement procedure as described in Article 226 TEC,
can be found in the area of the Economic and Monetary
Union (EMU). According to Article
16. Such a problem could arise in the context of the
application of Article 2 of the Schengen Implementation
Convention which allows Member States to restore
controls at internal borders for a limited period of time and
after consulting the other contracting parties. What if a
Member State decides to re-establish internal border
controls for more than one or two months, putting forward
justifications related to the maintenance of public order
and internal security, in which case the ECJ will not have
jurisdiction to deal with this matter?
17. Case C-224/01 Kbler v. Austria, 30 September 2003.
18. Ibid. 36.
19. See, for instance, Case C-265/95 Commission v.
France, in which the French authorities failed to fulfil their
obligations by
not ensuring the free cross-border movement of Spanish
strawberries. It is interesting to note that, following
repeated disruptions by demonstrations and blockades
hindering the free movement of goods, Regulation
2679/98 (known as the Strawberry Regulation) was
adopted in order to allow the effective implementation of
the free movement of goods throughout the EU. It requires
Member States to notify the Commission of potential risks
of blockades and to take the necessary and appropriate
measures to ensure the exercise of the fundamental
freedoms. Still, problems subsist because the Regulation
did not fix a deadline for the parties to remove potential
obstacles and it did not provide for any sanctions for
Member States failing to act in this respect.
Enforcement Actions under EU Law: The New Member
104(10) TEC, the right to bring actions against Member
States for excessive government deficits may not be
exercised within the framework of the Article 226
procedure. Thus, if new Member States do not fully comply

with the Maastricht criteria and are not getting ready to

join the EMU, the use of the in- fringement procedure will
be precluded.
Mention should be made of several other special
infringement procedures, where, in derogation from the
provisions of Articles 226 and 227, the Commission
(and/or a Member State) can directly refer a matter to the
ECJ without going through the prior informal procedure led
by the Commission under Article 226 TEC. An example is
the procedure of Article 237(d) TEC, where the ECJ is
competent to rule on infringement proceedings instituted
by the Council of the European Central Bank against
nation- al central banks for possible non-compliance with
their obligations. Other examples can be drawn from
Article 298 TEC (improper use of security derogations),
Article 95(9) TEC (law approximation in the area of the
internal market) or Article 88(2) TEC (state aid that is
incompatible with the common market)
The large majority of infringement proceedings concerns
problems encountered by Member States in transposing
and implementing directives.21 The Commission has
taken several measures to adequate- ly remedy problems
encountered in the transposition, implementation and
enforcement of directives. These include the regular
publication of a calendar for transposition, containing a list
of directives to be transposed and notified by Member
States, the Commissions Internal Market Scoreboard and
the annual reports issued by the Commission that monitor
the application of Community law.22
The integrated system of electronic notification of national
measures for the transposition of direc- tives is a
mechanism that became operational on 3 May 2004,
following the accession of ten new Mem- ber States. It is
designed to facilitate and speed up the notification of
transposition measures adopted by Member States. In
2005, the Netherlands and Sweden joined the electronic
system, and preparations to join were at an advanced
stage in France, the last Member State to accede to the
system. The system was also adapted to enable Bulgaria
and Romania to meet their pre-notification obligations for
directives in- cluded in the acquis communautaire.
Accordingly, both countries notified the first measures at

the end of 2005.23

As a result of the progress made in notifying national
transposition measures, by January 2005 an average of
97.69% had been notified by the 25 Member States, and
this percentage increased in the course of the year and
reached 98.92% in November 2005.24 More relevant and
specific data, in partic- ular relating to the new Member
States, is provided and analysed in the second part of this
The concept of infringement is an objective one and not
dependent on the prior existence of fault. By launching an
enforcement action against a Member State, the
Commission is not asking the ECJ to rec- ognise a Member
States intention to breach the law but to deliver a
declaratory judgment on the latters failure to comply with
its Community obligations. Such actions can, on the one
hand, be launched fol- lowing complaints against Member
States by natural and legal persons. On the other hand,
the Commis- sion can detect infringements on its own,
further to investigations or via the media, press reports,
20. The Economist, Through the Looking Glass, 2
December 2006, p. 31. The article discusses Polish and
Slovak new legislation that makes it easier for politicians
to control the civil service by giving them more power to
appoint top civil servants. Yet, the Commission has other
legal tools (for instance arising from the obligation to
establish independent national regulators or market
surveillance procedures ) to exercise pressure on Member
States to improve various aspects of their administrative
21. The focus on directives is explained by the fact that
almost 80% of the infringement proceedings before the
ECJ concern directives. For further analysis of this
statement, refer to Phedon Nicolaides and Helen Oberg,
The Compliance Problem in the European Union,
EIPASCOPE 2006/1, European Institute of Public
Administration, Maastricht.
22. These and other complementary mechanisms have
been thoroughly analysed in the EPC Working Paper No.

25, Lorenzo Allio and Marie-Hlne Fandel, Making Europe

work: improving the transposition, implementation and
enforcement of EU legislation, Brussels, June 2006.
23. See the abovementioned 23rd Annual Report of the
Commission on monitoring the application of Community
24. Ibid.
Lora Borissova
1. The complaint
The Commission lacks resources to carry out systematic
and comprehensive checks on the transposition,
implementation and enforcement of Community law.
Therefore, anyone may lodge complaints with the
Commission about measures adopted, omissions in
adopting them or practices attributed to a Member State
which are considered incompatible with a provision or a
principle of Community law. It is essential to underline that
there is no requirement for complainants to prove their
interest in instituting proceed- ings or to prove their
individual and direct concern in the matter concerned. In
this respect, the infringe- ment procedure differs from the
procedure for annulment (Article 230 TEC) and the
procedure for failure to act (Article 232 TEC) where the
demonstration of individual and direct concern is the main
stumbling block for natural and legal persons who wish to
bring a case directly before the ECJ.
Potential infringements are recorded in a single register
irrespective of how the breach has been re- vealed. The
Commission has committed to contacting complainants
and informing them in writing fol- lowing each Commission
decision (formal notice, reasoned opinion, referral to the
ECJ or closure of the case) about the steps taken in
response to their complaint.25 The Ombudsman has also
made a draft rec- ommendation to the Commission to deal
with complaints diligently and without undue delay.26 Still,
a case dealt with under the infringement responsibility of
the Commission takes at least one to two years before
being brought before the ECJ and it takes another two to
three years before a judgment is deliv- ered by the ECJ.
More relevant and noteworthy statistics can be found in
the 2005 annual report of the Commission on monitoring

the application of Community law. According to this report,

the total number of infringe- ment proceedings initiated by
the Commission decreased in 2005. Furthermore, as
regards the 25 Mem- ber States, the number of
proceedings for failure to notify transposition measures
decreased by 29% compared with the previous year. This
decrease can also be explained by the fact that the 2004
figures related not only to the regular monitoring of failure
to transpose directives by the 15 old Member States but
also to the monitoring of failure by the ten new Member
States to notify transposition measures in respect to the
whole pre-accession acquis. These data are analysed in
more detail in the second part of this paper.
2. The different steps of the procedure Exercise of the
Commissions discretion
2.1 Article 226 TEC
Several subdivisions of the infringement proceedings can
be mentioned: some pundits refer to a two-step procedure
(administrative and judicial proceedings), others divide it
into four different stages27:
The pre-contentious (also called pre-226) stage during
which negotiations with the Member State
give the latter the opportunity to explain its position and
to reach a compromise with the Commission.
If the matter is not resolved informally in the first phase,
the Member State will be formally notified
of the alleged infringement by means of a letter of formal
notice sent by the Commission. The Mem- ber State is
usually given two months to reply, except in cases of
urgency, and the Commission nor- mally decides within a
year either to close a case or to proceed.
If, after the previous stage and following negotiations
with the Member State, the matter is undecid- ed, the
Commission may issue a reasoned opinion. The reasoned
opinion clearly sets out the grounds regarding the alleged
infringement and marks the beginning of the time period
within which the Member State must comply with the
recommendations of the Commission in order to avoid judicial proceedings.
25. See the abovementioned Commission Communication
to the European Parliament and the European

Ombudsman on relations with the complainant in respect

of infringements of Community law.
26. See the abovementioned speech of the European
Ombudsman, 13 September 2006.
27. For further clarification, refer to P. Craig and G. de
Burca, EU Law Text, Cases and Materials, Oxford University
2003, p. 400.
Enforcement Actions under EU Law: The New Member
If the Member State does not adopt measures within the
time period stated in the reasoned opinion, the
Commission will be entitled to bring the case before the
ECJ, this being the fourth and final ju- dicial stage.
It is very important to underline the total discretion
conferred on the Commission in the exercise of its
responsibilities under Article 226 TEC. The Commission is
free to decide when and against which Member State to
start infringement proceedings. The Court will examine
only whether the Member State has failed to fulfil its
Community obligations and will not assess the
Commissions interest in bringing the action. The absence
of a specific motivation or proven interest in bringing
proceedings against a Member State will not affect the
admissibility of the enforcement proceedings. The ECJ has
consistently reiterated that it refuses to consider if the
Commissions discretion under Article 226 is wisely exercised.28 The Commission should be free to start
proceedings and bring actions before the ECJ at its convenience, in keeping with its role as the guardian of the
However, an observation should be made about the ECJs
different approaches towards the infringe- ment procedure
and the action for failure to act (Article 232 TEC). As
regards the time period for initi- ating proceedings, the
Court has refused to apply the concept of reasonable time
under Article 226 proceedings while it is always applied
under Article 232 TEC, even if the provision does not state
any time limit.29 Last but not least, in the framework of
the above considerations, the ECJ has also rejected the
possibility of challenging a reasoned opinion before the

ECJ. Consistent case law determines that a reasoned

opinion is not subject to an action for annulment because
it is not binding, following the clas- sification of the
different legal instruments provided for by Article 249 TEC.
As stated earlier, the ECJ can issue a declaratory judgment
(referring to an identical formula in every such ruling),
holding that a Member State has failed or has not failed to
fulfil its Community obligations. In its judgment, the ECJ
may neither annul national legislative acts nor prescribe
specific measures to be taken by the Member State. One
month after the judgment, the Commission will normally
send an ad- ministrative letter to the Member State,
requesting information about the content and timing of
the measures to be adopted to comply with the
judgment.30 If the Commission does not receive any
feedback or does not consider the reply satisfactory, it
may proceed with the application of Article 228 TEC. Before focusing on this possibility, involving the imposition of
a penalty payment and/or a lump sum, we will briefly
analyse the procedure of Article 227 TEC.
2.2 Article 227 TEC
According to Article 227 TEC, a Member State which
considers that another Member State has failed to fulfil an
obligation under the Treaty (TEC) may bring the matter
before the ECJ. Under this procedure the complainant
Member State is not required to first contact the other
Member State but must refer the matter to the
Commission. The latter then has to take the same steps as
under the Article 226 procedure, after giving both Member
States the opportunity to present their views and to make
oral and written sub- missions.
If the Commission has not delivered a reasoned opinion
within three months of the date on which the matter was
brought before it, the absence of such an opinion shall not
prevent the issue from being brought before the ECJ. If the
Commission takes the view that there is no breach, it may
be presumed that the complainant Member State can still
refer the matter to the ECJ even though the Treaty
provision is not explicit in this respect.
It is not surprising that Article 227 has been scarcely used
considering the obvious diplomatic con- siderations at
stake. Moreover, by avoiding using it Member States

tolerate each others failures to com- ply with Community

obligations. It is worth mentioning the successful dispute
between France, supported by the Commission, and the
UK over a fishing dispute.31
28. See, inter alia, the judgment in Case C-200/88
Commission v. Greece; for a more detailed analysis on this
issue, refer to the relevant chapter in P. Craig and G. de
Burca, EU Law Text, Cases and Materials, mentioned
29. The ECJ has referred to a reasonable time period in
infringement cases only and strictly in cases where there
is a risk that the rights of the defence may be prejudiced.
See in this respect Case C-74/82 Commission v. Ireland.
30. See the abovementioned EPC Working Paper No. 25.
31. Case C-141/78, France v. UK.
Lora Borissova
2.3 Article 228 TEC
This provision concerns the second infringement
procedure (after the ECJ has delivered its first judg- ment
under Article 226). It gives the ECJ the possibility, provided
for by the Maastricht Treaty, to im- pose a lump sum
and/or a penalty payment to be paid by the Member State
which has not complied with its first judgment.32
The procedure to be followed is almost identical to the
Article 226 procedure. If the Commission learns (through
all possible means described in Part I, C) that the Member
State has failed to comply with the first judgment and
does not consider the Member States
response/observations satisfactory, it may start a new
infringement procedure. It may send another letter of
formal notice to the Member State in question, followed by
a reasoned opinion and, eventually, a reference to the ECJ.
The Treaty does not provide explicit criteria as regards the
determination of the penalty payment or lump sum. In
practice, the Commission proposes the amount of the
penalty, but the ECJ is not bound by this and has full
discretion to fix a specific amount to be paid by the
Member State. For the sake of legal certainty and to
increase transparency, the Commission issued three
Communications on the application of Article 228,33 in
which it clarifies the criteria used to calculate the penalty

payment; these criteria refer to the seriousness of the

infringement, to the consequences of the infringement as
far as general and in- dividual interests are concerned,
and to the duration of the infringement and the capacity
to pay of the Member State concerned.
The Commission Communication of December 2005,
which replaces the 1996 and 1997 Communi- cations,
clarifies the application of Article 228, following the
groundbreaking ECJ judgment of July 2005, Commission
versus France.34 While Article 226 of the Treaty stipulates
that the ECJ may impose a lump sum or penalty payment
(i.e. not stipulating the cumulative application of both), in
this case the ECJ decided to impose both a penalty
payment and a lump sum. It allows this possibility,
particularly in cases where the breach of Community law
obligations has both continued for a long period and is
likely to persist, which was the case here. In this respect,
the ECJ pointed out that if the competent authorities of a
Member State could systematically refrain from taking
action against the persons responsible for such
infringements, both the conservation and management of
fishery resources and the uniform appli- cation of the
common fisheries policy would be jeopardised.35
Therefore, since this judgment, the imposition of both
penalty payments and lump sums is to be ex- pected. A
penalty payment would have a persuasive function in
inducing compliance with Community law in the future.
Imposing a lump sum would have a dissuasive effect, to
address the illegal conduct in the past.
32. The first judgment in which the ECJ resorted to this
option and imposed a penalty payment was in Case C240/98 Commission v. Greece. The ECJ imposed a penalty
payment of 20,000 on Greece for each days delay in the
adoption of the measures necessary to comply with the
previous judgment in C-45/91.
33. The first Communication dates from 1996 (96/C
242/07), the second from 1997 (97/C 63/02) and the most
recent one from 2005 (2005/C 16/58).
34. Case C-304/02. For further information on this case,
also refer to the Commissions MEMO/05/482, Brussels, 14
December 2005.
35. Case C-304/02, ibid.

II. Article 228 TEC and its Application to New Member
According to the Commission White Paper on European
Governance of 2001,36 the application of Com- munity law
by Member States is still incomplete and unsatisfactory.
The Commission moreover encour- ages the use of new
harmonisation instruments such as mutual recognition and
the rule of the country of origin. It thus issued a
Communication37 that sets three priority criteria which
have to be used in deciding when to launch infringement
proceedings. These must reflect the seriousness of the
potential or known failure to comply with legislation and
are listed as follows: infringements which undermine the
founda- tions of the rule of law; those that undermine the
smooth functioning of the EUs legal system and, last but
not least, those consisting in the failure to transpose, or in
the incorrect transposition of directives.
Indeed, if the three abovementioned conditions are met,
proceedings will be launched by the Com- mission. Of
course, the Commission has full discretion and decides on
the length of each step of the pro- cedure. The regular two
months before, or sometimes even following, the sending
of the letter of formal notice or the issuing of the reasoned
opinion are very often extended to one year or more in
order to give the Member State enough time to resolve
the issue. While these efforts aim to avoid judicial
proceedings through cooperation between the
Commission, as guardian of the Treaties, and the Member
States, some Member States persistently try to
intentionally delay the pre-litigation phase of the
procedure by not re- plying to Commissions letters, by
providing the Commission with incomplete information or
by simply finding ways to extend the already cumbersome
The Member States that joined in May 2004 as well as
Bulgaria and Romania (EU members since 1 January 2007)
shall avoid taking deliberate advantage of the length of
the infringement proceedings in order to delay
transposition or correct implementation. Undoubtedly,
they are perfectly allowed to rely on various arguments to
justify their failure to comply with their Community

obligations. Nevertheless, they should be aware of the

ECJs consistent reluctance to accept State pleas on
different occasions, the result being that the current
number of arguments admitted as justification is quite
limited. An interesting question relates to the possibility
offered to Member States to submit defence elements
other than those presented in the administrative
procedure.38 This possibility, as mentioned earlier, is not
granted to the Commission, whose application will be
declared inadmissible if elements other than those
included in the reasoned opinion are raised before the ECJ.
It is very difficult to compile an exhaustive list of state
defences before the ECJ, but there are some re- current
arguments that can be briefly presented in this paper. For
instance, force majeure has often been invoked in relation
to domestic provisions, legislative practices or particular
circumstances (e.g. disso- lution of the Parliament39) but
has nearly always been rejected by the Court. An
exception where the
36. White Paper on European Governance, mentioned
37. See the abovementioned Communication, COM (2002)
725 final.
38. See, inter alia, Case C-414/97 Commission v. Spain.
Refer also to P. Craig and G. de Burca, EU Law Text, Cases
Materials, Oxford University Press, 2003, p. 425. 39. Case
C-144/97 Commission v. France.
Lora Borissova
latter plea was taken into consideration was the case of a
bomb attack in Italy, in which insurmountable difficulties
in complying with EC obligations were presented.40
However, any other domestic practices or circumstances
or the short transposition period would not be accepted by
the ECJ.
Another argument has often been put forward by most
Member States, trying to prove their goodwill and the
absence of the intention of wrongdoing. The ECJ has
repeatedly emphasised that infringement proceedings are
objective in nature. Hence, the Commission is not

required to submit evidence of in- ertia or conflict with EU

law, and the Member States do not have to reject
arguments to that effect. Thus, it does not matter whether
the failure to comply is deliberate or not, major or minor or
results from non- compliance with a Treaty provision or
secondary legislation instrument. In all the latter cases,
infringe- ment proceedings will result in a declaratory
judgment comprising an identical formula as mentioned
Several Member States have pleaded that the Community
measure on which the infringement pro- cedure is based
should be declared illegal. They have argued that the
illegality of the EC instrument jus- tifies their failure to act
and therefore Commissions applications to that end
before the ECJ should be rejected. On the one hand, the
ECJ has objected to the relevance of this argument by
referring to the pos- sibility of bringing a direct action for
annulment under Article 230 TEC. This provision imposes a
strict deadline for launching an application (2 months),
which is a very tight time limit, rendering the use of the
annulment procedure quite difficult. On the other hand,
there is the interesting possibility of relying on another
plausible action that has been accepted by the ECJ,
namely the plea of illegality under Article 242 TEC.42 In
that case, the Community measure is declared
inapplicable, but the ECJ has only allowed this possibility in
the case of regulations43 while rejecting it where
decisions and directives are con- cerned.44
In any event, the ECJ will always reject a defence to the
effect that other Member States are also infringing the law
(whether the specific breach concerns non-transposition,
lack of or incorrect imple- mentation). Two considerations
should be raised in this context. Firstly, EC law has
established a new legal system whereby EC provisions
create rights (and obligations) that individuals can enforce
directly before their national courts, which is not possible
under traditional international law.45 Individuals have also
been declared direct subjects of EC law, which is another
difference with the existing international legal system,
whose subjects are the Member States.
Another difference stemming from the above is the
application of the principle of reciprocity, which may be

accepted under international law but not under EC/EU law.

Member States cannot deny compli- ance with EC primary
or secondary law (with particular emphasis on another
important source of EC law, namely ECJ case law) by using
other Member States non-compliance as an argument.
Such an ap- plication of the principle of reciprocity might
not only affect their sovereign interests but also have an
adverse effect on individuals rights created by the
contested provision.
Secondly, as stated earlier, the Commission has full
discretion as to which Member State should be brought
before the ECJ. For instance, for the same failure to act the
Commission may institute infringe- ment proceedings
against one Member State while giving another Member
State more time to comply with the EC provisions. This will
depend on the persuasive and adequate efforts made by
the Member State to convince the Commission of their
willingness to adhere to all their Community obligations
quickly and in the most efficient way. Again, reference to
the principle of reciprocity will be irrelevant in a case
brought before the Court.
40. Case C-33/69 Commission v. Italy. For a further
analysis on this issue, refer to P. Craig and G. de Burca, EU
Law Text, Cases and Materials, Oxford University Press,
2003, mentioned above.
41. See above, I B 2.1.
42. See P. Craig and G. de Burca, EU Law Text, Cases and
Materials, Oxford University Press, 2003, mentioned
43. See Case C-258/89 Commission v. Spain.
44. See respective cases C-183/91 Commission v. Greece
and C-74/91 Commission v. Germany.
45. The ECJ established this in 1963 in the most
groundbreaking of its rulings, Case C-26/62 Van Gend en
Enforcement Actions under EU Law: The New Member
1. Administrative stage
The Copenhagen criteria of 1993 stipulate that all

obligations arising from the acquis should be met. In

practice, this means that upon accession the whole body
of EC/EU law should be incorporated. While this has been
one of the most decisive criteria for the accession of the
new Member States, meeting it has been quite difficult
and various transitional periods have been requested. The
Commission has given the Member States that joined in
2004 some time to comply with their Community
However, following the 2004 enlargement, the
Commission started infringement proceedings against
some Member States. Some relevant examples should be
mentioned at this point in order to un- derline the
Commissions main areas of concern as regards noncompliance with specific obligations. The list below is not
exhaustive but seeks to give an overview of the main
policy objectives to be achieved by the new Member
States. Thus, in July 2005, the Commission started
infringement proceed- ings against the Czech Republic46
for non-implementation of the 2001 Copyright Directive.
This Direc- tive is an essential benchmark in updating EU
copyright law and in providing an adequate level of
copyright protection for authors and other right-holders in
the digital environment. It had to be adopted before 22
December 2002 and the Commission therefore sent a
letter of formal notice to the Czech au- thorities requesting
them to provide exhaustive information on the ongoing
implementation of the Di- rective.47
Furthermore, the European Commission decided to
institute infringement proceedings against 13 Member
States for failure to transpose one or more of the eight
Internal Market Directives into national law.48 The
Commission sent reasoned opinions to some new Member
States the Czech Republic and Latvia for nontransposition of Directive 2002/87 on the supplementary
supervision of credit institu- tions, which is a priority
measure under the Financial Services Plan.49 The Czech
Republic also received another reasoned opinion for nontransposition of Directive 2001/24 on the reorganisation
and winding up of credit institutions.50 As long as this
Directive is not fully implemented by all Member States,
there will be a risk of conflicting jurisdictions, and equal

treatment of creditors in the different Member States will

not be guaranteed.
Last but not least, the Czech Republic was also sent a
reasoned opinion for non-communication of national
measures to transpose and implement Directive 2001/17
on the reorganisation and winding-up of insurance
undertakings.51 The Directive is designed to guarantee
the protection of policyholders in such instances and the
Czech Republic was required to implement the Directive
by the date of accession, 1 May 2004.
Estonia is another new Member State which received a
reasoned opinion, namely for non-transpo- sition of
Directive 2000/46 on the taking up, pursuit of and
prudential supervision of the activity of elec- tronic money
institutions.52 The Directive coordinates the conditions of
exercise of the business of electronic money institutions
and provides for a specific prudential supervisory regime
aimed at ensuring their financial integrity and sound
operation. It thus sets a level playing field for operators in
this area to the benefit of bearers of electronic money
issued throughout the EU.
The Commission also decided to send reasoned opinions
to Latvia and the Slovak Republic for non- communication
of national measures as regards Directive 98/84 (on the
legal protection of services based on, or consisting of,
conditional access the Conditional Access Directive).53
These two Member
46. For the sake of clarification, the actions mentioned
also concern some of the old Member States. However,
solely the new MS will be referred to.
47. See IP/05/921, Brussels, 13 July 2005.
48. See IP/05/1037, Brussels, 3 August 2005.
49. The reasoned opinion being, as already explained, the
last step before the Commission takes the Member States
to the ECJ.
50. See IP/05/1037, Brussels, 3 August 2005, mentioned
51. Idem.
52. Idem.
53. Idem.
Lora Borissova

States were to have communicated the national measures

by 1 May 2004, the date of their accession to the EU.
Reasoned opinions were sent to Cyprus, the Czech
Republic, Lithuania, Slovakia and Slovenia for not having
transposed Directive 2003/41 on the activities and
supervision of institutions for occupational retirement
provision into their national laws, or for having done so
only partially.54 The Directive should have been
transposed by all Member States by 23 September 2005.
Reasoned opinions were also sent to Cyprus, Estonia and
Malta regarding non-implementation of the Resale Right
Directive, which is intended to ensure that authors of
graphic art get a share of the profit made from the
successive sales of their original works of art by art
market professionals.55 The Directive was adopted in
2001 and Member States had until 1 January 2006 to
adopt national measures implement- ing it.
The Commission moreover sent reasoned opinions to
Latvia, Malta, Poland and Slovakia (and to some old
Member States) for non-implementation of Directive
2004/48 on the enforcement of intellec- tual and industrial
property rights.56 Furthermore, reasoned opinions were
sent to Estonia and Slovenia for the continued noncommunication of national measures transposing one or
more of the Public Pro- curement Directives. The deadline
for complying with the provisions of these Directives
expired on 31 January 2006.57
Concluding this brief overview of cases, a relevant
observation at this stage of the analysis is that the
internal market (encompassing the realisation of the four
fundamental freedoms), the successful im- plementation
of the main competition provisions and important social
policy considerations are still pri- orities, encouraging the
Commission to start early infringement proceedings in
order to foster compliance with Community law by new
Member States.
2. Judicial stage
This part concerns the final stage of the infringement
procedure and, as we will try to demonstrate, there are
not many cases involving new Member States that have
already been referred to the ECJ. Further- more, the cases
that have been referred are very recent and it is important

to emphasise the current ac- celeration in the

Commissions initiatives to refer new Member States to
the ECJ.58 This acceleration is perfectly justified and
furthers efforts made during the pre-litigation phase in
requesting the new Mem- ber States to speed up as well
as improve the quality of their compliance with obligations
arising from Community law.
The Czech Republic
The first case, in which the Commission referred the Czech
Republic to the ECJ, concerned the field of environment
and the protection of consumers. The action was brought
on 14 March 2006, requesting the Court to declare that by
not taking the legal and administrative measures
necessary to comply with Di- rective 2002/49/EC relating
to the assessment and management of environmental
noise, the Czech Re- public failed to fulfil its Community
The Commission also decided to refer the Czech Republic
to the ECJ over its partial communication of national
measures implementing Directives 78/686 and 93/16 on
the mutual recognition of the diplo- mas of doctors and
dentists respectively.60 The Directives apply both to
establishment and to the free- dom to provide services on
a temporary basis. To promote the freedom to provide
services by the professionals in question, provision has
been made for a simpler procedure than that required for
estab54. See IP/06/503, Brussels, 19 April 2006.
55. See IP/06/900, Brussels, 30 June 2006.
56. See IP/06/1354, Brussels, 12 October 2006.
57. Idem.
58. Indeed, only one case was brought before the ECJ in
2005 (Commission v. Estonia) and 13 actions were brought
in 2006 (4
against the Czech Republic, 2 against Estonia, 2 against
Malta, 3 against Poland and 2 against Slovakia). These
statistics are drawn from the ECJ 2006 Annual Report,
Luxembourg 2007. In addition, 2 cases were brought
against Malta in February 2007 and 1 case against
Hungary in January 2007 (see below).
59. See the action brought before the ECJ, Commission v.
Czech Republic, C-140/06.

60. See IP/06/14, Brussels, 10 January 2006, mentioned

Enforcement Actions under EU Law: The New Member
lishment. Indeed, the Czech Republic adopted various
measures to implement the above Directives and notified
the Commission accordingly, but none to promote the
temporary provision of services by pro- fessionals
established in other Member States. Both cases were
brought before the ECJ by the Commis- sion on 4 May
The latter are the two first actions which the Commission
brought against a new Member States that have proven
successful before the ECJ: in two very recent judgments, of
18 January 2007, the ECJ de- clared that the Czech
Republic failed to comply with its obligations arising from
the two abovemen- tioned Directives and consequently
the latter was condemned to pay the costs.
The fourth case, brought by the Commission on 30 January
2006 against the Czech Republic for non-implementation
of the 2001 Copyright Directive,62 was removed from the
Register following the compliance of the Czech authorities
with an order of the President of the Court.63
An action launched by the Commission bringing Estonia
before the ECJ concerns the failure to comply with the
obligations under Directive 2003/55 concerning common
rules for the internal market in natural gas by notifying
only in part the laws necessary to transpose it into
national law. Following the subse- quent compliance by the
Estonian authorities, the President of the Court issued an
order to remove this case from the Register. 64
In a parallel area, subject to further liberalisation, the
Commission adopted a reasoned opinion ad- dressed to
the Estonian authorities, following their failure to
transpose on time Directive 2002/39 on the further
opening to competition of Community postal services.65
While acknowledging that Estonia is taking active steps to
adopt appropriate national measures to transpose the
Directive, the Commission declares regretting the delay in
introducing national legislation; the period prescribed for

transposing the Directive into national law expired on 31

December 2002.
Indeed, reform of the postal sector is considered one of
the key elements of the Lisbon Strategy, aimed at
transforming the EU into the most knowledge-based and
competitive economy in the world. Following the
unsatisfactory reply from the Estonian authorities, the
Commission decided to refer Esto- nia to the ECJ further to
the lack of national transposition measures as regards
Directive 2002/39.66 The action was brought on 5 April
2006 and the Commission requested the ECJ to declare
that Estonia has failed to fulfil its obligations under this
Directive and to order Estonia to pay the costs.67
Another case brought by the Commission before the ECJ is
the action taken against Estonia on 22 September 2006.
The form of order sought is that the ECJ declares that
Estonia has failed to fulfil the obligation under Directive
2002/14 establishing a general framework for informing
and consulting em- ployees in the European Community to
notify all the laws, regulations and administrative
provisions nec- essary for transposition of the Directive.68
Hungary was referred to the ECJ on 29 January 2007. The
Commissions application seeks a declaration by the ECJ
that, by not adopting or not notifying the laws, regulations
or administrative provisions nec- essary to implement
Directive 2003/109 concerning the status of third-country
nationals who are long- term residents, Hungary has failed
to fulfil its obligations.69
It is interesting to point out that this case is the first
brought against a new Member State in the con- text of
the progressive establishment of a European Area of
Justice, Freedom and Security, which cur61. See two actions brought before the ECJ, Commission v.
Czech Republic, cases and judgments rendered on 18
January 2007, C-203/06 and C-204/06.
62. Previous administrative steps adopted by the
Commission as mentioned above, see footnote 46.
63. See the action brought before the ECJ, Commission v.
Czech Republic, C-46/06 and the order of the President of
the Court
of 28 September 2006.

64. See the action brought before the ECJ, Commission v.

Estonia, Case C-351/05 and the subsequent order of the
President of
the Court of 31 May 2006.
65. See IP/05/1037, Brussels, 3 August 2005, mentioned
66. See IP/06/14, Brussels, 10 January 2006.
67. See the action brought before the ECJ, Commission v.
Estonia, Case C-178/06.
68. See the action brought before the ECJ, Commission v.
Estonia, Case C-397/06.
69. See the action brought before the ECJ, Commission v.
Hungary, Case C-30/07.
Lora Borissova
rently is the most rapidly evolving area of EC/EU law. This
area covers various areas of the First Pillar (visas, asylum,
immigration and judicial cooperation in civil matters) and
Third Pillar (police and judi- cial cooperation in criminal
matters). While, as explained earlier, enforcement actions
are not possible in the framework of the Third Pillar, new
Community competencies provided for by Title IV of the
Trea- ty of Amsterdam allow the adoption of many legal
instruments, and non-compliance with the latter can give
rise to enforcement actions. In particular, the Directive in
question represents a major step in the development of
the common immigration policy.
It is plausible that other actions for non-compliance by
new Member States with instruments arising from Title IV
TEC will follow because of the rapidly evolving acquis in
this area, the complexity of the latter and the sensitivity of
some of the issues tackled. It is important to bear in mind
that the new Mem- ber States do not have the possibility
to derogate from provisions in this area, unlike some old
Member States (Denmark, the UK and Ireland).
The Commission decided to refer Latvia to the ECJ for noncommunication of national measures trans- posing
Directive 2002/87 on the supplementary supervision of
credit institutions, insurance undertakings and investment
firms in a financial conglomerate.70 Once properly
implemented by all Member State, the Directive will

benefit consumers, depositors and investors in the EU by

stimulating financial market efficiency and increasing
competition. The transposition period expired on 11
August 2004. Latvia has transposed the main legal texts
but has not yet adopted the required implementing
measures and was sent a reasoned opinion in July 2005.
The Commission has not yet referred this case to the ECJ.
Another recent example concerns the announced referral
of Malta to the ECJ for not having transposed the
Insurance Mediation Directive 2002/92 into its national
law.71 This Directive should have been trans- posed by 15
January 2005 and is part of the Financial Services Action
Plan. Malta has communicated some national measures
but has indicated that further national legislation is
needed. The Commission has not yet referred this case to
the ECJ.
Another interesting example in the area of the
environment (which will certainly give rise to more new
Member States being referred to the ECJ in the future) is
the referral of Malta by the Commission to the ECJ on 10
March 2006 for non-compliance with the obligations
arising from Directive 2002/96 on waste electrical and
electronic equipment.72 The action brought by the
Commission against Malta on 14 December 2006
concerned the latters failure to comply with its obligations
under Article 11 of Di- rective 96/59 as read in conjunction
with Article 54 of the 2003 Act of Accession.73
Two new cases were brought against Malta on 13 and 15
February 2007 respectively whereby the Commission
asked the Court to declare that, by not adopting or not
notifying the laws, regulations or administrative provisions
necessary to comply with Directive 2003/110 (on
assistance in cases of transit for the purposes of removal
by air) and Directive 2003/86 (on the right to family
reunification), Malta has failed to fulfil its obligations.74
The two cases concern instruments falling under Title IV
TEC and, as explained earlier in the context of the first
case against Hungary, the two Directives in question represent important steps in the development of the common
asylum and immigration policy. The above- mentioned
considerations would therefore also apply in these cases.

Poland was taken to the ECJ by the Commission for failure
to comply with its obligations in the area of freedom of
establishment. An action was brought on 16 October 2006
for non-compliance with Directive 74/556 laying down
detailed provisions concerning transitional measures
relating to activities, trade in and distribution of toxic
products and activities entailing the professional use of
such products including activities of intermediaries.75 A
parallel case in the same area was brought on the same
day for Polands
70. See IP/06/503, Brussels, 19 April 2006, mentioned
71. Ibid.
72. See the action brought before the ECJ, Commission v.
Malta, Case C-136/06.
73. See the action brought before the ECJ, Commission v.
Malta, Case C-508/06.
74. See the actions brought before the ECJ, Commission v.
Malta, respective Cases C-79/07 and C- 87/07.
Enforcement Actions under EU Law: The New Member
failure to comply with Council Directive 74/557/EEC on the
freedom of establishment and freedom to provide services
in respect of activities of self-employed persons and of
intermediaries engaging in the trade and distribution of
toxic products.76
Last but not least, an action was brought by the
Commission against Poland on 11 October 2006 regarding industrial policy. The Commission has requested
the ECJ to recognise that by not ensuring actual
availability of at least one comprehensive directory and
one comprehensive directory enquiry service in
accordance with the requirements set out in Article 5(1)
and (2) and Article 25(1) and (3) of Directive 2002/22/EC
on universal service and users rights relating to electronic
communications networks and services, Poland has failed
to fulfil its obligations.77
Slovakia was also brought before the ECJ in 2006, on two
occasions. The first action was brought by the Commission

on 6 February 2006 for failure to transpose or notify

national measures necessary to comply with Directive
76/914 on the minimum level of training for some road
transport drivers. Following Slo- vakias subsequent
compliance, the President of the Court issued an order to
remove this case from the Register.78
The second action against Slovakia was referred to the ECJ
on 27 February 2006 for non-compliance with Directive
96/48 on the interoperability of the trans-European highspeed rail system. A judgment was rendered on 8
February 2007, in which the Court declared that Slovakia
failed to fulfil its obligations under this Directive. 79
Following the reasoned opinion sent to Slovenia in April
2006, as mentioned earlier, to which Slovenia has not
replied, the Commission stated its intention to refer
Slovenia to the ECJ for not having transposed Directive
2003/41 on the activities and supervision of institutions for
occupational retirement provision into its national law.80
The Commission has not yet referred this case to the ECJ.
So far, the Commission has not referred four of the ten
new Member States that joined in 2004 to the ECJ:
Cyprus,81 Latvia,82 Lithuania and Slovenia.83 However,
the latter Member States have to rap- idly ensure full
compliance with their Community obligations, mainly in
areas where an infringement procedure has already been
started against them through letters of formal notice or
reasoned opinions in the pre-litigation phase (see previous
chapter). Last but not least, it should be underlined that a
number of cases have been removed from the Register of
the ECJ, following the subsequent compliance by the
Member States in question (see above). Such orders are
issued by the Courts President, upon the recommendation of the Commission, which in such cases
normally requests that Member States are con- demned to
pay the costs.
75. See the action brought before the ECJ, Commission v.
Poland, Case C-423/06.
76. See the action brought before the ECJ, Commission v.
Poland, Case C-422/06.
77. See the action brought before the ECJ, Commission v.
Poland, Case C-416/06.

78. See the action brought before the ECJ, Commission v.

the Slovak Republic, Case C-69/06 and the subsequent
order of the
President of the Court of 23 February 2007.
79. See the action brought before the ECJ, Commission v.
the Slovak Republic, Case C-114/06 and the subsequent
judgment of
the Eighth Chamber of the Court.
80. See IP/06/900, Brussels, 30 June 2006.
81. It is interesting to note two applications by Cyprus
against the Commission in the area of agriculture.
82. Despite footnote 69, see above.
83. Despite footnote 79, see above.
Among the tasks entrusted to the Commission under
Article 211 TEC is that of ensuring the proper and uniform
application of Community law. According to this provision,
the Commission can start infringe- ment proceedings
against Member States that fail to comply with obligations
arising from various Com- munity instruments. The
procedure comprises two phases an administrative
phase (encompassing pre- 226 letters, letters of formal
notice and reasoned opinions) and a judicial phase. The
latter starts when the Commission brings the Member
State before the ECJ, which may or may not declare that
the Member State has failed to comply with requirements
stipulated in the instrument in question.
Since the enlargement in 2004 to eight countries from
Central and Eastern Europe as well as Cyprus and Malta,
and that of 2007 to Bulgaria and Romania, the
Commission has taken a further stance in guar- anteeing
the successful implementation of Community law by these
new Member States. Several in- fringement proceedings
have recently been launched, with a first judgment of the
ECJ delivered on 18 January 2007. The new Member States
(including those that acceded most recently, Bulgaria and
Roma- nia) as well as the candidate countries that seek
membership are required to make further major efforts
and to demonstrate sound and intelligent policy making in
order to ensure full compliance with the ac- quis. The
latter is absolutely necessary, though admittedly the

rapidly evolving and increasingly complex Community law

does not make it easy. This constitutes an, in my view,
unique opportunity to make a success of the fifth
enlargement and to aspire to a prosperous enlarged

Mr. Charlie McCreevy

European Commissioner for Internal Market and Services
Derivatives and Risk Allocation
Brussels, 24 September
EU Committee Business Dinner with Mr. Charlie McCreevy,
European Commisioner for the Internal Market & Services

Internal Market and Services, Mr Charlie McCreevy and

his Deputy ... Committee of European Securities


EU-China Roundtable on Financial Services and Regulation ...

Mr. Charlie McCreevy, Commissioner of European
Commission DG Internal Market and Services Mr. Liu


advanced capital adequacy framework and market risk. The
European Commission ... States of the European Union

Ladies and Gentlemen,
I'm very pleased to welcome you here today, one year and 9 days
after the collapse of Lehman sent its shockwaves through the
economy. Even though AIG was bailed out the day after, it could not
prevent the collapse of the interbank market. More bad news
followed by the day. Our economies went deep into recession.
Government interventions followed building up enormous liabilities
for taxpayers.


Now, thanks to these interventions, the economic forecasts show

that there's some light on the horizon. So we have not come here
for our last meal. This is not going to be a light meal either, because
we're here to talk about "weapons of mass destruction", as
derivatives have come to be known.
The idea of a derivative writing a contract for a simple transfer of
risk is centuries old. But since the last (and much smaller)
financial crisis, the burst of the IT-dotcom bubble almost 10 years
ago, their use has exploded ironically because information
technology has allowed for ever-more complex risk modelling. So in
a way derivatives are the ultimate financial innovation. Designing
proper regulation is far more intricate than one would expect for a
centuries-old idea.
Some like it simple though: Just "freeze the OTC derivatives
market" (I'm quoting George Soros here). Behind this is perhaps
the conjecture that, instead of transferring risk, OTC derivatives
have become the tool for the financial world to just conceal risks.
But on the other hand, many companies have come to love and
need derivatives. And they are expressing their worries that a
rigorous approach would make their hedging more expensive and
thus expose them to more risk.
When the crisis started, neither the market nor supervisors knew
who was bearing what risk in the economy. But now, it has become
obvious: It's the taxpayer.
And that is certainly not right. So we are here today to find ways to
ensure that derivatives can allocate the risks in the economy better.
In July, we presented preliminary views on this.
Based on our current thinking and the US proposals of August, I'll
try to sketch what seems to have broadly emerged as the
"transatlantic consensus" on this:
1 Standardised over-the-counter (OTC) products should be cleared
as far as possible by central clearinghouses.
Central data repositories should enable supervisors to get a
complete overview of where the risks are in the system.
For those segments of the market that may not fit CCP clearing
because they are too bespoke, bilateral clearing should be tightened
and made more secure.
The route to get there has still to be worked out. You have seen our
consultation paper. We have received a hundred or so responses
which we have analysed. But before we draw any operational
conclusions, I would like to use tonight's discussion and tomorrow's
conference to get the views of regulators, academics and industry
on a number of issues.
The first issue is central clearing: At the end of July, two European
central clearing counterparties (CCPs) (ICE Europe and Eurex)
began clearing credit default swaps (CDSs) in the EU. This is the
outcome of a significant industry effort admittedly with a good

push from us and other regulators. There is a consensus that we

should expand the use of CCPs beyond this.
The question is how to do this: Should we provide incentives, for
example through regulatory capital, or should we mandate the use
of CCPs? How can we ensure smaller banks and companies use
CCPs broadly? How should CCPs be regulated and supervised in the
single market bearing in mind their systemic relevance? I am
concerned that the process of authorising the two CCPs which clear
CDSs in Europe has not been entirely frictionless.
The second issue we want to discuss are central data repositories:
The market is in the process of setting up such repositories.
Although no fiscal responsibility is involved, some issues here are
similar to the ones related to CCPs: Should the use of repositories
be incentivised or mandated by law? How do we ensure data
quality? Who supervises these repositories? How do we ensure
equal access of supervisors to the data stored in those repositories?
A third area we need to examine is what to do about bilateral
clearing: CCP-clearing can only cover a subset of the market. Some
derivatives are too bespoke to be centrally cleared. If we incentivise
the use of CCPs that implies in turn that we will make bilateral
clearing more costly. Or more bluntly: Bilateral clearing will reflect
better the social cost of counterparty risk, which is now partly borne
by the taxpayer. One approach might be stricter collateral
requirements. We could also think about raising the regulatory
capital cost for bilaterally-cleared products.
A fourth concern I have is how to incentivise standardisation
without stifling innovation: Let me be clear. I think the level of
standardisation, particularly when it comes to some procedural
aspects, is unacceptable. The level of electronic confirmation of
trades is "so last century". More 1920s that 1990s So how do we
bring this industry into the 21st century? I could think of setting
clear targets with precise deadlines and working with industry on
how to implement those targets. But maybe others have other
A fifth issue for discussion: Do we need to impose certain
requirements for the trading of derivatives? The US seems to be
going that route. We shall follow their discussions very closely. What
seems certain is that there will have to be much more transparency
in the reporting of trades.
Finally another topic on which I would welcome views: Are there
any products which are so toxic that they should be banned? Some
seem to advocate that. While I certainly think there have been
excesses, I am not sure whether banning products is the answer.
But I am convinced this is a discussion which needs to take place.
Tonight we have academics, representatives from the industry,
some of which have been in the derivatives business from the
beginning (though not for centuries!) and key regulators. Gertrude

Tumpel-Gugerell and Jochen Sanio will share their views with us

Although there are representatives from the press this will be a
discussion under Chatham House rules. So I invite you all to be
open and frank.
I'm particularly happy that my colleagues from the US were able to
make the long journey. If there is one issue in financial services
where we need convergent solutions this is it. And in the coming
months I expect us to talk to each other and agree on such
solutions. So let me welcome and give the floor to Gary Gensler,
who I am sure will help broaden the "transatlantic consensus".

The EUs Democratic Deficit

and Repeated Referendums
in Ireland
May 31st 2012

This analysis tackles the question of whether the

democratic deficit in the European Union is associated
with repeated referendumsgiving voters a second
chance to vote yes for EU treaties. Looking at
repeated referendums in Ireland on the Nice and
Lisbon treaties, I argue that, broadly speaking, these
referendums failed to give Irish voters the meaningful
ability to contest the direction of EU policy or to choose
among alternative policy options, an example of how
the democratic deficit can endure even when the EU
incorporates electoral mechanisms. I first discuss how
this theoretical insight is evidenced by five aspects of
the Irish referendums. Then, I examine three of these
aspects more closely in case studies of the Nice and
Lisbon referendums, focusing on how leaders (1)
conceptualized the failure of the initial referendums as
deriving from voter incomprehension, (2) planned
repeated referendums in an additional effort to ratify
the treaties, and (3) mobilized yes voters through
extreme predictions about the consequences of second

no outcomes. I conclude by discussing socioeconomic trends seen from 2003 to 2014 and their
implications for issues related to the EUs democratic






Albi, A. (2005). EU enlargement and the

constitutions of Central and Eastern Europe.
Cambridge: Cambridge University
Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Aman, A. (2004). The democracy deficit: Taming
globalization through law reform. New York: New
York University.Google Scholar
Armingeon, K., & Baccaro, L. (2012). Political
economy of the sovereign debt crisis: The limits of
internal devaluation. Industrial Law Journal, 41(3),
254275.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Attitudes and behaviours of the Irish electorate in
the referendum on the Treaty of Nice. (2001). Dublin,
Ireland: European Commission.
Azman, K. D. (2011). The problem of the
'democratic deficit' in the European Union.
International Journal of Humanities and Social
Science, 1(5), 242250.Google Scholar
Barrett, G. (2008). The consequences of no: An
examination of possible responses to the Irish
referendum on 12 June 2008 concerning the Treaty of
Lisbon. Social Science Research Network. Retrieved
January 4, 2014, from
Barrett, A., & Bergin, A. (2009). Estimating the
impact of immigration in Ireland. Nordic Journal of
Political Economy, 35(2), 114.Google Scholar
Barroso, J. (2008). The Treaty of Lisbon and the








future of the European Union. Presented at the Italian

Senate, Rome, Italy. Retrieved January 10, 2014, from
Bellamy, R., & Castiglione, D. (2003).
Legitimizing the Euro-polity and its regime. European
Journal of Political Theory, 2(1), 734.CrossRefGoogle
Boucher, S. (2009). If citizens have a voice, whos
listening? Lessons from recent citizen consultation
experiments for the European Union (No. 24). Brussel,
Belgium: Centre for European Policy Studies.
Retrieved January 26, 2014, from
Bruter, M. (2012). The difficult emergence of a
European people. In J. Hayward & R. Wurzel (Eds.),
European Disunion: Between Sovereignty and
Solidarity (pp. 1731). London: Palgrave
Macmillan.Google Scholar
Butler, D., & Ranney, A. (1978). Referendums: A
comparative study of practice and theory.
Washington DC: American Enterprise Institute for
Public Policy Research.Google Scholar
Cable 02ROME3313_a. (2002). Wikileaks.
Retrieved January 1, 2014, from
Cable 08Dublin433, Sarkozy in Dublin. (2010).
Wikileaks. Retrieved April 2, 2013, from
Caporaso, J., & Tarrow, S. (2008). Polanyi in
Brussels: European institutions and the embedding of
markets in society. RECON Online Working Paper






2008/01. Retrieved June 23, 2013, from

Carson, L., & Martin, B. (1999). Random selection
in politics. Westport: Praeger Publishers.Google
Cendrowicz, L. (2009). Irish ayes on Lisbon
Treaty have Europe smiling. Time. Retrieved on
January 1, 2014, from
Chomsky, N. (2002). Media control (2nd ed.).
New York: Seven Stories Press.Google Scholar
Clancy, P. (2009). Irish celebs line up behind yes
campaign for Lisbon Treaty. Irish Central. Retrieved
April 25, 2014, from
Closa, C. (2007). Why convene referendums?
Explaining choices in EU constitutional politics.
Journal of European Public Policy, 14(8), 1311
1332.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Coughlan, A. (1999). Why protest against the
Euro. Aisling Magazine. Retrieved April 26, 2014, from
Cronin, T. E. (2001). Direct democracy: The
politics of initiative, referendum, and recall.
Bridgewater: Replica Books.Google Scholar
Crotty v. AnTaoiseach. (1987). Dublin, Ireland:
Irish Supreme Court.
Crum, B. (2013). Saving the Euro at the cost of
democracy. Journal of Common Market Studies, 51(4),
614630.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
de Bruyn, M. (2012). The Irish referendums on
the Lisbon Treaty: Did the recession save Lisbon?







Journal of Contemporary European Studies, 20(1),

91101.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
de Brca, G. (2011). If at first you dont succeed:
Vote, vote again: Analyzing the second referendum.
Fordham International Law Journal, 33(5), 1472
1489.Google Scholar
Deloy, C. (2009). Referendum on the Lisbon
Treaty in Ireland. Robert Schuman Foundation.
Retrieved January 9, 2014, from http://www.robertschuman.eu/en/eem/0987-referendum-on-the-lisbontreaty-in-ireland-a-round-up-one-week-before-thevote.
Democratic deficit. (2013). European
Commission. Retrieved April 15, 2013, from
Di Mauro, D., & Fraile, M. (2012). Who wants
more? Attitudes towards EU enlargement in time of
crisis. Fiesole: EUDO Public Opinion.Google Scholar
Dutch say devastating no to EU constitution.
(2005). The Guardian. Retrieved December 14, 2013,
Eisenhardt, K. M. (1989). Building Theories from
Case Study Research. Academy of Management
Review, 14(4), 532550.Google Scholar
Elkink, J., Quinlan, S., & Sinnott, R. (2011).
Voting behavior in the 2009 Irish referendum on the
Lisbon Treaty. Dublin: UCD Dublin European
Institute.Google Scholar
EU Commissioner David Byrne speaks out on
Treaty of Nice. (2001). European Commission.
Retrieved April 20, 2013, from








EU constitution. (2005). The Guardian. Retrieved

December 14, 2014, from
European Commission. (2009). Lisbon Treaty
Post-Referendum Survey, Ireland 2009. Brussels,
European governance: A white paper. (2002).
Dublin, Ireland: Dublin Regional Authority. Retrieved
April 21, 2014, from
European Union Commission. (2005). The
European Constitution: Post-referendum survey in
France. Brussels, Belgium.
European Union Commission. (2005). The
European Constitution: Post-referendum survey in
the Netherlands. Brussels, Belgium. Retrieved April 27,
2014, from
FitzGibbon, J. (2010). Referendum briefing: The
second referendum on the Treaty of Lisbon in Ireland,
2 October 2009. Representation, 46(2), 227
239.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
FitzGibbons, J. (2009). Sussex European
Institute. Retrieved June 3, 2013, from
Follesdal, A., & Hix, S. (2006). Why there is a
democratic deficit in the EU: A response to Majone and
Moravcsik. Journal of Common Market Studies, 44(3),
533562.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Garry, J. (2013). Direct democracy and regional
integration: Citizens perceptions of treaty implications
and the Irish reversal on Lisbon. European Journal of







Political Research, 52(1), 94118.CrossRefGoogle

Garry, J., Marsh, M., & Sinnott, R. (2005).
Second-order versus issue-voting effects in EU
referendums: Evidence from the Irish Nice Treaty
Referendums. European Union Politics, 6(2), 201
221.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
General Election of Friday 6 June 1997. (2013).
Elections Ireland. Retrieved December 30, 2013, from
Gilland, K. (2002). Referendum briefing no 1
Irelands second referendum on the Treaty of Nice.
Brighton: Opposing Europe Research Network.Google
Graziosi, G. R. (2006). Economic integration and
political fragmentation. Federal Reserve Bank of St.
Louis. Retrieved March 21, 2013, from
Hadjar, A., & Beck, M. (2010). Who does not
participate in elections in Europe and why. European
Societies, 12(4), 521542.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Haller, M. (2009). Is the European Union
legitimate? To what extent? International Social
Science Journal, 60(196), 223234.CrossRefGoogle
Hitchcock, G., & Hughes, D. (1995). Research and
the teacher. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
Hix, S. (2008). What's wrong with the European
Union and how to fix it. Cambridge: Polity
Press.Google Scholar
Hughes, D. (2008). EU mulls options after Irish
no vote. BBC News. Retrieved June 2, 2013, from
International migration outlook. (2010). Paris,
France: Organisation for Economic Co-operation and





Development (OECD).
Ireland rejects EU expansion. (2001). BBC News.
Retrieved May 31, 2013, from
Ireland rejects EU reform treaty. (2008). BBC
News. Retrieved June 1, 2013, from
Irish declaration. (2009). EUABC. Retrieved April
2, 2013, from http://en.euabc.com/word/2176.
Jensen, T. (2009). The democratic deficit of the
European Union. Living Reviews in Democracy, 1, 1
8.Google Scholar
Kaniovski, S., & Mueller, D. (2011). How
representative is the European Union Parliament.
European Journal of Political Economy, 27(1), 61
74.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Karp, J. A., & Banducci, S. A. (2008). Political
efficacy and participation in twenty-seven
democracies: How electoral systems shape political
behaviour. British Journal of Political Science, 38(2),
311334.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Keohane, D. (2002). EU enlargement depends on
Ireland. London: Centre for European Reform.Google
Kirk, L. (2001). Irish political leaders call on yes to
Nice Treaty. EU Observer. Retrieved December 30,
2013, from http://euobserver.com/news/2532.
Klling, M. (2013). The Constitution: Ratification.
The European Constitution, CIDEL. Retrieved January
21, 2014, from
Laffan, B. (2002). The Nice Treaty: The Irish vote.
Grinnell College. Retrieved December 2, 2012, from






Leddin, A. (2012). Internal devaluation fails to
have desired effect on prices and growth. The Irish
Times. Retrieved April 3, 2014, from
Left, S. (2002). The issue explained: The Treaty of
Nice. The Guardian. Retrieved January 20, 2014, from
Lippmann, W. (1927). The phantom public.
Piscataway: Transaction Publishers.Google Scholar
Lisbon Treaty referendum survey, Ireland 2009
analytical report. (2009). Brussels, Belgium:
European Commission.
Lisbon Treaty: Europe holds breath over Irish
referendum vote. (2009). The Telegraph.
Lyall, S., & Castle, S. (2008). Ireland derails a bid
to recast Europes rules. The New York Times.
Retrieved April 28, 2014, from
Maatsch, S. (2007). The struggle to control
meanings: The French debate on the European
Constitution in the mass media. Perspectives on
European Politics and Society, 8(3), 261
280.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Majone, G. (1996). Regulating Europe. London:
Routledge.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Majone, G. (1998). Europe's democratic deficit.
European Law Journal, 4(1), 528.CrossRefGoogle
Majone, G. (2002). The European Commission:
The limits of centralization and the perils of
parliamentarization. Governance, 15(3), 375392.
Martin, M. (2009). 28th Amendment of the







Constitution (Treaty of Lisbon) Bill. Presented at the

Ministry for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Dublin,
Ireland. Retrieved April 28, 2014, from
McCreevy, C. (2009). Voting no would be a
gamble too far. Presented at the Eversheds ODonnell
Sweeney Annual Corporate Seminar, Dublin, Ireland.
Retrieved January 2, 2014, from
McCreevy, C. (2002). 4 September 2002 speech
by the Minister for Finance. Presented at the Irish
Ministry of Finance, Dublin, Ireland. Retrieved April
28, 2014, from
McDonald, H. (2008). Irelands referendum on
the EU reform treaty. The Guardian. Retrieved April
26, 2014, from
McDonald, H., & Pidd, H. (2009). Irish go to polls
to decide fate of Lisbon Treaty. The Guardian.
Retrieved January 17, 2014, from
McDonald, H., & Stratton, A. (2008). Irish voters
reject EU treaty. The Guardian. Retrieved January 17,
2014, from
McKenna v. An Taoiseach. (1995). Supreme
Court of Ireland. Retrieved June 2, 2013, from





Menon, A., & Weatherill, S. (2008). Transnational
legitimacy in a globalising world. West European
Politics, 31(3), 397416.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Milev, M. (2004). A 'democratic deficit' in the
European Union? (M.A. dissertation in Advanced
European and International Studies, Centre
International de Formation Europeenee).
Miller, V. (2009). The Treaty of Lisbon after the
second Irish referendum. London: House of
Commons.Google Scholar
Mintoff's off to Dublin to monitor Nice Treaty
referendum. (2002). Malta Today.
Moravcsik, A. (2002). In defence of the
democratic deficit: Reassessing legitimacy in the
European Union. Journal of Common Market Studies,
40(4), 603624.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Murphy, E. (2002). The Nice Treaty and the Irish
referendum: What values are at stake? Studies: An
Irish Quarterly Review, 91(362), 114124.Google
Neuger, J. G., & O'Brien, F. (2008). EU faces
gridlock after Ireland rejects Lisbon Treaty.
Bloomberg Weekly.
Nohlen, D., & Stver, P. (2010). Elections in
Europe: A data handbook. Berlin: Nomos
Publishers.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Norris, P. (2011). Democratic deficit: Critical
citizens revisited. Cambridge: Cambridge University
Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
OMahony, J. (2001). Not so nice: The Treaty of
Nice, the International Criminal Court, the abolition of
the death penalty - the 2001 Referendum Experience.
Irish Political Studies, 16(1), 201213.CrossRefGoogle








OMahony, J. (2010). Irelands EU referendum
experience. In K. Hayward & M. C. Murphy (Eds.), The
Europeanization of Party Politics in Ireland, North
and South. New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
ONeill, B. (2002). A not-so Nice referendum
(2002). Spiked-Online. Retrieved April 14, 2013, from
O'Brennan, J. (2004). EU enlargement as a
factor in Irelands Nice Treaty referendum. Ankara,
Turkey: Center for Strategic Research.
O'Brennan, J. (2005). The national forum on
Europe. In M. Holmes (Ed.), Ireland and the
European Union: Nice, enlargement and the future of
Europe (pp. 114132). Manchester: Manchester
University Press.Google Scholar
Olsen, E. D. H., & Trenz, H. J. (2010).
Deliberative polling: A cure to the democratic deficit
of the EU? Oslo, Norway: ARENA Centre for European
Ophir, A. (2013). The politics of catastrophization.
Research Architecture: A Laboratory for Critical
Spaces and Practice. Retrieved April 14, 2013, from
Peterson, J., & Shackleton, M. (2006). The EU
institutions: An overview. In J. Peterson & M.
Shackleton (Eds.), The Institutions of the European
Union (pp. 120). Oxford: Oxford University
Press.Google Scholar
Post-referendum survey in Ireland. (2008).
Brussels, Belgium: European Commission.
Population and migration estimates. (2013).
Central Statistics Office. Retrieved January 4, 2014,






Quinlan, S. (2009). The Lisbon Treaty referendum
2008. Irish Political Studies, 24(1), 107
121.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Quinlan, S. (2012). The Lisbon experience in
Ireland: No in 2008 but yes in 2009 - how and why?
Irish Political Studies, 27(1), 139153.CrossRefGoogle
Qvortrup, M. (2002). A comparative study of
referendums: Government by the people. Manchester:
Manchester University Press.Google Scholar
Qvortrup, M. (2009). Rebels without a cause? The
Irish referendum on the Lisbon Treaty. Political
Quarterly, 80(1), 5966.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Raunio, T. (1999). Always One Step Behind?
National Legislatures and the European Union.
Government and Opposition, 34(2), 180202.
Roberts, M., & Kington, T. (2012). European
strikes: Who is protesting and why? The Guardian.
Retrieved January 2, 2014, from
Ruparel, R. (2013). Can struggling Eurozone
countries achieve the necessary 'internal devaluation'-and at what political cost? Open Europe. Retrieved
April 3, 2013, from
Schmidt, V. A. (2009). Re-envisioning the
European Union: Identity, democracy, and economy.
Journal of Common Market Studies, 47(s1), 17
42.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Schmidt, V. A. (2013a). Democracy and legitimacy
in the European Union revisited: Input, output, and
throughput. Political Studies, 61(1), 2








22.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Schmidt, V. A. (2013b). The Eurozone crisis: A
crisis of politics, not just economics. The International
Spectator, 48(3), 16.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Serricchio, F., Tsakatika, M., & Quaglia, L. (2013).
Euroscepticism and the global financial crisis. Journal
of Common Market Studies, 51(1), 51
64.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Sinnott, R. (2003). Attitudes and behaviour of the
Irish electorate in the second referendum on the
Treaty of Nice. Brussels: EOS Gallup Europe.Google
Sinnott, R., & Elkink, J. (2010). Attitudes and
behaviour in the second referendum on the Treaty of
Lisbon 2009. Dublin: UCD Geary Institute.Google
Speech by Ambassador John Bruton to the
Oireachtas sub-committee on Irelands future in the
European Union. (2008). Office of the Oireachtas.
Retrieved April 29, 2013, from
Statement by Bertie Ahern following the rejection
in the Irish referendum of the Treaty of Nice. (2001).
Office of the Taoiseach. Retrieved April 15, 2013, from
Statement by Minister Cowen on the outcome of
the Nice referendum, 12/06/2001. (2006).
Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. Retrieved
April 14, 2013, from
Stephan, L. (2011). Framing the referendum
question: How actors framed the referendums on the
Lisbon Treaty in Ireland. Masters in European
Studies. Enschede: University of Twente.Google









Suine, K., & Svensson, P. (1993). The Danes and
the Maastricht treaty: The Danish EU referendum of
June 1992. Electoral Studies, 12(2), 99
111.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Sweeney, D. R. (2003). The two referenda on
Nice, the security debate in Ireland, and the limits of
Europeanization. Unpublished manuscript.
Tnaistes speech on the Twenty-eighth
Amendment of the Constitution. (2008). Irish
Ministry of Finance. Retrieved April 21, 2013, from
The Treaty of Lisbon: Introduction. (2010).
European Union. Retrieved April 3, 2014, from
Tierney, S. (2012). Constitutional referendums:
The theory and practice of republican deliberation.
Oxford: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle
Tonra, B. (2006). Ireland: A tale of two referenda.
In F. Laursen (Ed.), The Treaty of Nice: Actor
Preferences, Bargaining and Institutional Choice (pp.
179197). Leiden: Martinus Nijhoff Publishers.Google
Toshkov, D. (2011). Public opinion and policy
output in the European Union: A lost relationship.
European Union Politics, 12(2), 169
191.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Toynbee, P. (2002). End of the Irish affair. The
Guardian. Retrieved January 15, 2014, from
Uncharted territory after no vote. (2008). RTE
Ireland. Retrieved April 1, 2014, from







Vucheva, E. (2008). Brussels call for Lisbon
Treaty ratification to continue. EU Observer. Retrieved
April 28, 2014, from
Walker, M. (2003). The strategic use of
referendums: Power, legitimacy, and democracy.
New York: Palgrave Macmillan.CrossRefGoogle
Wallstrm, M. (2008). Irelands future in the
European Union. Presented at the Opening remarks at
the Oireachtas Sub-Committee, Dublin, Ireland.
Retrieved January 5, 2014, from
Watching the Irish vote on Lisbon. (2009). The
Waterfield, B. (2008). Not in front of the children.
The Telegraph. Retrieved April 15, 2014, from
Wisniewski, E. (2013). The influence of the
European Parliament on the European external action
service. European Foreign Affairs Review, 18(1), 81
101.Google Scholar
Yin, R. (2002). Case study research: Design and
methods. New York: Sage Publications.Google Scholar
Youngs, R. (2013). The EU beyond the crisis:
The unavoidable challenge of legitimacy. Carnegie
Endowment for International Peace. Retrieved
January 28, 2014, from

Irish Water regulator

splashes out 340,000 in
staff bonuses
Payments up 15% despite Commission for Energy
Regulation falling into the red
December 27, 16

Gordon Deegan

The Commission for Energy Regulation incurred a loss of 535,000 for the
year. Photographs: Getty Images/The Irish Times

The agency that regulates Irish Water last year

increased its bonus payments to staff by 15 per cent.
According to the 2015 annual report published by the
Commission for Energy Regulation (CER), bonus
payments to staff last year totalled 342,656.
This compares to 297,720 paid out in 2014, and
273,798 in 2013.
Over the past seven years, the CER has paid out almost
1.9 million in bonuses to staff in a scheme that has
approval from the Department of Public Expenditure
and Reform along with the Department of
Communications, Energy and Natural Resources.
Numbers employed by the energy regulator last year
declined from 87 to 86 but staff costs increased from
6 million to 6.5 million.
This included termination payments for two staff

Why we must collect unpaid water charges

Be wary of constitutional ban on water network
Taoiseach says water service must be paid for as
water not free

Problem solved... or is it? Simon Coveney and Paul Murphy on


Drop in revenue
The increase in bonus payments comes despite the
CER going into the red as revenues from levy fees
dropped sharply.
The report shows that CER incurred a loss of 535,000
for the year after the regulator enjoyed a surplus of
5.9 million in 2014.
The chief factor was the amount received in income
mainly levy fees declining from 20.8 million to
16.3 million.
The CER is responsible for setting prices for semi-State
companies, such as Bord Gis and Irish Water. Earlier
this month, it told Irish Water to slash its planned
spend by 264 million over the next two years.
Referring to the bonus pay model previously, CER
stated that its staff are specialist and highly
marketable and retention of expertise can be supported
by such a pay model.
CERs costs are not paid for directly by the taxpayer,
but are funded by a levy on industry participants.
The report also showed that the pay to chairman
Garrett Blaney last year totalled 202,000, which
takes account of 15,000 on pension related
Mr Blaneys pay was made up of a basic salary of
168,000, pension of 38,000 and 11,000 in
vouched expenses.
Commissioner Paul McGowan received 175,000
under the same headings, that included the 14,000
pension reduction, and commissioner Aoife MacEvilly
received 162,000, which included a pension

reduction of 13,000.
Nine employees at the regulator enjoyed salaries in
excess of 100,000 last year.
Problem solved... or is it? Simon Coveney and Paul Murphy on

Brussels calls for Lisbon treaty

ratification to continue
Participation in the Irish referendum was 53.13 percent (Photo:

BRUSSELS, 13. JUN 2008,

Vucheva, E. (2008). Brussels call for Lisbon Treaty

ratification to continue. EU Observer. Retrieved April
28, 2014

The European Commission has called for ratification of

the Lisbon treaty to continue, despite the No result in

Ireland's referendum.
"This vote should not be seen as a vote against the EU
[It] has not solved the problems which the Lisbon
Treaty is designed to solve," commission president Jose
Manuel Barroso said in Brussels on Friday (13 June).
"The ratification process is made up of 27 national
processes, 18 Member States have already approved
the Treaty, and the European Commission believes that
the remaining ratifications should continue to take
their course," he added.
According to final results released on Friday afternoon
(13 June), 53.4 percent of Irish people voted against the
EU's Lisbon treaty in Thursday's referendum, while 46.6
percent voted in favour.
Participation was at 53.13 percent.
Nevertheless, Mr Barroso said he believed "the treaty is
alive" and "we should go on and try to find a solution."
It is "important now that the EU does not fall again in
depression and does not forget there are other issues
to deal with," he added.
In a joint statement later on, France and Germany also
called for the ratification of the Lisbon treaty to
The ratification procedure has already been achieved in
18 countries. Therefore we hope that the other
member states will continue the process," the FrancoGerman declaration reads.
Britain has already said it would press ahead with the
ratification, according to the BBC.
Certain politicians and analysts have started floating
other possible scenarios however, with some such as
French prime minister Francois Fillon saying that the

Lisbon treaty is dead if one member state rejects it.

Other suggested alternatives include finalising the
ratification in all remaining member states and finding
a "legal arrangement" with Ireland as suggested by
French EU minister Jean-Pierre Jouyet, or making the
Irish vote again on the document at a later point in time
as it happened with the Nice treaty referendum in
Ireland in 2001 and 2002.
In any case, the issue will feature high on EU leaders'
agenda when they meet in Brussels next week (19-20
They will then expect Irish prime minister Brian Cowen
to "explain the reasons for the rejection of the treaty by
the Irish people [as well as] discuss about the situation
and look for the ways to move forward," said Slovenian
prime minister Janez Jansa, whose country currently
holds the EU presidency.
For its part, the commission will soon organise surveys
to find out the reasons behind Ireland's rejection of the

The Danes and the Maastricht treaty: The

Danish EC referendum of June 1992
The Danes feared loss of sovereignty and did not want
any closer political integration. A great majority of Danes
favour continued membership of the European Community
but are against all kinds of political union. Fear of the
economic consequences, if the referendum was rejected,
was made clear by politicians and business
representatives, nevertheless a small majority of the
population preferred political freedom to economic

benefits. And the government was faced with the problem

how to compromise between the attitudes of the
population and the expectations from the rest of the EC. A
national compromise among the parties in the Danish
Parliament reached at the end of October 1992 was by
and large accepted at the Edinburgh summit, but the
question whether the Danish public will accept it still

Speech by Ambassador John Bruton to the Oireachtas

sub-committee on Irelands future in the European
Union. 2008 Office of the Oireachtas. Retrieved April
29, 2013
Speech by Ambassador John Bruton
to the Oireachtas Sub-Committee on Irelands Future in
the European Union
on 30 October 2008 at 3.00 pm

Let me start off by trying to deal with the effect Irelands

rejection of the Lisbon Treaty has had in the country in
which I now represent the European Union the United
States of America.
Americans I met were just baffled by the decision. They
could not understand it. They had been led to believe that
Irelands was the EUs biggest success story - a poor
country transformed into a rich one by a combination of
EU membership, American investment, and good longterm educational and fiscal thinking by successive Irish
Now the success story was saying No, not for the first
but for the second time, to an EU Treaty. Whats up here?
Is there something we do not know?. These were the sort
of reactions of Americans, many of whom remember well

the posters in Dublin airport, seeking investment in

Ireland, highlighting the fact that we were The Young
Now, of course, if I got to explaining the realities to
individual Americans, they listened. I explained that the
Treaty was not very readable, that Irish people were
really very pro-European, that the EU continued to work
well under existing Treaties and that, legally, a country
was entirely within its rights in rejecting an EU Treaty
that is the way the EU works. But I do not have to tell
politicians like the ones in this room when you are
explaining, you are losing.
Will this affect investment in Ireland? That is an impossible
question to answer.
Companies have a big array of choices for investment
locations. They do a sort of risk matrix on all the possible
locations. Increasingly, for sophisticated multinationals,
one of the issues they consider are global regulatory risks
regulatory risks to patents, copyrights and trademarks,
regulatory risks on safety procedures, on accounting, on
corporate governance and the like.
They will ask themselves - is there a risk that new
regulations might be made that could advantage or
disadvantage their businesses, and are we proposing to
invest in a country whose government has the influence
necessary to help us manage those risks?
That is why the perception that Ireland was at the heart of
EU policy-making was so helpful to investment in Ireland
in the past. Not only was Ireland in the EU with guaranteed
access to a huge market, but the Irish government was
also very influential in the European Union and it had the
clout, and the smarts, to know how to sort out any
regulatory difficulties a company investing in Ireland might
face. As I will explain, I believe that the perception that
Ireland can proactively problem solve at EU level has now
been diminished dramatically by the decision to throw out
the Lisbon Treaty.

Of course, Ireland can sit on its existing legal rights as an

EU member. They are not at risk. It still has its low
corporate tax rate. It can keep that. But what about issues
not covered by our existing rights?
Proactive problem-solving by Ireland through alliance
building at EU level will become much more difficult in
Why? Put simply, if you are Europes problem, it is hard to
be Europes leader.
Mr. Chairman, your terms of reference ask you to consider
Irelands future in the EU, including in relation to economic
and financial matters, social policy, defence and foreign
policy, in light of the Lisbon Referendum result. I think you
should also look at the European Unions future, and the
future of all its 26 other Member States, in light of the
This would make sense for two reasons firstly, because
Lisbon or no Lisbon - Irelands fate is inextricably linked to
the fate of those 26 other Member States and secondly,
because Ireland did undertake obligations towards all the
other EU States when it freely chose to join the European
Influence in the European Union is important to Ireland for
lots of reasons that go far beyond net transfers of EU
funds to Ireland, and access for Irish goods and services to
European markets.

Irelands influence in the EU is inextricably linked to

Irelands continuing to contribute to the success of the EU.
If Ireland is seen to be contributing to the EUs success,
then Irelands influence in the EU will increase. But if
Ireland is visibly impeding the EUs progress, then
Irelands influence in the EU will reduce. It is a simple
matter of human psychology.

Therefore, to be realistic about what Ireland might have

lost by rejecting the Lisbon Treaty, one has to ask what the
other Member States might have gained if the Lisbon
Treaty came into effect.
In preparing my testimony, I have talked to as many
people as I could from other EU Member States and have
looked at the Treaty itself carefully to see what they have
lost, by the blockage of the Treaty.
The European Union does much of its business through
what is known as the Community method where
proposals are prepared by the Commission whose job is to
look to the interests of all Member States, small as well as
large, and come up with a single proposal that is fair to all
of them.
Often bigger states are tempted to bypass the Community
method, to cook up deals between themselves, intergovernmentally so to speak, and then instruct the
Commission to prepare proposals on that basis. If that
trend were to take hold, smaller Member States, like
Ireland, would lose, and a few bigger states (I do not have
to name them for you) would gain.
The Lisbon Treaty would have greatly strengthened the
Community method by adding to its area of operation.
In the absence of the Lisbon Treaty, and in particular if
leaders conclude that future EU Treaty amendments are
too risky because of Irelands referendum requirement, the
likelihood of future European business being done by
intergovernmental deals between bigger states will
become much greater. In structural terms, that will reduce
Irelands influence in Europe, and the influence of all small
and medium-sized states.
I believe that the biggest loss for the European Union that
may arise from Irelands failure to ratify the Lisbon Treaty
is in the loss of its provisions to fight cross-border crime
and terrorism. Ironically, Ireland has now blocked these

provisions for everybody else, even though we have opted

out of them ourselves.
At the moment, decisions in this area have to be taken by
unanimity among 27 countries. Measures, that are
delayed by this unanimity rule, include the EU-US
Extradition and Mutual Legal Assistance Agreements,
which were concluded in 2003 and are still not ratified by
all 27 Member States. They also include the European
Evidence Warrant for obtaining objects, documents and
data for use in criminal proceedings. Also delayed is a
draft Decision on the stepping up of cross-border
cooperation, particularly in combating terrorism and crossborder crime.
Why does this matter?
In modern Europe, virtually every crime has a cross-border
or international dimension. The crime may be fuelled by a
need to pay for illegal drugs that have been imported from
another country. It may involve the use of a weapon or
explosives imported from another country. The proceeds of
the crime may be lodged in secret bank accounts in
another country, or the crime itself may involve stealing
from other countries.
Likewise, terrorism usually has a cross-border dimension.
Thats the way the world is. Borders do not matter much
to criminals or their bankers anymore. But they do hold up
police and prosecutors.
The Lisbon Treaty would have equipped the police, the
prosecuting authorities and the legislators with a
European framework that would have been sophisticated
enough to battle on equal terms with increasingly
sophisticated criminal and terrorist networks.
All this added up to a strong and popular case, and even a
populist case, for the adoption of the Lisbon Treaty. I think
most Irish people would have seen that point about crime.
They would have seen it as a big argument for the Lisbon

But that case was not made in Ireland because, for

reasons I do not accept, both Ireland and Britain reserved
to themselves rights to opt out of the obligations of this
part of the Treaty. You can hardly make a strong case for
something that you are opting out of.
Let me turn now to social issues.
Article 17 of the Lisbon Treaty says that the Union
respects and does not prejudice the status under national
law of churches and religious associations or
communities. That article would have been helpful in
preserving denominational education, and religious liberty
throughout Europe.
The Charter of Fundamental Rights also places an
important limitation on the European Court of Justice in
interpreting EU law. It asserts that human dignity is
inviolable, that everyone has a right to life, it prohibits
eugenic practices and the reproductive cloning of
human beings. It also clarifies that the right to marry
shall be guaranteed in accordance with the national laws
governing the exercise of these rights. I repeat in
accordance with the national laws. That is all there in
black and white.
Rather than take a defensive posture about the
interpretation of the Charter, I believe that those who
want to protect the right to life should use the Charter and
Irelands membership in the European Union and the
Council of Europe to promote pro-life values throughout
the whole European Union. A life is as much worth
protecting in Britain or in France, as in Ireland itself.
Another very important loss as a result of the possible
eventual non-ratification of the Lisbon Treaty would be
that the European Union will not get greater legal capacity
to act in the area of energy policy (Article 194).
Irish voters today are deeply concerned about high and
volatile oil prices and the impact that these prices are
having on the prices of other necessities, including food.

The Lisbon Treaty would have equipped the European

Union with a better legal base, to enable it to move
forward more aggressively in promoting energy supply
security in Europe and solidarity between European
countries. No EU Member State should be the subject of
blackmail because it is unduly dependent on a particular
non-EU energy source, or indeed is an island with few
energy resources of its own.
The Lisbon Treaty would also have equipped the EU with
greater powers (Article 168.5) to deal with cross-border
health threats.
We are all aware of the risk that a drug resistant strain of
influenza could spread from animals to humans. Millions of
peoples lives would then be at risk. In a Europe, in which
people routinely pass from one country to another,
individual Member States will not be able on their own to
cope with a global health threat such as this. Some of the
actions that will have to be taken to prevent the spread of
serious new strains of influenza and other dangerous
diseases from one country to another may have to be
quite severe. If such measures are to be taken at the EU
level, and are to work, it is important that there be a
sound legal basis for them. Likewise we need authority to
pool resources in developing storing and sharing flu
vaccines. The Lisbon Treaty would have given the EU a
legal basis to do these things.
A further reason for disappointment in other European
Member States at the non-ratification of Lisbon by Ireland,
is that they were hoping to gain from Article 222 of the
Lisbon Treaty the solidarity clause which binds all
members to help any Member State which has been the
victim of a manmade or natural disaster. Perhaps Ireland
feels it might never need this, but Irelands decision
prevents it coming into force for other Member States.
Another factor that people in other parts of Europe will be
reflecting on is the impact of the rejection of the Lisbon
Treaty on the stability of the euro.

In the recent weeks, being in the euro has been very

advantageous indeed to Ireland.
I remember in 1993, before we joined the euro, how
external events led to a sudden run against the punt,
driving interest rates sky high. That event was very
severe. Whatever its current difficulties, Ireland (unlike
Iceland) has been spared that experience in recent weeks,
for one good reason because we are in the euro.
But the euro can only prosper as a currency if it is based
on a consistent economic and fiscal policy within its
boundaries, that is backed up by an authoritative
Commission that can keep Member States pursuing
mutually consistent policies. If the defeat of Lisbon leads
to a turning away from internal discipline within the Eurogroup, and towards nationalistic economic policy-making
by Member States, the euro itself will be undermined.
The Lisbon Treaty would have involved another step
forward in the democratization of the European Union
something that other Member States were looking forward
Even as it stands, the European Union is a unique
historical achievement, it is the only multi-state
democracy in the world. The European Parliament is the
worlds only directly-elected multi-national parliament. It
makes legislation that is binding in all the countries whose
directly elected representatives sit in the Parliament. In
other international organizations, the decision-making is
exclusively inter-governmental or diplomatic, rather than
The Lisbon Treaty would have brought this democratic
trend further. It would have allowed the European
Parliament greater decision-making powers in a range of
new areas, including the Common Agricultural Policy and
cross-border crime. Denying the Parliament those powers
has not, I believe, enhanced Irelands influence in the

As this Committee knows well, the national parliaments of

the 27 Member States were also to get a bigger input
under the Lisbon Treaty. They would have been consulted
on whether a newly proposed EU law was on a subject that
ought to be dealt with at European level, or ought to be
left to the Member States or local government. They were
also to have a say in whether the proposed EU legislation
was proportional to the problem it was trying to solve.
(The turf cutting issue comes to mind.)
The involvement of the 27 national parliaments in this
advance vetting of all future EU legislation would have
alerted public opinion in the 27 States to EU proposals in
good time. This would have enhanced the debate about
the proposals. It would have given national parliaments,
and national electorates, a sense of ownership of EU
laws. It would also have helped avoid disproportionate
regulations being made at European level like some that
became controversial during the referendum campaign.
Those who wanted to stop that sort of thing in future
should have voted for the Lisbon Treaty, not against it!
Some have argued that, until the Lisbon Treaty is ratified,
no further enlargement of the EU can take place. In legal
terms, this is simply not required. Legally the Nice Treaty
can be adjusted by accession Treaties to accommodate
any number of new members without fundamentally
changing the rest of the Treaty. But some Member States
have decided that they will not agree to further
enlargement unless Lisbon is ratified. That is a political
choice that they are absolutely entitled to make. Each
existing Member has a veto on every enlargement to bring
in a new Member.
To date, Ireland has once rejected the Nice Treaty, and is
now delaying, and perhaps entirely blocking, the Lisbon
Treaty too. These two Treaties had both been agreed by all
the other Members by all their democratically elected
governments and of course they were agreed Irelands
democratically elected government too.
I think the Committee should consider whether it is in

Irelands long-term national interest to put itself in the

position of having a wide-ranging, but undefined, Irish
constitutional roadblock to the adoption of future EU
At the moment, there is no clarity as to when a
referendum is needed in Ireland on an EU Treaty.
For example, the successive enlargements of the EU from
9 to 27 members have not, for reasons that have not been
explained, been deemed by the Government to
necessitate referenda here, even though these
enlargements clearly changed the European Union.
But relatively small extensions of the legal competence of
the EU, alterations of its objectives in modest ways, and
extensions of qualified majority voting, have always been
deemed by the Irish Government to necessitate a
I think it would be fairer to everybody if Irish law on this
was explicitly clarified. It should set out when a
referendum is necessary on an EU Treaty in Irish law, and
when it is not.
If that was done, everybody negotiating EU Treaties in
future would know where they stood.
My suggestion is that this could be done by the Oireachtas
passing an amendment to the European Communities Bill
of 1972, specifying what sort of provision in an EU Treaty
provision would trigger a referendum and what would not,
and then after it has been passed by the Oireachtas
seeking to have it referred to the Supreme Court under
Article 26 to determine if it is constitutional or not.
In that way, the institutions of the Irish State the
Oireachtas and the Courts would be defining the
countrys relationship with the European Union in a
manner that would be fair to everybody at home and

Future EU negotiators, from Ireland and from every other

EU Member State, would then be able to assess
intelligently the benefits, the costs, and the risks of
inserting particular provisions in EU Treaties and to decide,
if those provisions required a referendum in Ireland, if they
would be sufficiently attractive and easy to explain to
have a good chance of getting a Yes in a referendum.
Before I conclude, I would like to address the question of
opt outs.
Denmark, as the Committee is aware, has had a number
of opt outs from EU Treaties, and its Government was
contemplating getting rid of them because it felt they
reduced Denmarks influence. For example, the Danish
Institute for International Studies concluded as follows in
regard to the Danish opt out on defence:
Since no country can be forced to provide troops for
EU operations, and all participating countries have the
possibilities to veto developments within the area of
security and defence policy, the Danish opt out is judged
to limit (their underlining) Danish freedom more than
protect Danish autonomy.
I think that speaks for itself.
Wars and terrorist attacks happen. They are an historic
The question Ireland has to decide is whether it can better
protect itself from wars and terrorism by being on the
inside track of the EU, and a full participant in Common
Security and Defence Policy with a veto, or remaining on
the outside, where inevitably it will have less influence on
what others do, and no veto over it.
My own strong view is that the former course is the better
Mr. Chairman, to sum up, Irelands no to Lisbon has meant
a no to opportunity, and yes to an uncharted future.

Without a Lisbon Treaty in place, we are faced with:

a more uncertain investment climate;

an inability to fully fight cross-border crime and


a missed opportunity to make the EU more


a reduced ability to maximize energy supply security;

a missed opportunity to promote pro-life values in


a risk of undermining the Euro; and

a reduced ability to properly tackle global health

We have passed up these opportunities and taken on
these added risks and uncertainties at a vulnerable time.
As we all know, Ireland entered recession during the first
half of 2008 the first eurozone country to do so since the
credit crunch began a year ago. Earlier this month, the
Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI) forecast
that this will continue at least until the end of 2009.
A Lisbon Treaty would by no means have saved us from
these hard times. But it would have provided us with
political certainty, and inclusion in Europe, at a time when
both are most needed.
Just as it is too easy to forget the virtues of uniting with
our fellow European countries when times are good, it
should also be as easy to see the need for uniting with our
fellow Europeans when times are bad.
Let me start off by trying to deal with the effect Ireland's rejection of
the Lisbon Treaty has had in the country in which I now represent
the European Union - the United States of America. Americans I
met were just baffled by the decision. They could not understand it.
They had been led to believe that Ireland's was the EU's biggest
success story - a poor country transformed into a rich one by a
combination of EU membership, American investment, and good
long-term educational and fiscal thinking by successive Irish
[1995]2 I.R.

In the matter of Bunreacht na hireann: Patricia
McKenna Plaintiff v. An Taoiseach and Others, Defendants
(No. 2) [S.C. Nos. 361 and 366 of 1995]
High Court
31st October 1995 17th November 1995
Constitution - Amendment - Referendum - Role of
Government - Government usingpublic funds to promote
particular outcome - Matching funds not made availableto
other side - No express constitutional or statutory
provision authorising suchexpenditure - Whether such
expenditure unconstitutional - Whether courts
havingjurisdiction to restrain such expenditure - Whether
Government entitled to campaignfor particular outcome
by means not involving use of public funds - Constitutionof
Ireland, 1937, Article 40, ss. 1 and 3, and Articles 46 and
47.Constitution - Personal rights of citizen - Right to
equality - Right to fair procedures -Right to equality in
exercise of franchise - Right to democratic process Whetherinfringed by use of public funds to promote
particular outcome in referendumwithout provision of
matching funds to promote alternative view - Constitution
ofIreland, 1937, Article 40, s.1.Constitution - Separation of
powers - Public expenditure - Whether courts
havingjurisdiction in relation to expenditure voted by Dil
ireann ireann in accordance withConstitution Constitution of Ireland, 1937, Articles 17 and 28.
Article 46, s.2 of the Constitution of Ireland, 1937,
"Every proposal for an amendment of this Constitution
shall be initiated in Dil ireann as a Bill, and shall
upon having been passed or deemed to have been passed
by both Houses of the Oireachtas, be submitted by
Referendum to the decision of the people in accordance
with the law for the time being in force relating to the
Article 28 of the Constitution provides that the executive
power of the State shall be exercised by or on the
authority of the Government; that the Government shall
be responsible to Dil ireann; and that the
Government shall prepare estimates of the receipts and
expenditure of the State for each financial year, and

present them to Dil ireann for consideration. Article

17, s. 2 provides for Dil ireann to pass votes or
resolutions and to enact laws for the appropriation of
public moneys, on the recommendation of the
Section 22 of the Referendum Act, 1994, provides that a
Bill which is the subject of a referendum must be made
available for inspection and purchase at post offices; and
s. 23 provides for the issue of a statement for the
information of voters, approved by the Dil and Seanad,
regarding the proposal the subject of the referendum.
[1995]2 I.R.
McKenna v. An Taoiseach (No. 2)
Dil ireann voted 500,000 to the Minister for
Equality and Law Reform, to be used for a publicity
campaign to encourage a "Yes" vote in a forthcoming
referendum on the removal of the constitutional
prohibition on divorce.
The plaintiff sought an interlocutory injunction restraining
the use of public funds to promote a "Yes" vote; or the
provision of public funds to promote a "No" vote.
The plaintiff contended that once a Bill containing a
proposal for the amendment of the Constitution had been
passed by the Oireachtas, the Government's sole function
was to provide the machinery for the holding of the
necessary referendum; and that the use by the
Government of public funds to promote a particular
outcome went beyond that role and infringed the
procedure laid down by Articles 46 and 47 for the
amendment of the Constitution, which entrusted the
decision exclusively to the People. It was also contended
that the expenditure infringed the plaintiff's personal
rights as a citizen. Alternatively, it was submitted that if
public funds were used to promote a particular outcome,
then the Constitution required that matching funds be
made available to those opposing the amendment.
The defendants contended that they were obliged to
promote their view that the Constitution be amended; and
that this could only be done by the use of public funds. It

was further argued that it would be an infringement of the

doctrine of the separation of powers for the courts to
review expenditure approved by Dil ireann in
accordance with the procedure laid down by the
Constitution. The defendants also challenged the standing
of the plaintiff to institute and maintain the proceedings.
By consent the hearing of the motion was treated as the
trial of the action.
Held by Keane J., in dismissing the plaintiff's claim, 1, that
the plaintiff did have locus standi to institute and maintain
the proceedings.
Crotty v. An Taoiseach [1987] I.R. 713 applied; Cahill v.
Sutton [1980] I.R. 289 distinguished.
2. That Articles 17 and 28 of the Constitution were at the
heart of the parliamentary democracy inherited by the
State, in recognising the primary role of the executive and
the elected assembly to which it was responsible in the
raising and expenditure of monies; and that for the courts
to review decisions in this area by the Government or Dil
ireann would be to assume a role which was
exclusively entrusted to those organs of state, and one
which the courts were conspicuously ill-equipped to
McKenna v. An Taoiseach (No. 1) [1995] 2 I.R. 1 applied;
Baker v. Carr (1962) 369 U.S. 186 approved in part.
Held by the Supreme Court (Hamilton C.J., O'Flaherty,
Blayney and Denham JJ., Egan J. dissenting), in allowing
the plaintiff's appeal and granting declaratory relief, 1,
(Egan J. concurring) that the plaintiff did have locus standi.
2. That the Government, in expending public moneys in
the promotion of a particular result, was acting in breach
of the Constitution.
Per Hamilton C.J., O'Flaherty and Denham JJ.: That such
expenditure was a breach of the constitutional right to
Per Hamilton C.J.: That such expenditure was also a breach
of the democratic process and the constitutional process
for the amendment of the Constitution, which required not
only compliance with Articles 46 and 47 of the
Constitution, but also that regard be had for the
constitutional rights of the citizen and the adoption of fair

[1995]2 I.R.
McKenna v. An Taoiseach (No. 2)
Per O'Flaherty J.: That such expenditure also had the effect
of putting the voting rights of those citizens in favour of
the amendment above the voting rights of those citizens
opposed to it.
Per Blayney J.: That the constitutional requirement that a
proposal for the amendment of the Constitution be
submitted to the People must be construed as providing
for fair procedures; and that in expending public monies in
the promotion of a particular result, the Government had
failed to act fairly, in that it had favoured one section of
the People at the expense of another.
Glover v. BLN Ltd. [1973] I.R. 338 applied.
Per Denham J.: That such expenditure as well as
representing a breach of the constitutional right to
equality also represented an infringement of the
constitutional right to freedom of expression and the
constitutional right to a democratic process in referenda.
Per Egan J., dissenting: That there was no specific
prohibition in the Constitution or the Act of 1994 on such
expenditure; that Dil ireann , in voting the monies to
the Minister for Equality and Law Reform, had not directed
that they be applied in any particular manner other than
in connection with the referendum; and that accordingly, it
was a matter solely for the executive arm of government
to decide how the money should be so expended.
3. That the Court had jurisdiction to act in relation to the
Government's breach of the Constitution.
Per Hamilton C.J. and Blayney J.: That in relation to the
Court's jurisdiction, the following principles applied:
(a) The courts had no power, express or implied, to
supervise or interfere with the exercise by the
Government of its executive functions, provided that it
had acted within the restraints imposed by the
Constitution on the exercise of such powers;
(b) If, however, the Government acted otherwise than in
accordance with the provisions of the Constitution and in
clear disregard thereof, the courts were not only entitled

but obliged to intervene;

(c) The courts were only entitled to intervene if the
circumstances were such as to amount to a clear disregard
by the Government of the powers and duties conferred on
it by the Constitution.
Boland v. An Taoiseach [1974] I.R. 338 and Crotty v. An
Taoiseach [1987] I.R. 713 applied.
Per Hamilton C.J.: That in expending monies in the manner
impugned, the Government had not been acting in
pursuance of the executive power of the State; but that
this did not of itself make the acts unlawful.
Per O'Flaherty and Egan JJ.: That the Government was
entitled to campaign for a"Yes" vote by methods other
than the expenditure of public funds.
Per O'Flaherty J.: That the prohibition on the use of public
funds did not mean that Government Ministers were not
entitled to use their State transport in relation to the
referendum; or to avail of the media to put forward their
point of view.
Per Denham J.: That the Government had a right and duty
to give information, to clarify situations, to give
explanations and to deal with unforeseen matters and
[1995]2 I.R.
McKenna v. An Taoiseach (No. 2)
Cases referred to in this report:
Abood v. Detroit Board of Education (1977) 431 U.S. 209.
Amalgamated Society of Railway Servants v. Osborne
[1910] A.C. 87.
Baker v. Carr (1962) 369 U.S. 186.
Boland v. An Taoiseach [1974] I.R. 338; (1974) 109 I.L.T.R.
Buckley v. Valeo (1976) 424 U.S. 1.
Byrne v. Ireland [1972] I.R. 241.
Cahill v. Sutton [1980] I.R. 289.
Cashman v. Clifford [1989] I.R. 121; [1990] I.L.R.M. 200.
Crotty v. An Taoiseach [1987] I.R. 713; [1987] I.L.R.M. 400.
Duggan v. An Taoiseach [1989] I.L.R.M. 710.
Educational Company of Ireland v. Fitzpatrick (No. 2)

[1961] I.R. 345; (1961) 97 I.L.T.R. 16.

Finn v. The Attorney General [1983] I.R. 154.
Glover v. B.L.N. Ltd. [1973] I.R. 388.
In re Haughey [1971] I.R. 217.
Howard v. The Commissioners of Public Works in Ireland
[1994] 1 I.R. 101; [1993] I.L.R.M. 665.
International Association of Machinists v. Street (1961)
367 U.S. 740.
McCann v. An Taoiseach (Unreported, High Court, Carney
J., 5th October, 1992.
McGimpsey v. Ireland [1988] I.R. 567.
McKenna v. An Taoiseach (No.1) [1995] 2 I.R. 1.
Norris v. The Attorney General [1984] I.R. 36.
O'Byrne v. The Minister for Finance [1959] I.R. 1; (1958)
94 I.L.T.R. 11.
O'Donovan v. The Attorney General [1961] I.R. 114;
(1961) 96 I.L.T.R. 121.
Official Propaganda Case (1977) 46 BVerf. GE 125.
In re O Laighleis s [1960] I.R. 93; (1957) 95 I.L.T.R. 92.
Police Department of the City of Chicago v. Mosley (1972)
408 U.S. 92.
R. (Bridgeman) v. Drury [1894] 2 I.R. 489.
R. v. The Secretary of State for Foreign and
Commonwealth Affairs(ex p. World Development
Movement Ltd.) [1995] 1 W.L.R. 386; [1995] 1 All E.R.
R. v. The Secretary of State for the Home Department (ex
p. Fire Brigades Union) [1995] 2 W.L.R. 464; [1995] 2 All
E.R. 244.
Roche v. Ireland (Unreported, High Court, 17th June,
Slattery v. An Taoiseach [1993] 1 I.R. 286.
[1995]2 I.R.
McKenna v. An Taoiseach (No. 2)Keane J.
The State (Gilliland) v. The Governor of Mountjoy Prison
[1987] I.R. 201; [1987] I.L.R.M. 278.Plenary summons.
The facts and the relevant constitutional and statutory
provisions have been summarised in the headnote and
fully set out in the judgments, infra.

A plenary summons was issued on the 23rd June, 1995.

An amended statement of claim was delivered on the 8th
August, 1995, and a defence delivered on the 16th
October, 1995. A notice of motion was issued on the 23rd
October, 1995, seeking interlocutory relief.
The motion was heard by the High Court (Keane J.) on the
27th October, 1995; the hearing of the motion was treated
as the trial of the action.
Paul Callan S.C. and Diarmuid Rossa Phelan (with them
EoinMcGonigal S.C. , Michael Forde S.C. and Seamus
Tuathail tuathail ) for the plaintiff.
John Rogers S.C. (with him Anthony Aston ) for the
The court adjourned the pronouncement of its judgment.
Ex tempore.
Keane J.
31st October 1995
Many people thought that the decision of the Government
and Dil ireann to spend 500,000 of the
taxpayers' money on a campaign urging the People to
vote in favour of the proposal to remove the constitutional
ban on divorce was ill advised. They may say that the
Government has fully accepted that there was substance
in their criticisms since the Government has now arranged
for the dispatch to every house of a pamphlet, which was
produced at the present hearing and which set out the
arguments for and against the proposal in a fair and
balanced manner. At the same time, however, the
Government is maintaining what it claims is its right to
spend public funds on urging the electorate to vote in
favour of the proposal.
[1995]2 I.R.
McKenna v. An Taoiseach (No. 2)Keane J.
It is not the function of this court to pass judgment on the
wisdom, still less the political expediency, of the actions of
the Government and the Dil. I am solely concerned with

whether they are, as the plaintiff contends, invalid having

regard to the provisions of the Constitution.
At the outset I must deal with the standing of the plaintiff
to initiate and maintain the proceedings, since that has
been put in issue on behalf of the defendants. It is clear
that the present proceedings belong to a category of
cases in which a challenge to the constitutionality of the
legislation or other acts is unlikely to emerge if the specific
criteria enunciated by the Supreme Court in Cahill v.
Sutton [1980] I.R. 289 are applied. It is clear from the
observations of Finlay C.J. in Crotty v. An Taoiseach
[1987] I.R. 713 that a broader approach should be adopted
in cases of this nature and I have no hesitation in
concluding that the plaintiff was entitled to institute and
maintain the present proceedings.
That brings me to the substance of the plaintiff's
challenge. Shortly stated, it is based on the proposition
that, by virtue of Article 46 of the Constitution, once a Bill
containing a proposal for the amendment of the
Constitution has been passed by both Houses of the
Oireachtas the Government's sole function is to provide
the machinery for the holding of the necessary
referendum. Any use by the Government of public funds to
secure an affirmative vote is, it is said, unwarranted, since
under the Constitution the decision as to whether or not
the Constitution should be amended is exclusively
entrusted to the People. If public funds are to be lawfully
expended for this matter, it is said, then the only basis on
which it may be constitutionally done is if matching funds
are made available to those opposing the amendment.
On behalf of the defendants, it is submitted that the
decision as to whether or not the revenues of the State
should be applied in this or any other manner, is entrusted
exclusively to the Government and Dil ireann by
virtue of Articles 17 and 28 of the Constitution. The courts
have no function in reviewing such expenditure: to
attribute such a function to them, it is said, is a clear
infringement of the strict separation of the powers
enjoined by the Constitution.
The same issue was decided by Costello J., as he then
was, in McKenna v. An Taoiseach (No. 1) [1995] 2 I.R. 1 in
which the plaintiff in these proceedings was also the

plaintiff. In that case she claimed that an information

campaign undertaken by the Government to secure an
affirmative vote in favour of the amendment of the
Constitution so to as to permit the State to ratify the
Treaty on European Union, generally known as the
Maastricht Treaty, was unconstitutional. Costello J.
dismissed the
[1995]2 I.R.
McKenna v. An Taoiseach (No. 2)Keane J.
claim but in the present case Mr. Callan, on behalf of the
plaintiff, has invited me not to follow his decision as being
erroneous in point of law.
I was also referred to the decision of the Supreme Court in
Slattery v. An Taoiseach [1993] 1 I.R. 286 in which the
plaintiff sought to restrain the actual holding of the
referendum on the Maastricht Treaty on the ground that
the Government could not lawfully hold a referendum
without ensuring that the People were fully informed of the
arguments against ratification as well as those in favour.
In the course of his judgment Hederman J. said at p. 299 of
the report:
"The real point in this case is to ask the court to prevent
the operation of legislative and constitutional procedures
which are in train. This is something the Court has no
jurisdiction to do. What the defendants are doing is
implementing the decision of the Dil and the Seanad.
They are not controlling the referendum. There is no
constitutional or legal obligation on the defendants to
provide funds for those opposing the referendum. In
Crotty v. An Taoiseach [1987] I.R. 713 Henchy J. said:
'There is, of course, nothing in the Constitution to prevent
the Government or any persons or group or institution
from campaigning, advocating for or otherwise working for
a change in the Constitution. There is in my view no
constitutional obligation on the Government to provide
funds for those opposing the ratification of the treaty'."
The report of Henchy J.'s judgment in the Irish Reports
[[1987] I.R. 713, at p. 788] does not in fact contain the
second sentence attributed to him in this passage. During
the course of the submissions in the present case, the text

of the two judgments as approved by the learned judges

was supplied to the court by the Supreme Court registrar
and it is clear that in each case the printed report in the
Irish Reports reflects the actual text of the approved
judgments. It is, however, sufficient to say that the
passage quoted from the judgment of Hederman J., while
it must, of course, be given due weight as the considered
view of the learned judge, is clearlyobiter having regard to
the issue actually before the Court in that case and, in any
event, goes no further than rejecting the suggestion that
there was an obligation on the State to provide funds for
those opposed to the amendment. It does not necessarily
follow that Hederman J. was endorsing the proposition that
the Government may constitutionally expend public funds
for the purpose of securing an affirmative vote.
Article 46, s. 2 of the Constitution provides:
[1995]2 I.R.
McKenna v. An Taoiseach (No. 2)Keane J.
"Every proposal for an amendment of this Constitution
shall be initiated in Dil ireann as a Bill, and upon
having been passed or deemed to have been passed by
both Houses of the Oireachtas, be submitted by
referendum to the decision of the People in accordance
with the law for the time being in force relating to the
It was emphasised on behalf of the plaintiff that this subparagraph does not confer an exclusive role on the
Government in the initiation of legislation to amend the
Constitution. That is certainly the case: It is also the case
that Article 20 of the Constitution, dealing with legislation,
does not confer any exclusive role as to the initiation of
legislation generally on the Government. The fact that, in
theory, it is possible to initiate a Bill containing a provision
amending the Constitution as a private member's measure
and have it passed by both Houses of the Oireachtas is
not, in my view, relevant to the issue that arises in the
present case. There is no guidance in the wording of
Article 46 as to the role, if any, to be played by the
Government in the holding of a referendum, other than

what may be gleaned from the requirement that the

referendum be held 'in accordance with the law for the
time being in force relating to the referendum'."
Article 28 of the Constitution provides in section 2:
"The executive power of the State shall, subject to the
provisions of this Constitution, be exercised by or on
behalf of the Government."Article 28, s. 4 provides
"1 The Government shall be responsible to Dil
ireann .
2 The Government shall meet and act as a collective
authority and shall be collectively responsible for the
Departments of State administered by members of the
3 The Government shall prepare Estimates of the Receipts
and Estimates of the Expenditure of the State for each
financial year, and shall present them to Dil ireann
for consideration."
Article 17 provides that:
"1. 1 As soon as possible after the presentation to Dil
ireann under Article 28 of this Constitution, of the
Estimates of receipts and the Estimates of expenditure for
any financial year, Dil ireann shall consider such
2 Save insofar as may be provided by specific enactment
in each case, the legislation required to give effect to the
Financial Resolutions of each year shall be enacted within
that year.
[1995]2 I.R.
McKenna v. An Taoiseach (No. 2)Keane J.
2. Dil ireann shall not pass any vote or resolution
and no law shall be enacted for the appropriation of
revenue or other public moneys, unless the purpose of the
appropriation shall have been recommended to Dil
ireann by a message from the Government and signed
by the Taoiseach."
These provisions are at the heart of the structures of
parliamentary democracy which we have inherited,
recognising as they do the primary role of the executive

and the popularly elected assembly, to which it is

responsible, in the raising and expenditure of monies. The
extent to which, and the manner in which, the revenue
and borrowing powers of the State are exercised and the
purposes for which the funds are spent are the perennial
subject of political debate and controversy, but the
paramount role of those two organs of state, the
Government and the Dil, in this area is beyond question.
For the courts to review decisions in this area by the
Government or Dil ireann would be for them to
assume a role which is exclusively entrusted to those
organs of state, and one which the courts are
conspicuously ill-quipped to undertake. While the
expenditure by the Government of 500,000 in this case
has given rise to debate and controversy, it is not the
function of the courts under the Constitution to enter into,
still less, purport to resolve such disputes.
In his judgment in McKenna v. An Taoiseach (No. 1)
[1995] 2 I.R. 1, Costello J. at p. 6 of the report expressed
his views thus:
". . . the plaintiff's complaint of misconduct by the
Government is a complaint of political misconduct on
which this court can express no view and . . . she has
failed to establish any constitutional impropriety in the
exercise by the Government of the executive power of the
Government in the conduct of the referendum campaign."
I entirely agree with that view. I should also say that,
while it was suggested by Mr. Callan that the matter was
not fully argued, it appears from a passage at the end of
Costello J.'s judgment that, as in this case, the hearing of
an application for an interlocutory injunction was treated
as the trial of the action. It seems to me that this was a
considered judgment on precisely the same issue as that
which I have had to consider in the present case.
I was also referred to the decision of the United States
Supreme Court in Baker v. Carr (1962) 369 U.S. 186 in
which Brennan J. set out at p. 217 the following criteria for
determining whether a particular question should be
resolved by the judicial or the legislative and executive
arms of government:
[1995]2 I.R.

McKenna v. An Taoiseach (No. 2)Keane J.

"Prominent on the surface of any case held to involve a
political question is found a textually demonstrable
constitutional commitment of the issue to a co-ordinate
political department; or a lack of judicially discoverable
and manageable standards for resolving it; or the
impossibility of deciding without an initial policy
determination of a kind clearly for nonjudicial discretion;
or the impossibility of a court's undertaking independent
resolution without expressing a lack of the respect due coordinate branches of government; or an unusual need for
unquestioning adherence to a political decision already
made; or the potentiality of embarrassment from
multifarious pronouncements by various departments on
one question."
Judged by each of these criteria, with the exception of the
penultimate one, the question in this case is clearly one
for resolution by the legislative and executive arms of
government and not by the judicial arm.
The plaintiff's claim must, accordingly, be dismissed. The
plaintiff filed a notice of appeal on the 1st November,
1995. By notice filed on the 2nd November, 1995, the
defendants sought to vary the order of the High Court to
include a finding that the plaintiff had failed to establish a
breach of any constitutional right affecting her; a finding
that she did not have standing to maintain the
proceedings; and, the High Court having made no order as
to costs, an order fixing the plaintiff with the costs of the
The appeal and the application to vary the order of the
High Court were heard by the Supreme Court (Hamilton
C.J., O'Flaherty, Egan, Blayney and Denham JJ.) on the 8th
and 9th November, 1995.
Eoin McGonigan S.C. , Michael Forde S.C. , and Diarmuid
RossaPhelan (with them Paul Callan S.C. and Seamus
Tuathail tuathail ) for the plaintiff: Neither the
Constitution or the Referendum Act, 1994, expressly
authorise the spending of public monies to promote a
particular outcome. Yet the defendants unequivocally
assert such a right. Because of the dogmatic position

taken by the defendants, the existence or otherwise of an

implicit power to spend money in the manner impugned
by the plaintiff may be tested at the extremities of the
principle asserted can extravagant amounts of public
money be used by Government in the most outrageous
manner to promote a constitutional amendment opposed
by a substantial number of citizens?
[1995]2 I.R.
McKenna v. An Taoiseach (No. 2)Keane J.
Further, the Minister for Equality and Law Reform had no
power to spend the money in the way he did see the
Ministers and Secretaries (Amendment) Act, 1939, and the
Justice (Transfer of Departmental and Ministerial
Functions) Order, 1993. The Order of 1993 transferred to
the Minister "the functions vested in the Minister for
Justice in relation to civil law reform, civil legal aid and the
family mediation service." In this context, "civil law
reform" means reform of statute law or the common law
not the amendment of the Constitution. Under Article
11 of the Constitution, public funds must be appropriated
for the purposes determined by law. The courts have been
prepared to review the legality of public expenditure for
over 100 years see R. (Bridgeman) v. Drury ; Howard
v. The Commissioners of Public Works in Ireland ; Byrne v.
Ireland ; R. v. The Secretary of State for Foreign and
Commonwealth Affairs (ex p. World Development
Movement Ltd.) , and R. v. The Secretary of State for the
Home Department (ex p. Fire Brigades Union) .
There must be equality and fairness public funds are
not there to boost the Government's view. If there had
been equality in the distribution of funds, then there would
be no need for these proceedings. At the very least, the
plaintiff is entitled to declaratory relief. Participation in the
constitutional amendment process is one of the most
fundamental aspects of citizenship, and both laws and
executive discretions in this area must avoid partisanship
and respect the right to equality in the exercise of the
franchise see O'Donovan v. The Attorney General .
The American Supreme Court has been particularly

insistent on the principle of equal treatment in this area

Buckley v. Valeo and L.H. Tribe, American
Constitutional Law, (2nd Ed., 1988), Chapter 13. See also
the Official Propaganda Case decided by the German
Constitutional Court.
There is a close analogy to be drawn between the
expenditure of trade union funds for political purposes and
the impugned expenditure by the defendants see
Amalgamated Society of Railway Servants v. Osborne ;
Educational Company of Ireland v. Fitzpatrick (No.2) ;
International Association of Machinists v. Street and
Abood v. Detroit Board of Education . Taxpayers have far
less choice than dissident union members - taxpayers face
criminal sanction if they don't pay their taxes. The case
against the partisan use of public funds is therefore all the
stronger. Such expenditure is an infringement of the
principle of freedom of expression - the right to receive
and impart political ideas should be free of interference
from a partisan campaign funded by the taxpayer. In
Police Department of the City of Chicago v. Mosley , the
U.S. Supreme Court held that the government could not
unduly favour one set of ideas over another in
[1995]2 I.R.
McKenna v. An Taoiseach (No. 2)Keane J.
that case by permitting economically motivated picketing
while outlawing politically motivated picketing.
The plaintiff has a right to oblige the Government to act in
accordance with the Constitution see Crotty v. An
Taoiseach ; McGimpsey v. Ireland ; The State (Gilliland) v.
The Governor of Mountjoy Prison ; O'Byrne v. The Minister
for Finance and Cashman v. Clifford .
The Government already has ample means to present
their point of view televised coverage of statements in
the Dil and Seanad; access to the public airwaves to
promote a partisan view see s. 31, sub-s. 2 of the
Broadcasting Act, 1960, and McCann v. An Taoiseach ; the
Government Information Office; public meetings and
canvassing. If it is permissible to use public funds to
promote a partisan campaign in a referendum without the
provision of matching funds for the opposing viewpoint, on

what point of principle can this be distinguished from the

use of public funds to secure the re-election of an outgoing
The expenditure of public funds to secure a "Yes" vote in
the forthcoming referendum is a breach of Articles 8, 10
and 14 of the European Convention on Human Rights.
Where relevant, the Court can take account of the
Convention unless the plaintiff seeks to have legislation
declared invalid ( Norris v. The Attorney General ) or
inoperative ( In re Laighleis ), or seeks redress against
a non-governmental person or agency.
The Court must have regard to the unique nature of the
process for the amendment of the Constitution. The
referendum exists as a protection against constitutional
change e.g. abridgement of constitutional rights without direct popular approval. In giving themselves the
Constitution, the People delegated some powers and
reserved others to themselves. By this means they
preserved their right to direct participation in the shape of
their polity. This is demonstrated by the fact that the
initiation of the referendum process is not exclusive to the
Government. Less than ten years ago, the People rejected
an amendment in similar terms to the one on which they
will shortly vote. It cannot be right that public funds now
be used to secure a different result.
James O'Driscoll S.C. (with him Anthony Aston ) for the
defendants: When the Government submits a proposal to
the People for the amendment of the Constitution in
regard to social policy, there is not merely a right but a
duty to submit the proposal in an affirmative way. This is a
part of the executive power vested by the Constitution in
the Government. This affirmative way requires a
campaign; and such a campaign must be financed. In the
absence of an express constitutional or statutory embargo
[1995]2 I.R.
McKenna v. An Taoiseach (No. 2)Hamilton C.J.
on such expenditure, it is justified. It is impractical to
suggest that no public funds be used by the Government
while at the same time recognising the Government's right
as the plaintiff does to call for a "Yes"vote. For

example, is a Minister not to travel in transport provided

by the State if the purpose of his journey involves
advocacy of a "Yes" vote?
The acts impugned by the plaintiff in no way restrict or
inhibit the right or ability of any citizen to vote "No". The
alleged infringements of the plaintiff's constitutional rights
are authoritatively disposed of by Costello J. in McKenna v.
An Taoiseach (No.1) . See also Finn v. The Minister for the
Environment ; Boland v. An Taoiseach ; Slattery v. An
Taoiseach ; Crotty v. An Taoiseach and Roche v. Ireland .
The only way in which the plaintiff could impugn the
decision of Dil ireann to vote monies to the Minister
would be if the procedure laid down by the Constitution in
Articles 28 and 17 for the appropriation of public funds
had not been followed. Insofar as the plaintiff asks the
Court to compel the Government to provide funds for the
"No" campaign, this would make a nonsense of Articles 17
and 28. The Dil cannot vote money for a specific
purpose unless this is recommended by the Government
Article 17, section 2. It is beyond the jurisdiction of
this Court to compel the Government to recommend
expenditure to the Dil when the Constitution entrusts
the decision on such recommendation exclusively to the
The provisions of the European Convention on Human
Rights are not justiciable in the Irish courts In re
Laighleis . Insofar as the plaintiff asks the Court to inform
itself by reference to decisions of the European Court of
Human Rights, there are no relevant judgments.
The plaintiff lacks the standing to maintain these
proceedings she is not a person adversely effected in
the manner envisaged in the judgment of Henchy J. in
Cahill v. Sutton , applied in Duggan v. An Taoiseach by
Hamilton P.
Michael Forde S.C. in reply.
Cur. adv. vult.
Hamilton C.J.
17th November 1995
This is an appeal brought by the plaintiff, Patricia

McKenna MEP, against the judgment and order of the High

Court (Keane J.) delivered and
[1995]2 I.R.
McKenna v. An Taoiseach (No. 2)Hamilton C.J.
made on the 31st October, 1995, whereby the plaintiff's
claim was dismissed.
As appears from the statement of claim delivered on her
behalf the plaintiff had claimed in these proceedings:
(1) (a) A declaration that the plaintiff is entitled to have
referenda pursuant to Article 47 of Bunreacht na h
ireann conducted in a manner consistent with the
democratic nature of the State as required by Bunreacht
na hireann , in particular, the Preamble, Articles 5, 6
and 47 thereof,
(b) A declaration that the defendants have acted and are
actingultra vires in their purported exercise of the
executive power in the expenditure and threatened
expenditure of public funds other than on the impartial
organisation of the administration of the process of the
amendment of the Constitution;
(c) A declaration that the defendants have acted and are
actingultra vires in their purported exercise of the
executive power in the allocation of funding in regard to
amendment campaigns;
(d) A declaration that the defendants have acted and are
acting contrary to Article 11 of the Constitution in their
allocation of funding in regard to amendment campaigns;
(e) A declaration that the defendants have acted and are
acting unconstitutionally in their promotion of a particular
vote as the outcome to referenda, having regard in
particular to the Preamble and Articles 5, 6, 46 and 47 of
the Constitution;
(f) A declaration that the defendants have acted and are
acting unconstitutionally in their one-sided spending,
selection and distribution of information, and advertising,
contrary to the Preamble and Articles 5, 6, 46 and 47 of
the Constitution;
(g) (i) A declaration that the defendants have failed and
are failing to vindicate the constitutional rights of the
plaintiff in acting ultra vires outside their executive powers

under the Constitution both in regard to participation in

matters reserved to the People and in the expenditure of
monies, and
(ii) in their one-sided spending, selection and distribution
of information, and advertising, all contrary to Articles 5,
6, 11, 28, 40, s. 1, 40, s. 3, 40, s. 6, sub-s. 1 (i) and 41 of
the Constitution.
[1995]2 I.R.
McKenna v. An Taoiseach (No. 2)Hamilton C.J.
(2) a declaration that:
(a) the plaintiff was entitled to participate in the
hereinbefore mentioned several referenda; and
(b) the plaintiff is entitled to participate in any
prospective referendum, on terms of equality between
citizens and groupings of citizens holding or having
divergent views in accordance with the provisions of the
Constitution generally and in particular the provisions of
Article 40, s. 1, 40, s. 3, sub-s. 1 and 40, s. 3, sub-section
(3) A declaration that the plaintiff is entitled to an
opportunity, by herself as a citizen, or as part of a
grouping of concerned citizens, to express convictions and
opinions and to communicate view-points to the general
public and to receive such expressions and
communications on the issues arising in the said
referendum campaign, without Government intervention.
(4) A declaration that the Government, as defendant
herein, in spending public monies in the conduct of a
referendum political campaign, and in particular in the
promotion of a particular outcome of the referendum
would be acting in breach of the Constitution.
(5) An injunction restraining the Government as a
Government or by its servants or agents from
appropriating, utilising or disbursing state funds or
revenue in the funding of a public political Referendum
(6) An injunction restraining the Government as a
Government or by its servants or agents from expending
public funds in media advertising, public billboards or by

any other means save as provided by the Referendum

Acts or otherwise by law in any prospective or future
(7) An injunction restraining the defendants from acting in
purported exercise of the executive power in referenda,
except for the purpose of impartially organising the
mechanism of the referenda.
(8) (a) An injunction restraining the defendants from
spending public funds in the promotion, advertising, or
distribution of material advocating or supporting a
particular outcome in regard to referenda or alternatively;
(b) An injunction requiring the defendants to make
available an equal portion of public funds as expended by
itself to fund campaigns, including advertising and the
selection and distribution
[1995]2 I.R.
McKenna v. An Taoiseach (No. 2)Hamilton C.J.
of information, which seek a referendum result opposite
to the result advocated by the Government.
(9) An injunction restraining the defendants from
infringing upon the prerogatives of the People contrary to
the Constitution, its basis, and in particular to the
Preamble and Articles 5, 6, 11, 28, 40, s. 3, 46 and 47
(10) Such further declarations or injunctions as to this
Honourable Court may seem appropriate to secure,
protect and vindicate the constitutional rights of the
plaintiff in the context of the threatened expenditure of
public monies by the Government in support of a "Yes"
vote in the proposed referendum on divorce as included in
the Government policy document entitled "A Government
of Renewal" and as adverted to in ministerial and
Government statements; and/or
(11) Alternatively, for such further declarations or
injunctions as to this Honourable Court may seem
appropriate to secure, protect and vindicate the
constitutional rights of the plaintiff in the context of
expenditure of public monies by the Government in
respect of all or any referenda to be held in pursuance of
Article 46 and Article 47 of Bunreacht na hireann .

(12) Further or other reliefs.

(13) Costs.
In the defence delivered on behalf of the defendants
(hereinafter referred to as the Government), the
Government claims that it is entitled to expend public
monies for the purpose of promoting a campaign for a
particular outcome to the proposed referendum to amend
the terms of the Constitution and paragraphs 4, 5, 6, 10
and 11 of the defence provide as follows:
"4. It is admitted that the Government proposes to
expend certain monies in a publicity campaign designed
to influence public opinion in relation to the proposed
referendum on divorce. It is proposed that the said
campaign shall not be confined solely to putting forward
one point of view but will include arguments on both sides.
However, the Government maintains the right, if thought
appropriate in any particular case, to urge the electorate
in favour of a particular outcome to the said or any
proposed referendum.
5. It is admitted that the Government has from time to
time spent money from public funds on advertising and
promoting a number of referendum campaigns, including
some expenditure which was
[1995]2 I.R.
McKenna v. An Taoiseach (No. 2)Hamilton C.J.
designed to persuade the electors to exercise their right
in the manner put forward or suggested by the
Government. The said expenditure has been in accordance
with law and in accordance with the provisions of the
Constitution and it is denied that the Government's
actions are unconstitutional on the grounds set forth in
paragraphs 9 or 10 of the statement of claim. The
Government's said actions do not deny the plaintiff any
constitutional right in the manner set forth at paragraph
11 of the statement of claim or at all, and the particulars
set forth in the said paragraphs are denied as if the same
were set forth hereunder and denied individually.
6. Further, it is denied that the Government are
constitutionally obliged to fund the promulgation of
contrary opinions and/or information where groups wish to

promulgate such information and/or opinions whether for

the reasons set out in paragraph 12 of the statement of
claim or at all, and the particulars pleaded in paragraph 12
of the statement of claim are denied as if the same were
set out hereunder and denied individually.
10. Insofar as the plaintiff in these proceedings raises
political issues or issues of policy or issues involving
political considerations the same are not amenable to
resolution in the courts.
11. Further the propriety or appropriateness of the
expenditure of public funds by the Government is a matter
for the executive arm of the government and/or for the
Oireachtas and is not justiciable in the courts."
In his affidavit filed on behalf of the Government on the
23rd October, 1995, Thomas Lynch, a principal officer and
head of the Law Reform Division of the Department of
Equality and Law Reform averred inter alia as follows:
"3. With regard to paragraph 5 of Ms. McKenna's affidavit,
it is true that the Government's intention to spend money
in a divorce referendum was made known in
approximately April of 1994. The matter came before the
Dil on the 15th June, 1994, when departmental
estimates were considered by the Legislative and Security
Committee of the Dil. On that occasion, the Minister
addressed the Committee. During the course of his speech
the Minister said:
'Deputies will be aware that . . . a sum of 500,000 is
provided for in respect of the information campaign in the
run up to the divorce referendum. While it is by no means
certain in the
[1995]2 I.R.
McKenna v. An Taoiseach (No. 2)Hamilton C.J.
light of the constitutional challenge to the Judicial
Separation Act, 1989, that this money will be required in
1994 it would, I believe, be remiss of the Government not
to provide an information campaign in view of the
considerable legislative changes which have taken place
since 1986'.
4. I beg to refer to an extract from the official debates of
the Legislative and Security Committee of the Dil

containing the relevant part of the Minister's speech, upon

which marked with the letters 'TL 1' I have signed my
name prior to the swearing hereof. That estimate was
subsequently approved by the Dil by vote in the Dil
itself on the 30th June, 1994. I beg to refer to the extract
from the official Dil debates marked with letters 'TL 2'
upon which I have signed my name prior to swearing
5. As the monies were not spent during that year, they
were again voted as part of the estimate for the
Department of Equality and Law Reform for the year
ended the 31st December, 1995. Those estimates came
before the Legislative and Security Committee on the 7th
June, 1995. In this regard I beg to refer to the relevant
page of the estimate dealing with the Department of
Equality and Law Reform upon which marked with the
letters 'TL 3' I have signed my name prior to the swearing
hereof. Again, that estimate was passed and approved by
the Dil on the 7th July, 1995. I beg to refer to an extract
from the official Dil debate marked with the letters 'TL 4'
upon which I have signed my name prior to swearing
6. As appears from the extract from the Minister's speech
to the Committee in 1994, the principal purpose of the
Minister's proposal at that time was to ensure that the
people were sufficiently informed in relation to the factual
and legal background to the proposed referendum, as well
as for the purpose of making it clear the Government was
in favour of a positive outcome to the proposed
In paragraphs 7, 8, 9, 10 and 11 Mr. Lynch deals with the
expenditure of the monies.
At the end of paragraph 13 of the affidavit, Mr. Lynch
avers that "the Government maintains the right, in appropriate
circumstances and where it seems fit to let its view be
known, with the aid of public funds and if necessary in
trenchant and forthright manner."
Mr. Lynch then proceeded to set forth his and the
Government's attitude to the issues raised by the plaintiff
and averred as follows:

[1995]2 I.R.
McKenna v. An Taoiseach (No. 2)Hamilton C.J.
"14. I propose now to deal broadly with the issues of
principle which appear to arise on the present application
before the Court. Firstly, there has already been very
detailed and wide ranging debates in both Houses of the
Oireachtas in relation to the proposal to amend the
Constitution to allow for remarriage. In addition, there has
been widespread public debate in the media, which it is
expected will continue until the referendum date,
including extensive debate on radio and television. The
defendants do not accept that it is impermissible for the
Government to spend money in promulgating the
Government's sincerely held view in relation to important
matters of policy, and indeed it is difficult to understand
how Government could inform public opinion and
promulgate its views and put forward the passing of a
referendum on an important issue such as the right to
remarry without involving the expenditure of monies.
15. Further, it is my understanding of the relationship
between the various branches of government, that it is not
open to the courts to direct the executive as to how public
funds ought or ought not to be expended. Further, the
defendants do not accept that the plaintiff's rights as an
individual citizen have in any way been or will be affected.
Indeed, she appears to be particularly well informed for
the purpose of reaching her own views on the issues which
will be before the people.
16. So far as the application for an injunction made on
behalf of the plaintiff is concerned, a considerable amount
of expenditure has already been incurred particularly in
the production of the proposed leaflet to each household
'Referendum on Divorce, some questions and answers', as
well as on the consultancy fees relating thereto, and also
on the leaflet 'A right to remarry' to which I have already
referred. If an injunction is granted, that expenditure will
have been wasted."
The issues which arose in the High Court and in this Court
(i) whether the Government was entitled to expend public

monies in the sum of 500,000 which had been made

available by Dil ireann to the Minister of Equality
and Law Reform under the heading of "Divorce
Referendum"in the estimate of the amount required for
the year ending the 31st December, 1995, for the salaries
and expenses of his office, including certain services
administered by his office, in the conduct of a campaign to
provide information
[1995]2 I.R.
McKenna v. An Taoiseach (No. 2)Hamilton C.J.
with regard to the issues involved in the referendum and
to advocate a vote in favour of the proposed amendment,
(ii) whether the court had any jurisdiction to interfere with
such allocation and use by the Government of such funds,
this being an exercise of the executive power of the State.
There is no dispute with regard to the facts in this case.
A proposal for an amendment of the Constitution was
initiated in Dil ireann as a Bill and was passed by
both Houses of the Oireachtas in accordance with the
provisions of Article 46, s. 2 of the Constitution.
Article 46, s. 2 required and requires that the Bill be
submitted by referendum to the decision of the People in
accordance with the law for the time being in force
relating to the referendum.
The Bill provided as follows:
"An Act to amend the Constitution
WHEREAS by virtue of Article 46 of the Constitution any
provision of the Constitution may be amended in the
manner provided by that Article:
AND WHEREAS it is proposed to amend Article 41 of the
Be it Therefore enacted by the Oireachtas as follows:
1. Article 41 of the Constitution is hereby amended as
(a) the subsection set out in Part I of the Schedule to this
Act shall be substituted for subsection 2 of section 3 of the
Irish text,
(b) the subsection set out in Part II of the Schedule to this
Act shall be substituted for subsection 2 of section 3 of the

English text.
2. (1) The amendment of the Constitution effected by this
Act shall be called the Fifteenth Amendment of the
(2) This Act may be cited as the Fifteenth Amendment of
the Constitution Act, 1995.
Part II
2 A court designated by law may grant a dissolution of
marriage where, but only where, it is satisfied that [1995]2 I.R.
McKenna v. An Taoiseach (No. 2)Hamilton C.J.
i. at the date of the institution of the proceedings, the
spouses have lived apart from one another for a period of,
or periods amounting to, at least four years during the
previous five years,
ii. there is no reasonable prospect of a reconciliation
between the spouses,
iii. such provision as the court considers proper having
regard to the circumstances exists or will be made for the
spouses, any children of either or both of them and any
other person prescribed by law, and
iv. any further conditions prescribed by law are complied
The law in force relating to this referendum is contained
in the Referendum Act, 1994.
As appears from the affidavit of Mr. Lynch and the
defence filed and submissions made on its behalf, of the
Government has and intends to let its view be known, with
the aid of public funds and in a trenchant and forthright
In the course of his judgment, the learned trial judge
correctly stated at p. 15 of the report:
"It is not the function of this court to pass judgment on
the wisdom, still less the political expediency of the
actions of the Government and the Dil. I am solely
concerned with whether they are, as the plaintiff
contends, invalid having regard to the provisions of the

Having referred to the relevant provisions of the

Constitution, the learned trial judge went on to state at p.
18 of the report:
"These provisions are at the heart of the structures of
parliamentary democracy which we have inherited,
recognising as they do the primary role of the executive
and the popularly elected assembly, to which it is
responsible, in the raising and expenditure of monies. The
extent to which, and the manner in which, the revenue
and borrowing powers of the State are exercised and the
purposes for which the funds are spent are the perennial
subject of political debate and controversy but, the
paramount role of those two organs of state, the
Government and the Dil, in this area is beyond question.
For the courts to review decisions in this area by the
Government or Dil ireann would be for them to
assume a role which is exclusively entrusted to those
organs of state, and one which the courts are
conspicuously ill-equipped to undertake. While the
expenditure by the Government of 500,000 in this case
has given rise to debate and
[1995]2 I.R.
McKenna v. An Taoiseach (No. 2)Hamilton C.J.
controversy, it is not the function of the courts under the
Constitution to enter into, still less, purport to resolve such
At the conclusion of his judgment, he stated that "the
question in this case is clearly one for resolution by the
legislative and executive arms of Government and not by
the judicial arm" and dismissed the plaintiff's claim.
From this judgment and the order made in pursuance
thereof, the plaintiff has appealed to this Court on the
grounds set forth in the notice of appeal dated the 1st
November 1995.
Jurisdiction of the Court
The first issue to be considered by the Court is the nature
of the Court's jurisdiction in the circumstances of this
The principle of the separation of powers is firmly
entrenched in the Constitution.

FitzGerald C.J. in the course of his judgment in Boland v.

An Taoiseach [1974] I.R. 338, stated that:
"Article 6 of the Constitution established beyond question
the separation of the executive, legislative and judicial
powers of Government."
Article 15, s. 2, sub-s. 1 of the Constitution provides
"The sole and exclusive power of making laws for the
State is hereby vested in the Oireachtas: no other
legislative authority has power to make laws for the
This function of the Oireachtas is, however, subject to the
provisions of Article 15, s. 4 of the Constitution which
provides that:
"1. The Oireachtas shall not enact any law which is in any
respect repugnant to this Constitution or any provision
2. Every Act enacted by the Oireachtas which is in any
respect repugnant to this Constitution or to any provision
thereof, shall, but to the extent only of such repugnancy,
be invalid."
The Oireachtas is subject to the provisions of the
Constitution and this limits the powers conferred on it by
the Constitution.
Article 28, s. 2 provides that:
"The executive power of the State shall subject to the
provisions of this Constitution be exercised by or on the
authority of the Government."
[1995]2 I.R.
McKenna v. An Taoiseach (No. 2)Hamilton C.J.
By virtue of the terms of Article 28, s. 2 the exercise by
the Government of the executive power of the State is
also subject to the provisions of the Constitution.
As stated by Walsh J. in the course of his judgment in
Crotty v. An Taoiseach [1987] I.R. 713 at p. 778:
"It is not within the competence of the Government, or
indeed the Oireachtas to free themselves from the
constraints of the Constitution . . . They are both creatures
of the Constitution and are not empowered to act free

from the restraints of the Constitution. To the judicial

organ of Government alone is given the power
conclusively to decide if there has been a breach of
constitutional restraints."
In the course of his judgment in Boland v. An Taoiseach
[1974] I.R. 338, FitzGerald C.J. at p. 362 stated:
"Consequently, in my opinion, the Courts have no power,
either express or implied, to supervise or interfere with the
exercise by the Government of its executive functions,
unless the circumstances are such as to amount to a clear
disregard by the Government of the powers and duties
conferred on it by the Constitution."
In the course of his judgment in Crotty v. An Taoiseach
[1987] I.R. 713, Finlay C.J. stated, at p. 775, that:
". . . where an individual comes before the Courts and
establishes that action on the part of the executive has
breached or threatens to breach one or other of his
constitutional rights that the Courts must intervene to
protect those rights but that otherwise they cannot and
should not."
These dicta clearly establish that
1. The courts have no power, either express or implied, to
supervise or interfere with the exercise by the
Government of its executive functions provided that it acts
within the restraints imposed by the Constitution on the
exercise of such powers.
2. If, however, the Government acts otherwise than in
accordance with the provisions of the Constitution and in
clear disregard thereof, the courts are not only entitled but
obliged to intervene.
3. The courts are only entitled to intervene if the
circumstances are such as to amount to a clear disregard
by the Government of the powers and duties conferred on
it by the Constitution.
Having regard to the respect which each of the organs of
government must pay to each other, I am satisfied that
where it is alleged that either the Oireachtas or the
Government has acted other than in accordance with the
provisions of the Constitution, such fact must be clearly
[1995]2 I.R.

McKenna v. An Taoiseach (No. 2)Hamilton C.J.

The next issue to be considered is whether it has been
established that they have so acted and this involves a
consideration of the provisions of the Constitution with
regard to the amendment thereof.
Article 46 of the Constitution provides for an amendment
thereof by way of variation, addition or repeal as
"1. Any provision of this Constitution may be amended,
whether by way of variation, addition, or repeal, in the
manner provided by this Article.
2. Every proposal for an amendment of this Constitution
shall be initiated in Dil ireann as a Bill, and shall
upon having been passed or deemed to have been passed
by both Houses of the Oireachtas, be submitted by
Referendum to the decision of the people in accordance
with the law for the time being in force relating to the
3. Every such Bill shall be expressed to be 'An Act to
amend the Constitution'.
4. A Bill containing a proposal or proposals for the
amendment of this Constitution shall not contain any
other proposal.
5. A Bill containing a proposal for the amendment of this
Constitution shall be signed by the President forthwith
upon his being satisfied that the provisions of this Article
have been complied with in respect thereof and that such
proposal has been duly approved by the people in
accordance with the provisions of section 1 of Article 47 of
this Constitution and shall be duly promulgated by the
President as a law."
It should be noted that a Bill containing a proposal for an
amendment of the Constitution differs from any other Bill
passed by the Oireachtas in that it is not presented for
signature by the President until after the Referendum and
is not signed by the President unless the President is
satisfied that the proposal has been duly approved by the
people in accordance with s. 1 of Article 47 of the
Article 47, sub-s. 4 of the Constitution provides that

"subject as aforesaid, the Referendum shall be regulated

by law."
In enacting the Constitution, the people provided for its
amendment and set forth the procedures to be adopted
with regard thereto.
They provided that the proposal for an amendment be
initiated in Dil ireann as a Bill and provided that if
the Bill is passed or deemed to have been passed by both
Houses of the Oireachtas it must be submitted by
referendum to the decision of the people in accordance
with the law for the time being in force relating to the
[1995]2 I.R.
McKenna v. An Taoiseach (No. 2)Hamilton C.J.
In the course of his judgment in Slattery v. An Taoiseach
[1993] 1 I.R. 286 McCarthy J. stated at p. 303:
"Article 6 proclaims that all powers of Government,
legislative, executive and judicial, are derived under God
from the People. In having a referendum the People are
taking a direct role in Government either by amending the
Constitution or refusing to amend it. Such an amendment
can only be initiated by the legislature, where the relevant
legislation may be promoted by any member of the
legislature. When the relevant legislation has been passed
by both Houses the constitutional process must continue."
The continuation of the constitutional process must, as
stated in Article 46, s. 2 and Article 47, s. 1 of the
Constitution, be in accordance with law.
The law relating to the holding of a referendum now in
force is the Referendum Act, 1994.
That this was the law referred to in Article 47 of the
Constitution is clear from the long title to the Act which
states as follows:
"An Act to provide for the reference to the People under
Article 47 of the Constitution of Bills containing proposals
for the amendment of the Constitution and for the
reference to the People under Article 27 of the
Constitution of other Bills and to provide for matters
connected with the matters aforesaid."

The Bill must be submitted to the decision of the people

in accordance with the provisions of the Act. The
Constitution is quite clear on this.
This Act sets out in detail the procedures to be followed in
the holding of the referendum and it is not necessary to
deal with all the provisions thereof.
The Act, however, provides that the Minister responsible
for ensuring that the procedures are followed is the
Minister for the Environment.
Section 4 of the Act provides that:
"(1) The expenses incurred by the Minister in the
administration of this Act shall, to such extent as may be
sanctioned by the Minister for Finance, be paid out of
moneys provided by the Oireachtas.
(2) The expenses incurred by reason of this Act by An Post
shall, to such extent as may be sanctioned by the Minister
for Finance, be paid out of the Central Fund or the growing
produce thereof."
Section 3 of the Act provides that:
[1995]2 I.R.
McKenna v. An Taoiseach (No. 2)Hamilton C.J.
"(1) The Minister may make regulations prescribing any
matter or thing that is referred to in this Act, other than in
section 23, as prescribed.
(2) Every regulation made under this Act shall be laid
before each House of the Oireachtas as soon as may be
after it is made and, if a resolution annulling the regulation
is passed by either such House within the next 21 days on
which that House has sat after the regulation is laid before
it, the regulation shall be annulled accordingly but without
prejudice to the validity of anything previously done
Of the 58 sections of the Act in respect of which the
Minister for the Environment may make regulations the
only section in respect of which he is precluded from
making a regulation is section 23.
Section 23 provides that:
"(1) At a referendum a statement in relation to the
proposal which is the subject of the referendum may be

prescribed for the information of voters by resolution of

each House of the Oireachtas and, where a statement is
so prescribed (a) a polling information card sent under section 92 of the
Act of 1992 (as applied by section 32) shall contain a copy
of the statement;
(b) copies of the statement shall also be sent by the local
returning officer for a constituency to every elector whose
name is on the register of presidential electors for such
constituency and is on the postal voters list for such
constituency at the same time as the ballot paper for the
poll at the referendum is sent to the elector;
(c) copies of the statement shall also be sent by the local
returning officer for a constituency to every elector whose
name is on the register of presidential electors for such
constituency and is on the special voters list for such
constituency and shall be so sent in sufficient time to be
delivered to the elector before the delivery of the ballot
paper to the elector;
(d) copies of the statement shall be displayed by a
presiding officer in and in the precincts of the polling
station: Provided that the referendum shall not be
invalidated by reason of any failure to display such copies
in or in the precincts of any polling station."
The provisions of sub-s. 2 are not relevant.
[1995]2 I.R.
McKenna v. An Taoiseach (No. 2)Hamilton C.J.
This section, which I have quoted, provided that a
statement in relation to the proposal which is the subject
of the referendum may be prescribed for the information
of voters by resolution of each House of the Oireachtas
and provides that where a statement is so prescribed, the
polling card shall contain a copy of the statement: a copy
must be sent by the local returning officer for a
constituency to every elector, including those on the
special voters list; and copies of the statement shall be
displayed by the presiding officer in or in the precincts of
the polling station.
Though it is not mandatory, under the provisions of s. 23

of the Act, that there be a resolution of each House of the

Oireachtas prescribing a statement for the information of
voters relating to the proposal which is the subject of the
referendum, the Oireachtas was concerned to ensure that
the Minister for the Environment did not have any power
to make any regulation prescribing any matter contained
in the said section 23. The Oireachtas reserved to itself
the right to prescribe the terms of the statement in
relation to the proposal which was to be prescribed for the
information of the voters and did not authorise the
prescribing of any other statement for the information of
the voters.
I have quoted the provisions of s. 23 because they clearly
illustrate the intention of the legislature with regard to the
fact that the statement in relation to the proposal which
may be prescribed for the information of the voters would
be prescribed by resolution of each House of the
This does not of course mean that information other than
that prescribed in the resolutions could not be given.
Both Houses of the Oireachtas passed resolutions in the
following terms "That the statement set out in the Schedule to this
resolution be prescribed for the information of voters
pursuant to s. 23 of the Referendum Act, 1994 (No. 2 of
1994), in relation to the proposal to amend Article 41 of
the constitution which is contained in the Fifteenth
Amendment of the Constitution (No. 2) Bill, 1995."
The statement set out in the Schedule to the said
resolutions was as follows:
"1. The Fifteenth Amendment of the Constitution (No. 2)
Bill, 1995, proposes to substitute the subsection here
following for subsection 2 of Article 41, s. 3 of the
2 A Court designated by law may grant a dissolution of
marriage where, but only where, it is satisfied that [1995]2 I.R.
McKenna v. An Taoiseach (No. 2)Hamilton C.J.
(i) at the date of the institution of the proceedings, the

spouses have lived apart from one another for a period of,
or periods amounting to, at least four years during the
previous five years,
(ii) there is no reasonable prospect of a reconciliation
between the spouses,
(iii) such provision as the court considers proper having
regard to the circumstances exists or will be made for the
spouses, any children of either or both of them and any
other person prescribed by law, and
(iv) any further conditions prescribed by law are complied
2. If you approve of the proposal, mark X opposite the
word YES on the ballot paper.
3. If you do not approve of the proposal, mark X opposite
the word NO on the ballot paper.
4. A copy of the Bill can be inspected or obtained free of
charge at any Post Office."
The Government maintained at all times their right in
exercising the executive power of the State, to let its view
be known with the aid of public funds in a trenchant and
forthright manner, or in the words used in the defence
filed on its behalf to maintain the right to urge the
electorate in favour of a particular outcome to the said or
any proposed referendum.
This claim by the Government must be considered in the
light of the provisions of the Constitution particularly in
relation to the provisions of Article 46 and 47 and the role
of the People therein.
It was the People who, in the words of the Preamble to the
Constitution, adopted, enacted and gave to themselves,
the Constitution, and under the terms of the said
Constitution, it is the prerogative of the People to amend
any provision thereof by way of variation addition or
repeal in the manner provided by Article 46 of the
Article 46 of the Constitution provided for the initiation in
Dil ireann of every proposal for an amendment of
the Constitution and for its submission, after it has been
passed by both Houses of the Oireachtas, to the decision
of the People "in accordance with the law for the time
being in force in relation to the Referendum".
This is the constitutional process by which the

Constitution may be amended and neither the Constitution

nor the law for the time being in force in relation to the
referendum gives to the Government any role in the
submission of the proposal for the decision of the People.
[1995]2 I.R.
McKenna v. An Taoiseach (No. 2)Hamilton C.J.
As already stated the law is contained in the Referendum
Act, 1994; this Act does not allocate to the Government
any role in the giving of information or in the conduct of
the referendum.
Neither, it must be said, is there any prohibition against
the Government acting as it claims to be entitled to act
contained in either the Constitution or in the Referendum
Act, 1994.
The Government is, however, a creature of the
Constitution and cannot act free from the restraints of the
Constitution. In the exercise of the executive power of the
State it is subject to the provisions of the Constitution.
This raises a further issue i.e. whether in the
circumstances outlined in this judgment the Government
was in fact engaged in the exercise of the executive power
of the State. It was not acting in pursuance of any
statutory authority and any activity of Government is not
per se an activity which assumes the character of the
exercise of the executive power of the State.
I am satisfied that the action of the Government in
publishing information with regard to the proposal which
was the subject of the referendum, in expressing its views
thereon and requesting or advising the voters to vote for
the proposal was not an action in the exercise of the
executive power of the State.
That does not mean that its action in so doing was not
permissible. Many of the legitimate functions of
Government are not part of the exercise by the
Government of the executive power of the State.
No complaint is made in these proceedings that the
Government was not entitled to give factual information
with regard to the proposal.
What is complained of is that allied to the provision of

such information is the request by the Government made

to the voters to vote "Yes" to the proposal and to
campaign, or have conducted on its behalf a campaign, to
influence the voters to vote in favour of the proposal and
expend public funds on such campaign.
It is submitted on behalf of the plaintiff that in so doing,
the Government was acting in excess of the powers
conferred on it by the Constitution and the law and other
than in accordance with fair procedures and that it was
within the jurisdiction of this Court to intervene to restrain
it from expending public funds in such campaign.
The learned trial judge (Keane J.) stated in the course of
his judgment, having set out the relevant provisions of
Articles 28 and 17 of the Constitution, in a passage from
his judgment already quoted in this judgment which is
worth repeating:
[1995]2 I.R.
McKenna v. An Taoiseach (No. 2)Hamilton C.J.
"These provisions are at the heart of the structures of
parliamentary democracy which we have inherited,
recognising as they do the primary role of the executive
and the popularly elected assembly, to which it is
responsible in the raising and expenditure of monies. The
extent to which and the manner in which the revenue and
borrowing powers of the State are exercised and the
purposes for which the funds are spent are the perennial
subject of political debate and controversy but, the
paramount role of those two organs of state, the
Government and the Dil, in this area is beyond question.
For the courts to review decisions in this area by the
Government or Dil ireann would be for them to
assume a role which is exclusively entrusted to those
organs of state, and one which the courts are
conspicuously ill-equipped to undertake. While the
expenditure by the Government of 500,000 in this case
has given rise to debate and controversy, it is not the
function of the courts under the Constitution to enter into,
still less, purport to resolve such disputes."
In the course of his judgment he referred to the judgment

of Costello J. in McKenna v. An Taoiseach (No. 1) [1995] 2

I.R. 1.
In the course of this judgment Costello J. stated at p. 6 of
the report in regard to the Maastricht Treaty
"The extent of the role the Government feels called upon
to play to ensure ratification is a matter of concern for the
executive arm of government, not the judicial. The Dil
decides what monies are to be voted for expenditure by
the Government on information services (which would
include an advertising campaign in support of an
affirmative vote in a referendum). Should the Government
decide that the national interest required that an
advertising campaign be mounted which was confined to
extolling forcibly the benefits of an affirmative vote, it
would be improper for the courts to express any view on
such a decision."
These statements were based on the concept of the
separation of powers which is fundamental to all of the
provisions of the Constitution.
In the course of his judgment in Crotty v. An Taoiseach
[1987] I.R. 713 however, Finlay C.J. stated at p. 772 of the
"The separation of powers involves for each of the three
constitutional organs not only rights but duties; not only
areas of activity and function but boundaries to them as
well. With regard to the legislature, the right of the courts
to intervene is clear and express."
Having dealt with the nature of such rights with regard to
the legislature, he then went on to say at p. 773 of the
report that:
[1995]2 I.R.
McKenna v. An Taoiseach (No. 2)Hamilton C.J.
"With regard to the executive the position would appear
to be as follows: this Court has on appeal from the
High Court a right and duty to interfere with the activities
of the executive in order to protect or secure the
constitutional rights of individual litigants where such
rights have been or are being invaded by those activities

or where the activities of the executive threaten an

invasion of such rights. This right of intervention is
expressly vested in the High Court and Supreme Court by
the provisions of Article 34, s. 3, sub-s. 1 and 34, s. 4, subs. 3 and impliedly arise from the form of the judicial oath
contained in Article 34, s. 5, sub-section 1."
Neither the powers of the Oireachtas nor of the
Government are absolute even within their own domain.
The Oireachtas is inhibited from enacting any law which is
in any respect repugnant to the Constitution or any
provision thereof and the exercise by the Government of
the executive power of the State is subject to the
provisions of the Constitution.
They are both creatures of the Constitution and are not
empowered to act free from the restraints of the
Constitution. There are boundaries to their areas of
activity and function. As stated by Walsh J. in the passage
from Crotty v. An Taoiseach [1987] I.R. 713 already
"To the judicial organ of Government is given the power
conclusively to decide if there has been a breach of
constitutional restraints."
Consequently, it is the right and duty of the Court to
examine, and if necessary to review the activities of the
Government to ascertain whether its activities are within
its permitted areas of activity and function and whether
the constitutional rights of the litigant are being invaded
by such activity.
The plaintiff claims that her constitutional rights are being
infringed by the activity of the Government in requesting
or advising the voters to vote "Yes" to the proposal.
On the issue as to whether the plaintiff had the locus
standi to institute and maintain the proceedings, the
learned trial judge stated that:
"I have no hesitation in concluding that the plaintiff was
entitled to institute and maintain the present
Though the Government has appealed this finding, I am
satisfied that the learned trial judge was correct.
For the purposes of this case I am prepared to accept that
the Government was acting in accordance with its rights in
the giving of factual information with regard to the

proposal which is the subject of the

[1995]2 I.R.
McKenna v. An Taoiseach (No. 2)Hamilton C.J.
referendum, in expressing its views thereon and in urging
the acceptance of such views.
The fundamental issue raised by the plaintiff in this case
is whether the Government was entitled to expend public
funds for the purpose of promoting a campaign for a 'Yes'
vote in the proposed referendum to amend the terms of
the Constitution.
As illustrated earlier in the course of this judgment,
neither the Constitution nor the Referendum Act, 1994,
envisaged any role for the Government in the submission
of the Bill by referendum to the decision of the People.
The action of the Government in expending public funds
on the promotion of such a campaign was not an action in
pursuance of the executive power of the State.
Even if it were, it would still be subject to examination
and review by the Court in accordance with the dicta
quoted in the course of this judgment.
It is admitted by and on behalf of the Government that it
has expended and proposes to expend certain monies in a
publicity campaign designed to influence public opinion in
relation to the proposed referendum.
The question for consideration is whether such activity
constitutes an interference with the constitutional process
of amending the Constitution and the constitutional rights
of the plaintiff.
The constitutional process for the amendment of the
Constitution has been set forth in detail earlier in this
judgment as being governed by the provisions of Articles
46 and 47 of the Constitution and the terms of the
Referendum Act, 1994.
As stated by McCarthy J. in Crotty v. An Taoiseach [1987]
I.R. 713, the People in having a referendum "are taking a
direct role in government either by amending the
Constitution or refusing to amend it".
The role of the People in amending the Constitution
cannot be overemphasized. It is solely their prerogative to
amend any provision thereof by way of variation, addition

or repeal or to refuse to amend. The decision is theirs and

theirs alone.
Having regard to the importance of the Constitution as
the fundamental law of the State and the crucial role of
the People in the adoption and enactment thereof, any
amendment thereof must be in accordance with the
constitutional process and no interference with that
process can be permitted because, as stated by Walsh J. in
Crotty v. An Taoiseach [1987]
[1995]2 I.R.
McKenna v. An Taoiseach (No. 2)Hamilton C.J.; O'Flaherty J.
I.R. 713, "it is the people themselves who are the
guardians of the Constitution".
As the guardians of the Constitution and in taking a direct
role in government either by amending the Constitution or
by refusing to amend, the People, by virtue of the
democratic nature of the State enshrined in the
Constitution, are entitled to be permitted to reach their
decision free from unauthorised interference by any of the
organs of State that they, the People, have created by the
enactment of the Constitution.
The constitutional process to be followed in the
amendment of the Constitution involves not only
compliance with the provisions of Articles 46 and 47 of the
Constitution and the terms of the Referendum Act, 1994,
but also that regard be had for the constitutional rights of
the citizens and the adoption of fair procedures.
The Bill containing the proposal to amend the Constitution
was initiated in Dil ireann , passed by both Houses
of the Oireachtas and then submitted for the decision of
the People.
Once the Bill has been submitted for the decision of the
People, the People were and are entitled to reach their
decision in a free and democratic manner.
The use by the Government of public funds to fund a
campaign designed to influence the voters in favour of a
"Yes" vote is an interference with the democratic process
and the constitutional process for the amendment of the
Constitution and infringes the concept of equality which is
fundamental to the democratic nature of the State.

I would allow the appeal and declare that the

Government, in expending public monies in the promotion
of a particular result in the referendum is acting in breach
of the Constitution.
O'Flaherty J.
The core question for resolution in this litigation is
whether the Government is entitled to spend the sum of
500,000, which has been voted by the Dil to the
Minister for Equality and Law Reform in connection with
the forthcoming divorce referendum to be held on
November 24th,
(a) to provide information with regard to the issues
involved in the referendum, and
(b) to advocate a vote in favour of the proposed change in
the Constitution which will be set out in the voting paper.
I hold that the Government is clearly entitled to spend
money in providing information to the public on the
implications of the constitutional
[1995]2 I.R.
McKenna v. An Taoiseach (No. 2)O'Flaherty J.
amendment. Further, the Government, as such, is entitled
to campaign for the change and the individual members of
the Government are entitled either in their personal, party
or ministerial capacities to advocate the proposed change.
While there is an argument to be made for saying that the
People should be allowed make their decision in as calm
and unaffected a manner as possible in a referendum, it is
unrealistic to expect a Government to remain neutral on a
topic which it has, through its initiative, brought to the
However, the Government must stop short of spending
public money in favour of one side which has the
consequence of being to the detriment of those opposed
to the constitutional amendment.
To spend money in this way breaches the equality rights
of the citizen enshrined in the Constitution as well as
having the effect of putting the voting rights of one class
of citizen (those in favour of the change) above those of
another class of citizen (those against). The public purse

must not be expended to espouse a point of view which

may be anathema to certain citizens who, of necessity,
have contributed to it. No one would suggest that a
Government is entitled to devote money from the
exchequer in a direct manner in the course of a general
election to secure its re-election. (I leave aside legislative
enactments which it may have helped to bring about with
the outcome of an election in mind.) The position of a
referendum is not any different.
I should think it bordering on the self-evident that in a
democracy such as is enshrined in our Constitution (which
is not exclusively a parliamentary democracy; it has
elements of a plebiciary democracy) it is impermissible for
the Government to spend public money in the course of a
referendum campaign to benefit one side rather that the
Before coming to this particular referendum, I wish to
sketch briefly the historical background to the history of
referendums as far as this jurisdiction is concerned.
Referendums are as old as democracy itself. They have a
long tradition and hallowed place in the constitutional
scheme of some countries: Switzerland is the prime
example. Also, in a number of the States of the United
States of America. They also, on the other hand, have
been abused by tyrants from time to time.
In 1922, on the establishment of the State, the
referendum was seen as an instrument that could curb an
imbalance which was thought to exist in the British system
which favoured the cabinet at the expense of
parliamentary and popular control.
[1995]2 I.R.
McKenna v. An Taoiseach (No. 2)O'Flaherty J.
As Kohn relates:
"The introduction of the machinery of direct legislation
into the structure of the Irish Constitution reflects the
democratic radicalism of its framers. The records of the
constituent Assembly, indeed, throw little light on the
notice underlying the innovation. The desirability,
especially under Irish conditions, of an active association

of the people with the function of law making was the only
argument adduced in its support; yet its place in the
general design of the Constitution leaves little doubt as to
its inspiration and purpose. Its model is to be found less in
the older American, Australian and Swiss precedents than
in the post-War Constitutions of the new continental
republics. In the latter, democratic zeal, political
doctrinairism and distrust of the mechanism of parties and
parliaments had combined to produce a highly involved
design of direct legislation interwoven with the fabric of
representative institutions. On that elaborate pattern the
Irish system was framed."
To concentrate on the method provided for amending the
Constitution of 1922, it was to be by referendum and
required a majority of voters on the register or two thirds
of the votes recorded to be in favour of the amendment.
This provision was not to be operative until 1930, since it
was provided that the Constitution would be amended in a
flexible way, namely by ordinary legislation, for its first
eight years. Since that original eight year period was
extended for a further eight year period, no referendum
was in fact held under the Constitution of 1922.
In any event, along the way, the Government had become
disenamoured of the referendum procedure and a Cabinet
sub-committee set up in 1924 recommended its abolition.
The circumstances surrounding that decision, and its
consequences need not detain us now.
The Constitution of 1937 provided that it could be
amended by ordinary legislation for a three year period
only from the date of the coming into operation of the
Constitution. Two amendments were thus effected.
Thereafter, the Constitution could only be amended by
vote of the People at a referendum in accordance with
Articles 46 and 47 of the Constitution. It was not until
1959 that the first referendum was held. This involved a
proposal to change the voting system from proportional
representation to the straight vote, which was defeated;
as was an identical attempt in a further referendum which
was held in 1968.
The provision of the Constitution in issue in the
forthcoming referendum is Article 41, s. 3, sub-s. 2, which

[1995]2 I.R.
McKenna v. An Taoiseach (No. 2)O'Flaherty J.
"No law shall be enacted providing for the grant of a
dissolution of marriage."
On the 26th June, 1986, the People were asked to remove
the absolute prohibition on divorce contained in this
Article and to replace it with a set of constitutional
provisions allowing divorce in quite restricted
As is well known, the opinion polls taken at the time when
this proposal was first mooted suggested that there would
be a decisive vote in favour of the amendment; things
turned out differently on polling day when there was a
decisive vote against the proposal. This has great
relevance to the issue that we have to decide because it
was submitted before us that not alone is the Government
seeking to advocate a particular point of view but it does
so against the background of what happened on the
occasion of the last referendum on this topic. It is
submitted that it is, by means of this advocacy, unfairly
trying to tip the scales in favour of its position. While the
proposed wording is different to 1986, the concept is the
same which is to remove Article 41, s. 3, sub-s. 2 of the
Constitution and permit of the right to persons who have
separated to remarry. The argument advanced on behalf
of the plaintiff is to say that in light of that background the
Government has all the greater obligation to make sure
that public money is not used to promote one side to the
exclusion of the other.
I think there is great force in this argument and it must be
remembered, too, that while a Bill containing a proposal to
amend the Constitution cannot contain any other
proposal, there is nothing to prevent a referendum being
held on the same day as a general election or presidential
election and this has, in fact, happened in the past.
Therefore, if we were to uphold the legitimacy of the
present proposal, there would be a temptation for
Government in an election atmosphere to stray in other
directions with further inducements and thus sully the

right of the People to decide freely and fairly on what is

put before them in the referendum without any
inducements aside from verbal inducements, which
are the essence of any voting campaign.
I would wish to emphasise, however, that my decision is
concerned with one single, solitary point and that is that it
is impermissible for the Government to use public money
to advocate a particular result in the forthcoming
referendum. It is no answer to say, as has been said, that
the advocacy ["The Government is asking you to vote 'Yes'
on November 24th"] is gentle, bland and mild and is put
forward in the context of making a fair effort on the
Government's part to put all matters before the
[1995]2 I.R.
McKenna v. An Taoiseach (No. 2)O'Flaherty J.; Egan J.
people; nor is it an answer to say that the amount
involved, 500,000, is only a small amount; it may well
be but, even if it is so, the principle is not affected
nor, finally, is it any answer to say that it is either the
entitlement or the "duty" of a Government so to educate
the public. If the Government regards itself as having that
right or duty, it must exercise it without resort to public
On the other hand, I do not think the decision should be
regarded as having consequences wider than is required
by the matter at issue. We have had put before us, should
we decide in favour of the plaintiff, the spectre of
Government Ministers not being entitled to use their State
transport in relation to the referendum; nor to avail of the
radio and television and print media to put forward their
point of view none of those things has any application
to this case and I believe it should not be represented as
having such an effect.
I would allow the appeal and concur on the form of
declaration proposed by the Chief Justice.
Egan J.
The background to this case is fully and clearly set forth
in the judgment of the Chief Justice. In the final analysis
we are concerned with whether or not the Government

was entitled to expend public monies in the sum of

500,000 which had been made available by Dil
ireann to the Minster for Equality and Law Reform
under the heading of "Divorce Referendum" in the conduct
of a campaign to advocate a vote in favour of the
proposed amendment.
Two questions arise from the above:
(a) Apart from spending public money, was the
Government entitled to advocate a vote in favour of the
proposed amendment?
(b) If it was so entitled, could it lawfully expend the said
sum of 500,000 in the promotion of a vote in favour of
the proposed amendment?
The answer to question (a) must be in the affirmative. It is
clear that many persons, bodies and institutions hold
different views as to what answers should be given to
questions proposed to be asked in the referendum. They
are entitled to hold these views, to express them to others
and to advocate what answers should be given in the
referendum. I can see no harm whatever in the
Government expressing strong views in the matter even if
the result may be to influence voters.
[1995]2 I.R.
McKenna v. An Taoiseach (No. 2)Egan J.; Blayney J.
As regards (b) I can find no specific prohibition either in
the Constitution itself or the Referendum Act, 1994, to
prevent the sum of 500,000 being spent on the
promotion of a vote in favour of the proposed amendment.
The money was voted to the control of the Government
under the heading "Divorce Referendum" and could, of
course, only be applied for a purpose or purposes which
would come under that heading. Apart from that, there is
no direction, statutory or otherwise that it must be
apportioned or applied in any particular manner. Apart
from such a direction in clear terms it is a matter solely for
the executive arm of government to decide how the
money should be expended. Its decision is not for the
scrutiny of the judicial branch of government.
I would dismiss the claim.

Blayney J.
Two very important issues arise for determination on this
appeal: firstly, is the Government entitled to expend State
monies on funding a publicity campaign directed to
persuading the public to vote in favour of the proposed
amendment in the referendum to be held on the 24th
November? And secondly, if the Government is not
entitled to do this, can the Court intervene by way of
injunction to prevent it?
Article 46, s. 2 of the Constitution lays down the
procedure for amending the Constitution:
"Every proposal for an amendment of this Constitution
shall be initiated in Dil ireann as a Bill, and shall
upon having been passed or deemed to have been passed
by both Houses of the Oireachtas, be submitted by
referendum to the decision of the people in accordance
with the law for the time being in force relating to the
The law for the time being in force relating to a
referendum is the Referendum Act, 1994. This Act is
principally concerned with the manner in which a
referendum is to be held and with the procedure for
challenging the result of a referendum by referendum
petition. Two sections, however, deal with how information
in regard to the referendum may be given to the public.
Section 22, sub-s. 1 provides as follows:
"An Post shall cause copies of the Bill containing the
proposal which is the subject of the referendum to be
made available for inspection and purchase by members
of the public at such post offices as shall be agreed upon
between the Minister and An Post at all times at which
such post offices are open during the period commencing
[1995]2 I.R.
McKenna v. An Taoiseach (No. 2)Blayney J.
the fifth day after the date of the order appointing the
polling day and ending on the polling day."
And s. 23, sub-s. 1 of the Act provides as follows:
"At a referendum a statement in relation to the proposal

which is the subject of the referendum may be prescribed

for the information of voters by resolution of each House
of the Oireachtas and, where a statement is so prescribed
(a) a polling information card sent under section 92 of the
Act of 1922 (as applied by section 32), shall contain a
copy of the statement;
(b) copies of the statement shall also be sent by the local
returning officer for a constituency to every elector whose
name is on the register of presidential electors for such
constituency and is on the postal voters list for such
constituency at the same time as the ballot paper for the
poll at the referendum is sent to the elector;
(c) copies of the statement shall also be sent by the local
returning officer for a constituency to every elector whose
name is on the register of presidential electors for such
constituency and is on the special voters list for such
constituency and shall be so sent in sufficient time to be
delivered to the elector before the delivery of the ballot
paper to the elector;
(d) copies of the statement shall be displayed by a
presiding officer in and in the precincts of the polling
station; provided that the referendum shall not be
invalidated by reason of any failure to display such copies
in or in the precincts of any polling station."
In the light of the provisions of Art. 46, s. 2 of the
Constitution, and of the Referendum Act, 1994, what is the
role of the Government where a Bill to amend the
Constitution has been passed or been deemed to have
been passed by both Houses of the Oireachtas? It seems
to me that it is clear that a duty is imposed on the
Government to submit the Bill by referendum to the
decision of the People in accordance with the Act of 1994.
Neither the Constitution nor the Act gives any other role to
the Government. And even in the matter of giving
information to the electorate about the proposed
amendment, the task of doing this, as appears from the
terms of s. 23 of the Act which I have just cited, is given to
the two Houses of the Oireachtas and not to the
Government. It is reasonable, accordingly, to infer that
neither the Constitution nor the Referendum Act, 1994,
envisaged that the Government, once a Bill for the

amendment of
[1995]2 I.R.
McKenna v. An Taoiseach (No. 2)Blayney J.
the Constitution had been passed, would have any further
role to play other than to submit the Bill by referendum to
the decision of the People. In spite of this appearing to be
the position, is the Government nonetheless justified not
merely in advocating a "Yes" vote, but in using public
funds to finance a publicity campaign in support of this
view? On behalf of the plaintiff, Mr. Forde submitted very
strongly that it is not. He submitted that the Government's
action constitutes a breach of the individual's right to
equality before the law. He argued that the Government,
by employing public money in support of one side in the
referendum debate, without express legislative authority
to do so, was failing to observe equal treatment in a
critical political process.
On behalf of the State, Mr. O'Driscoll submitted that there
was a duty on the Government to submit the amendment
to the People in an affirmative way, to campaign for a
"Yes" vote and a necessary requirement was that the
campaign should be financed. The expenditure on
publicity was accordingly justified.
In considering how the first question which I outlined at
the beginning of this judgment should be answered, one
starts with the basic position that the Constitution requires
that the amendment be submitted to the decision of the
People and that this is to be done in accordance with the
Act of 1994. As I indicated earlier, neither the provisions of
the Constitution nor the provisions of the Act of 1994
envisage that the executive would have any role other
than to submit the amendment to the decision of the
People. No guidance is given as to how this role is to be
carried out, but since it is a role imposed on the executive
by the Constitution in connection with the very important
constitutional right of the People, that is voting at a
referendum, I am satisfied that constitutional justice
requires that the executive should act fairly in discharging
it, not favouring any section of the People at the expense
of any other section. This would seem to be a minimum

requirement for the discharge of any constitutional

obligation. The people are entitled to be treated equally.
In the course of his judgment in Glover v. B.L.N. Ltd.
[1973] I.R. 388, Walsh J. said at p. 425 of the report:
"This court in In re Haughey [1971] I.R. 217 held that
that provision of the Constitution [Article 40, s. 3] was a
guarantee of fair procedures. It is not, in my opinion,
necessary to discuss the full effect of this Article in the
realm of private law or indeed of public law. It is sufficient
to say that public policy and the dictates of constitutional
justice require that statutes, regulations or agreements
setting up machinery
[1995]2 I.R.
McKenna v. An Taoiseach (No. 2)Blayney J.
for taking decisions which may affect rights or impose
liabilities should be construed as providing for fair
This statement of the law was made in the context of the
procedure to be followed by the board of directors of the
defendant company in deciding whether or not to dismiss
the plaintiff from his office as technical director. So it was
made in the context of a decision by a body of persons
which would affect an individual. The agreement under
which the plaintiff was employed had to be construed as
providing for fair procedures. In the instant case the Court
is concerned with something of far greater weight and
importance than an agreement affecting an individual. It is
concerned with the Constitution itself and a decision by
way of referendum which could have a profound influence
on the whole of society in the State. Can it be doubted
that the requirement that the amendment be submitted to
the decision of the People should be construed as
providing for fair procedures?
Has the executive observed fair procedures in submitting
the amendment to the decision of the People? In my view
it has not. The Government has not held the scales equally
between those who support and those who oppose the
amendment. It has thrown its weight behind those who
support it. The Government's intention, as indicated very
clearly in a letter dated the 20th October, 1995, written on

the direction of the Minister for Equality and Law Reform

to a public relations firm engaged by the Department, is to
spend a sum of over 400,000 in inserting
advertisements in the national press and having leaflets
printed, the object of which is to advocate a "Yes" vote. If
this plan were implemented it would give a very
considerable advantage to those who support the
amendment as against those who oppose it. The
Government would be acting unfairly in the manner in
which it was submitting the amendment to the decision of
the People.
I am satisfied accordingly that the answer to the first
question which I posed at the commencement of this
judgment is that the Government is not entitled to expend
State monies for the purpose of securing an affirmative
result in the referendum.
As regards the second question which I posed, whether
the Court is entitled to intervene to restrain the
Government from continuing to expend public funds for
the purpose of securing an affirmative result in the
referendum, I am satisfied that it is. The Chief Justice has
dealt very fully in his judgment with the jurisdiction of the
Court in this regard, and I am in complete agreement with
his conclusions. The Government has in my opinion acted
in disregard of the provisions of the Constitution in the
[1995]2 I.R.
McKenna v. An Taoiseach (No. 2)Blayney J.; Denham J.
manner in which it has submitted the amendment to the
decision of the people and the Court, accordingly, is
obliged to intervene.
For all these reasons I would allow this appeal, and I
concur in the form of declaration proposed by the Chief
Denham J.
I agree with the judgment of the Chief Justice that in
expending public monies to campaign for a specific
outcome to a referendum the Government are not acting
within their powers under the Constitution and the law.
On the constitutional aspect of the case the fundamental

issue is summarised in the first paragraph of the defence

where it is stated:
"The Government is entitled to expend public monies for
the purpose of promoting a campaign for a particular
outcome to a proposed referendum to amend the terms of
the Constitution."
The kernel of the case is the spending of public monies to
promote one side in a referendum campaign. At issue are
basic concepts of a democracy. Under Bunreacht na h
ireann the powers of government derive from the
people. Article 6 states:
"1. All powers of government, legislative, executive and
judicial, derive, under God, from the people, whose right it
is to designate the rulers of the State and, in final appeal,
to decide all questions of national policy, according to the
requirements of the common good.
2. These powers of government are exercisable only by or
on the authority of the organs of State established by this
The Constitution envisaged a government wherein there
is a separation of powers between the legislative,
executive and judicial organs of government. They operate
a system of checks and balances on each other. All three
are subject to the Constitution, which recognises that the
fundamental power rests in the People. The Constitution
envisages a true democracy: the rule of the People. This
case is about the constitutional relationship of the People
to their government.
The most fundamental method by which the People
decide all questions of national policy according to the
requirements of the common good is by way of
referendum. Walsh J. stated in Crotty v. An Taoiseach
[1987] I.R. 713 at p. 783:
"In the last analysis it is the people themselves who are
the guardians of the Constitution."
[1995]2 I.R.
McKenna v. An Taoiseach (No. 2)Denham J.
The People alone amend the Constitution. In Byrne v.
Ireland [1972] I.R. 241 the matter was encapsulated by

Walsh J. who stated at p. 262:

". . . the State is the creation of the People and is to be
governed in accordance with the provisions of the
Constitution which was enacted by the People and which
can be amended by the People only, and . . . the sovereign
authority is the People."
In referenda the People vote on the proposed
amendment. Such vote must be free.
The issue is whether the Government may spend public
monies to promote a result in a referendum i.e., "Vote
Yes". There is no difference in principle between
500,000 to promote this campaign and 50 million to
promote a different constitutional change in another
I am satisfied that the Government are not entitled under
the Constitution or law to spend public funds in this way.
To so do would be to infringe upon at least three
constitutional rights:
(1) The right of equality;
(2) The right to freedom of expression; and
(3) The right to a democratic process in referenda.
Right of Equality
Article 40, s. 1 states:
"All citizens shall, as human persons, be held equal before
the law."
This recognises the equality of citizens. It also requires
the organs of government in the execution of their powers
to have due regard to the right of equality. The citizen has
the right to be treated equally. This includes the concept
that in the democratic process, including referenda,
neither side of an issue will be favoured, treated
unequally, by the government.
While there is no barrier created by the Government to
people voting"no" in the upcoming referendum, that does
not take into account the importance of media and
communications in society today. To fund one side of a
campaign in a referendum so as to enable media coverage
and communications to promote a specific outcome, is to
treat unequally those who believe to the contrary whether
they be a majority or a minority. For the Government to
fund one side of a campaign is to treat unequally those
citizens who hold the opposite view. It is irrelevant what

view the Government takes. To fund one side in a national

referendum campaign, even if only to partially so fund, is
to breach the spirit of equality.
[1995]2 I.R.
McKenna v. An Taoiseach (No. 2)Denham J.
The spirit of equality was recognised by Budd J. in the
High Court decision of O'Donovan v. The Attorney General
[1961] I.R. 114 at p. 137 where, considering the Electoral
(Amendment) Act, 1959, and the aspects of the
Constitution relevant to voting, he stated:
"Article 40, s. 1 provides that all citizens shall, as human
persons, be held equal before the law. . . . A 'democratic
state' is one where government by the People prevails. In
modern usage of the words I believe it to be correct to say
a "democratic state" denotes one in which all citizens
have equal political rights. That the words should be given
such a meaning in our Constitution seems to be supported
by the other two Articles I have referred to as to the
restriction of voting power to one vote per person and the
equality of all before the law . . . There are thus contained
in the Constitution other Articles the spirit of which
demands equality of voting power and representation. The
Articles I have just referred to admittedly have reference
to equality of voting power, but are relevant in construing
sub-clause 2.3 of Article 16 of this extent, that if it be
established, as I believe it is, that the spirit and
intendment of these other Articles is that the notion of
equality in political matters is to be maintained, it would
be illogical to find a different and inconsistent principle
adumbrated elsewhere in the Constitution."
The spirit and concept of equality applies to the process
of a referendum. There is a right to equal treatment in the
political process. It is a breach of the concept and spirit of
the constitutional right to equality for the Government to
spend public monies in funding a campaign to advocate a
specific result in a referendum.
The right to freedom of expression
The freedom to express opinions incorporates the
corollary right that in the democratic process of free

elections, public funds should not be used to fund one side

of an electoral process, whether it be a referendum or a
general election, to the detriment of the other side of the
Right to a democratic procedure in referenda
Ireland is a democratic state. The citizen is entitled under
the Constitution to a democratic process. The citizen is
entitled to a democracy free from governmental
intercession with the process, no matter how well
intentioned. No branch of the government is entitled to
use taxpayers
[1995]2 I.R.
McKenna v. An Taoiseach (No. 2)Denham J.
monies from the Central Fund to intercede with the
democratic process either as to the voting process or as to
the campaign prior to the vote.
This is an implied right pursuant to Article 40, s. 3 which
harmonises with Article 5, Article 6, s. 1, Article 16, Article
40, s. 1, Article 47, s. 3 and is in keeping with the
democratic nature of Bunreacht na hireann .
Leo Kohn in "The Constitution of the Irish Free State"
(published by Allen and Unwin, 1932) writing of the 1922
Constitution stated (see p. 116):
"A constitution based on a wide suffrage, Proportional
Representation and a rational distribution of
constituencies, embodying an elaborate system of checks
and balances designed to preclude the growth of
autocratic tendencies in any of its organs, such a
framework, whatever might be thought of the
practicability of some of these devices, could claim to
have not merely proclaimed the sovereignty of the people
in the abstract, but to have invested it with concrete
These words could have been written of Bunreacht na h
ireann . Today, with the jurisprudence which has grown
around the Constitution, the words are fitting.
Power derives from the People, and is exercised under the
Constitution through their organs of government
(legislative, executive, judicial). Power and decisionmaking in referenda is with the People.

The organs of government are instruments of the People.

Thus, the democratic process is fundamental and critical
to the exercise of power under the Constitution.
German case law
Dr. Forde, on behalf of the plaintiffs, requested the Court
to follow the view of the German Constitutional Court in
the Official Propaganda Case (1977) 46 BVerf G.E. 125.
This case:
(a) is based on a Constitution other than Bunreacht na h
ireann; and
(b) relates to a general election.
However, it is a persuasive authority (as a comparative
Constitution) on fundemanetal principles of democracy
and equality which, as a basic tenet, are common to both
[1995]2 I.R.
McKenna v. An Taoiseach (No. 2)Denham J.
The merits of the Government's message are not in issue.
The question for consideration is the spending of public
My decision in this case does not infringe upon the right
and duty of the Government to give information, to clarify
situations, or to give explanations and deal with
unforeseen matters and emergencies. However, the
Government is not entitled to expend public monies for
the purpose of promoting a campaign for a particular
outcome to a proposed referendum to amend the terms of
the Constitution. I would allow the appeal.
Solicitors for the plaintiff: MacGeehin & Toale.
Solicitor for the defendants: The Chief State Solicitor.
James Devlin, Barrister
[1995] 2 I.R. 10

Martin, M. (2009). 28th Amendment of the

Constitution (Treaty of Lisbon) Bill. Presented at the
Ministry for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Dublin,
Ireland. Retrieved April 28, 2014,

Apollo House campaigners

may take court action to
force end to homelessness
Home Sweet Home says Nama Act allows Noonan to wipe
out problem at stroke of a pen
Fri, Dec 23, 2016, 13:31 Updated: Fri, Dec 23, 2016,
Pictures from inside show the current living conditions in Apollo
House, an occupied building on Dublin's Tara Street. Video: Irish
Housing Network

Apollo isn't about some poxy temporary beds in a run

down 9pm-9am dangerous dorm. It's about NAMA
withholding real homes from the homeless.

Campaigners working with 40 homeless people in

Apollo House have said they will take court action

against Minister for Finance Michael Noonan if

necessary to force him to hand over State-owned
property to tackle the homelessness crisis.
Home Sweet Home, which took over the Nama-owned
building in Dublin city centre last week, said on Friday
that the National Asset Management Agency (Nama)
Act made specific provision for the minister of the day
to instruct the property agency to to put any property
to whatever use he decrees.
Spokesman Tommy Gavin said the group intended to
lobby the minister to take the necessary steps under
the Nama Act to end homelessness.
If necessary, we will seek the assistance of the courts,
he said at a briefing outside the office building.
Mr Gavin said the minister had the power to wipe out
homelessness at the stroke of a pen.
The fact that this has not occurred is fundamentally
Ireland is unique in dealing with homelessness in that
we have Nama, a State-owned property company, that
owns more than enough property to house our entire
population of 6,700 homeless people, Mr Gavin said.
Accordingly, we are establishing a pledge-based
defence fund where you the public in Ireland and
beyond, will be able to pledge the necessary funds to
win this case if necessary. So we call on the Minister for
Finance to insist that Nama designate enough of the
State-owned property for appropriate residential use to
end homelessness.
Council concerned over safety claims in Apollo House
Home Sweet Home ordered to vacate Apollo House next
No more than 40 homeless to stay at Apollo House each

The Peter McVerry Trust homeless charity has been

invited to visit Apollo House to hold accommodation

clinics with residents in advance of a January 11th

deadline for them to leave the building.
It said 30 people had so far been assessed and 21 had
accepted moves to alternative accommodation
facilitated by the charity. Home Sweet Home has said
the spaces vacated at Apollo House will be offered to
other people, through soup kitchens and other services.
Minister for Housing Simon Coveney said, meanwhile,
there was understandably a lot of concern around
homelessness particularly at this time of year. The
number of rough sleepers counted during the official
count on November 22nd last was 142.
He said three new facilities for homeless people had
been provided at a cost of 5.4 million.
Last night some 54 beds were not used across the
entire system, he said.
Mr Coveney said a 40 per cent increase in homeless
funding from 70 million in 2016 to 98 million in
2017 would ensure that the increased demand for
emergency homeless services was effectively addressed
and that it would assist in supporting homeless
households with long term housing solutions.
Asked why the residents of Apollo House were not
taking up one of 54 new hostel beds made available, Mr
Gavin said many of these beds were in so-called wet
hostels, where alcohol is allowed.
This is a dry environment. A lot of people that are
being made homeless now, its as a result of
unemployment and of rising rents. Its not necessarily
because of high social need that people are being made
homeless, and these are not good environments for
those people, he said.
The Home Sweet Home group was ordered by the High
Court on Wednesday to leave the building on Tara
Street in Dublin city on January 11th.

The group gained entry to the building the previous

In a case brought by the joint receivers of the building,
Mr Justice Paul Gilligan ruled the coalition of activists
and homeless people involved in the occupation were
Separately, the the Merchants Quay Ireland
homelessness charity responded to recent criticisms of
its MQI Night Caf , which suggested it was not an
adequate response to people sleeping rough.
MQI said it shared this concern, as all people who were
homeless should have access to a bed in a safe and
dignified setting.
The caf opened in January 2015 following the death of
homeless man Jonathan Corrie (43) outside Leinster

223m 'lost by Nama' in

Project Eagle sale
Agency rejects C&AG's claims and
questions expertise
Shane Phelan Twitter
15/09/2016 | 02:30


Nama chief Frank Daly rejects claims made by Seamus McCarth
that Nama should have received more for the Project Eagle loan
portfolio Picture: Tom Burke

The State's financial watchdog has found

there was a potential loss to the taxpayer of
Stg190m (223.5m) from the sale of
Nama's Northern Ireland loans portfolio,
Project Eagle.

In a damning report, Comptroller & Auditor General

(C&AG) Seamus McCarthy raised questions over how the
portfolio, at the time the biggest property sale in Irish
history, was valued and marketed.

Mr McCarthy also criticised Nama's failure to take more

action when it learned a former adviser, controversial
business consultant Frank Cushnahan, stood to be paid
Stg5m by one of the bidders.
But in an unprecedented attack on the C&AG, Nama
rejected many of the report's findings last night, claiming
some of Mr McCarthy's main conclusions were based on
incorrect assumptions. It said Mr McCarthy had not
sought out international experts who, the agency said,
concurred with Nama's decision to apply a 10pc discount
to the portfolio.
The portfolio, comprising of loans to Northern Irish
debtors linked to more than 850 properties, was sold to
US vulture fund Cerberus for Stg1.241m (1.6bn at the
time) in April 2014.
But the deal has been mired in controversy over the past
year, amid allegations of corruption and plans to make
secret payments to politicians and businessmen.
Amid the unfolding controversy Nama has always
maintained it acted appropriately and achieved the best
possible return for the taxpayer.
But these arguments were sharply contradicted by the
C&AG report. It found:
* Nama lost Stg190m on the deal by applying a discount
rate of 10pc, rather than its usual 5.5pc discount on the
* Arguments by Nama that it needed to increase the
discount due to the poor quality of the properties, weak
market conditions, fractious relations with debtors and
political considerations in the North was "not persuasive";
* No reference was made to the increased discount in
papers presented to the Nama board;
Nama departed from its normal loan sale process in this

Adviser: Frank Cushnahan

* Restrictions Nama implemented, relative to its standard

process, reduced both the level of competition and the
opportunity for potential bidders to assess the value of the
* Information about Mr Cushnahan being in line for fees
from a bidder warranted more action by Nama;
* It should have sought advice from the compliance
support unit of the National Treasury Management
Agency or contacted Mr Cushnahan seeking an
* Instead, Nama relied on a assurance from winning
bidder Cerberus that neither Mr Cushnahan nor anyone
else linked to Nama stood to receive a payment in relation
to the deal;
* Nama's sales adviser Lazard was not briefed on the
disclosures, or asked for its assessment of the potential
* Nama adopted "a narrow approach", focusing on its legal
obligations, rather than considering other actions after
receiving the information about Mr Cushnahan.
Nama said last night it "categorically" rejected the

It claimed key finding on the size of the discount were

based on an incorrect assumption about the discount rate
used to value Northern Ireland loans.
"It incorrectly assumes Nama should apply the same
discount rate to poor quality Northern Ireland loans as it
did to much higher quality assets in Dublin and London,"
the agency said in a statement.
It also claimed that the report was "carried out by C&AG
staff with no market experience of loan sales".
Nama chairman Frank Daly told the Irish Independent he
was satisfied the agency acted correctly at all times and
that it would not do anything differently in hindsight.
He said there had been no point in contacting Mr
Cushnahan as he had left Nama and the bidder with whom
he had a proposed fee arrangement withdrew from the
sales process.
The row between both sides looks set to continue in a
fortnight when they will appear before the Dil Public
Accounts Committee.
Mr McCarthy will be given an opportunity to explain how
he reached his findings at the hearing.
The publication of his report came at the Cabinet decided
to launch an inquiry into the Project Eagle sale.
However, the format of that inquiry will not be decided
until after the Government holds discussions with
Opposition parties.
Despite what you are claiming, NAMA are not making a return for
the taxpayer. In fact they are incurring massive losses not only in
property and land from the taxpayers but financially as well so your
support for that scam is naively endearing.
Of course your argument would have merit if you didn't go using the
"but" to explain your stance. If nobody wants to see homeless then
that should be where you should have stopped, otherwise you
actually mean that no one cares if there are homeless so long as
A,B,C are not affected. And clearly you don't care either

2010 and 2011: Northern Irish property

loans worth around 6bn are transferred
into Nama.

May 2010: Finance Minister Brian Lenihan appoints

Frank Cushnahan, a former banker, to Nama's Northern
Ireland Advisory Committee, on the recommendation of
his Northern counterpart Sammy Wilson.
Early to mid 2013: Amid concerns developers face a raw
deal from Nama, Belfast accountant David Watters draws
up a proposal for the northern loans to be sold to a single
buyer. The idea is that a buyer could support the
borrowers, helping their businesses to recover.
Mr Cushnahan and Ian Coulter, the managing partner of
Belfast law firm Tughans, become involved in the scheme.
Mr Coulter contacts US law firm Brown Rudnick to see if it
has interested clients.
May 2013: Representatives of investment firm Pimco
meet First Minister Peter Robinson. Mr Cushnahan and
Mr Coulter are also present.
June 2013: Mr Wilson writes to Finance Minister
Michael Noonan, saying investors are interested in the
portfolio. Mr Noonan tells him companies should contact
September 2013: Brown Rudnick informs Nama of
Pimco's interest.
November 2013: Frank Cushnahan steps down from the
advisory committee, citing personal reasons.
January 2014: Nama receives a letter from Mr
Robinson's office outlining a proposed memorandum of
understanding with Pimco, should it buy the portfolio.
This includes favourable terms for debtors.
Nama says it ignored the document.
The same month Nama appoints UK financial advisory
firm Lazards to auction the portfolio, by now known as
Project Eagle. It contains loans linked to 850 properties.
Lazard contacts nine potential candidates.
February 2014: Three potential bidders are in the race Cerberus, Fortress and Pimco.
March 2014: Pimco informs Nama it has discussed
paying a fee of Stg15m to be split between Mr
Cushnahan, Tughans and Brown Rudnick.

Both Nama and Pimco have reservations about Mr

Cushnahan's involvement and Pimco pulls out.
Mr Robinson and Mr Coulter subsequently meet Cerberus
chairman and former US Vice President Dan Quayle.
April 2014: Cerberus has a Stg1.241bn bid, around
1.6bn at the time, accepted. It is just over Nama's reserve
price. Underbidder Fortress had offered just under
In a statement, Nama chairman Frank Daly and chief
executive Brendan McDonagh say: "It is Nama's biggest
single transaction to date and we are satisfied that the
sales process will deliver the best possible result for the
Irish taxpayer."
January 2015: Mr Coulter unexpectedly leaves his role at
July 2015: Independent TD Mick Wallace alleges in the
Dil that an audit in Tughans uncovered Stg7m in an Isle
of Man account, money linked to the Project Eagle deal.
He says this was reportedly earmarked for a Northern
Ireland politician or party.
The PSNI initiates an investigation and it is quickly taken
over by the UK's National Crime Agency.
Tughans says the cash was transferred by Mr Coulter and
it emerges the matter has been the subject of a Law Society
of Northern Ireland investigation for several months.
July 2015: Mr Daly tells the Dil Public Accounts
Committee (PAC) about the proposed fee arrangement
involving Pimco and Mr Cushnahan. It also emerges Mr
Noonan was informed, but did not intervene to stop the
sales process.
Mr Daly defends Nama's integrity and insists the agency
got value for money.
He says no external member of its advisory board,
including Mr Cushnahan, had access to confidential
information relating to the sale.
Mr Daly says Nama sought and received assurances from
Cerberus that Mr Cushnahan was not involved in the bid
and would not be a beneficiary.

September 2015: Belfast businessman Gareth Graham

files a complaint about the deal with the US Securities and
Exchange Commission.
Political blogger Jamie Bryson claims at a Stormont
committee that Mr Robinson, Mr Coulter, Mr Cushnahan,
Mr Waters and developer Andrew Creighton were to
receive payments following the deal.
The allegations are denied.
October 2015: Mr Daly tells the PAC: "I do not agree that
the bidding process had been corrupt."
He adds: "I absolutely stand over the integrity of the
process and stand over the fact that the taxpayer got value
for money." Mr Noonan rejects calls for a governmentappointed inquiry.
February 2016: The BBC broadcasts a secret recording
of Mr Cushnahan saying he was due to receive Stg6m
from the deal.
March 2016: A Stormont inquiry criticises Mr Noonan
for not stepping in and halting the sales process when
evidence emerged it may have been compromised. Mr
Noonan's office says it is satisfied Nama fulfilled its
mandate of achieving the best return for the Irish
June 2016: The NCA arrests Mr Cushnahan and former
Nama head of asset management Ronnie Hanna. Both are
released without charge.
September 2016: The BBC broadcasts a recording of Mr
Cushnahan receiving Stg40,000 from a Nama debtor in
2012. In the recording he pledged to come up with a
scheme to extract developer John Miskelly's loans from
Nama, suggesting he would get the assistance of Nama's
then head of asset management Ronnie Hanna. Mr Hanna
denies any wrongdoing.
Yesterday: A Comptroller & Auditor General report finds
Nama probably lost Stg190m from the sale.
It also criticised Nama for not taking more action when it
learned of the proposed fee to Mr Cushnahan. The C&AG
said Nama did not even contact Mr Cushnahan at the time

for an explanation. Nama disputes the findings. The

Government announces there will be an inquiry into the
sale, although how it will be conducted has yet to be

Pharmaceutical Sector in Ireland


European Affairs Ireland : Mr Brian COWEN Minister ... by

Commissioner Patten and noted ... and to finalise the
internal market and trade
Fianna Fail Taoiseach Brian Cowen TD 4 ... European Investment
Bank support for Irish Businesses ... The Operation of the European
Social Fund in Ireland . 2009
Ireland Taoiseach the previous day, Brian Cowen was nominated and
appointed as Taoiseach. European Union Ireland has been a ...
Country profile, Ireland Danske Bank


Prof. Tom HICKEY
Overview of republican freedom
I. The constitutions of 1919 and 1922: the entrenchment
of responsible government
II. The constitution of 1937 and de Valras taste for strong
III. Tensions between theory and practice: a

dysfunctional parliament?
IV. Will the long-suffering political generation stand up for
the republic?
V. Conclusion
In recommending the constitution to Dil ireann in the
summer of 1937, the Taoiseach, Eamon de Valra,
forthrightly asserted: if there is one thing more than any
other that is clear and shining through this whole
constitution, he insisted, it is the fact that the people are
the masters. The language is striking in the context of a
republican analysis. Following the lead of Philip Pettit and
Quentin Skinner, neo-republican scholars theorize the idea
of freedom by reference to the image of the master-andslave relationship. The slaves situation captures the very
essence of domination, or unfreedom. He lives in
potestate domini: in the power of a master. His choices are
reliant entirely on his masters will. His master can
therefore interfere in his choices on an unchecked or
arbitrary basis and it is this fact, republicans suggest, that
explains the slaves state of unfreedom.
The republican concern for the checking of power is
fundamental in this analysis of the Westminster model of
responsible government and its incorporation into the
nascent Irish state in the constitutions of 1919 and 1922.
For republicans, the responsible element is critical. The
thought is that those who wield executive power do not
enjoy it on an arbitrary basis: they are responsible, in the
sense of being accountable or answerable, to parliament.
Their power is controlled by the peoples representatives
and so the decisions taken by government ministers
running the departments of state are taken with both eyes
firmly fixed on the peoples interests and the common
good. In theory at least, executive power is exercised on
the peoples terms. In this way, the Westminster model of
responsible government seems to do well by the
republican account of freedom as non-domination.
This analysis is simplistic, of course, and ignores some
grave problems in the Westminster model as it works in
practice. Most obviously, it ignores the fact of the effective
fusion of executive and legislative power, and the related

tendency for executive control of parliament. As executive

power shifted from crown to cabinet in the nineteenth
century, an apparent contradiction developed in
Westminster. Where previously parliamentarians could
tackle ministers without fear of a consequent collapse of
government, gradually they or at least, by definition, a
majority of them began to understand their primary
parliamentary role to be to maintain the government of
the day in power. This challenges the ideal image
presented of responsible government and suggests an
apparent tendency towards the concentration, rather than
the dispersion, of political power. More to the point, it
suggests a fundamental tension between republican
idealism and that model of government.
This article addresses this and related questions by
reference to the 20th century Irish constitutional
experience. It critiques the Irish constitutions of 1919,
1922 and 1937 in respect of the distribution of political
power. It looks at the apprehensions of the main political
actors of the period regarding the extent to which the
Westminster model tended to concentrate excessive
power in the cabinet, and assesses the efforts made to
counteract that tendency. It also considers the
performance of Dil ireann in the exercise of its three
essential constitutionally-mandated functions: the
appointment and dismissal of governments, the holding of
government to account, and the making of laws. The
article identifies a tension between theory and practice
between how the constitution appears to envisage
parliament working and how it actually works and argues
that this tension seriously undermines the republican
credentials of the Irish constitution.
While the focus is very much on the Irish experience in the
twentieth century, two broader themes underlie the
arguments. First, there is this general concern that the
question of the compatibility of the model of responsible
government with republican idealism remains underexplored. The thought is that perhaps the weaknesses of
that model are such that republican theory might instead
recommend consociational or consensus type models.
Second, there is the concern that the excessive control of
political power-wielders in systems modeled on the British

constitution receives inadequate attention amongst

constitutional scholars and those engaged in public law.
The danger is that scholars engaged in the legal, human
rights and related fields may tend towards the dangerous
misapprehension that the task of protecting the citizen
against the abuse of public power, so far as
constitutionalism is concerned, is for the courts alone, by
way of the fundamental rights provisions and judicial
review. This evokes the arguments made by republicanminded public law scholars such as Adam Tomkins and
Richard Bellamy against the notion of legal
constitutionalism (as distinct from their preferred notion
of political constitutionalism), which refers, amongst other
things, to the tendency to see law as an activity that is not
only distinctive from but also superior to politics, and to a
tendency to see law as an enterprise that is to take place
only in the courts. The suggestion is that the public law
community cannot ignore the ways in which a republican
constitution mandates a broader democratic culture, as
well as specific political institutions, with a view to
protecting the citizen from arbitrary power.
The article is in three parts. Part I assesses the
incorporation of the Westminster model into the nascent
state in the constitutions of 1919 and 1922. Part II turns to
the constitution of 1937, and presents this tension
between the theoretical design and the institutional
practice. Part III looks to institutional reforms that might
do well by the republican account of freedom. Before
taking up these tasks, the remainder of this introduction
offers an overview of that account of freedom.
Overview of republican freedom
The neo-republicanism associated with Philip Pettit and
Quentin Skinner emerged in the wake of a republican
revival in the middle and towards the end of the 20th
century, following seminal works by historians such as
Gordon Wood and J.G.A. Pocock. Neo-republican scholars
draw on the themes that emerged in the Roman republic,
such as the rule of law, the idea of a mixed constitution,
and an objection to factional approaches to public affairs.
Republican ideas were heavily shaped by Machiavelli, and
later by 17th century English republicans, most notably,

James Harrington. Another great surge in republican

thought came in the writings of Jefferson, Madison and the
American founding generation.
The themes of republican thought already mentioned
and others such as the importance of civic virtue and of
vigilance on the part of citizens regarding abuse of power,
the objection to corruption, the concern about majority
tyranny and so on are all concerned fundamentally with
one goal: the checking of power. Republicans therefore
insist on the dispersion of power, in both its public and its
private forms. No individual or institution in a republic
enjoys unchecked, or arbitrary, power. Arbitrary power, or
domination, which republicans equate with unfreedom,
prevails when one agent whether an individual or a
group of individuals can interfere in the choices of
another or others at will. Hence James Harringtons
immortal phrase: a republic is an empire of laws and not
of men.
This republican way of thinking about freedom contrasts
with the classical liberal or libertarian account, associated
with Thomas Hobbes and Jeremy Bentham amongst
others, which insists that freedom consists simply in noninterference, not in non-domination. That is, an agent
enjoys freedom simply to the extent that his choices go
unobstructed. Whether the obstruction is on an arbitrary
or a non-arbitrary basis is irrelevant, at least insofar as the
concept of freedom is concerned. The conclusion, of
course, is that an individual could be as free, or even more
free, under a monarchical regime than under a republican
form of government: a monarch may happen to interfere
in the lives of his subjects with less frequency and
intensity than a republican government in the lives of
citizens. In the contemporary context, a citizenry may be
well be more free under an all-powerful government than
under a government that is meaningfully accountable for
its decisions to the peoples representatives in parliament.
The Hobbesian argument prompts republicans to respond
by invoking the image of the kindly master. The slave of
a kindly master a master who enjoys the power to
interfere in the choices of his slaves but who, for whatever
reason, chooses not to exercise his powers of interference
therefore enjoys freedom, on Hobbesian lights.

Republicans simply point out the incongruity of the idea

that a slave could be described as free. Applying the
Hobbesian thesis to the present context, an excessive
concentration of political power is, in itself,
unobjectionable. A group of individuals such as those
who comprise a particular cabinet may enjoy any degree
of power over any length of time. The concern amongst
proponents of freedom as non-interference would be for
how power is exercised, not for whether or to what extent
it is enjoyed. They might ask: to what extent does the
cabinet actually introduce laws that obstruct (or interfere
with) the choices of individuals living under their
authority? Republicans, by contrast, would ask: to what
extent is the power of the cabinet hemmed in by law
such that they do not rule on an unconstrained basis? In
the case of the Westminster model of government,
republicans would thus follow Bernard Crick in asserting
that parliamentary control of the executive rightly
conceived is not the enemy of good government, but its
primary condition.
I. The constitutions of 1919 and 1922: the entrenchment
of responsible government
In light of the political culture that the primary actors had
experienced, it is probably unsurprising that the system of
government established in independent Ireland should
have so closely resembled the Westminster model. Before
assessing its incorporation into the Irish constitutional
order, mention of two aspects of that model is warranted.
One of its most prominent features and the feature that
perhaps most clearly distinguishes it from the presidential
model of government is what Walter Bagehot famously
referred to as the close union, the nearly complete fusion,
of the executive and legislative powers. That is, where in
a presidential system of government the executive power
is elected directly by the people and is a branch separate
from the legislative branch, in the Westminster model the
executive is elected by, and accountable to, the
legislature. The government is both chosen by and
comprised of members of the legislature. The notion of
majority government necessarily follows: once the
government loses the confidence of a majority of

members of the legislature, it loses the authority to

The other relevant feature of the British system of
government is party government involving cohesive and
disciplined political parties. The emergence of the modern
political party in the nineteenth century is generally
attributed to the confluence of two factors. First, the
dramatic extension of the electorate in that period, which
in Britain came with the passage of the Reform Acts of
1832 and 1867, meant that individual politicians could less
easily deploy patronage and bribery to win elections: they
began to rely on organized party machines. Second, once
executive power had shifted away from the crown and
towards the cabinet a shift that occurred gradually but
that was essentially completed by 1841 party discipline
was required in order to avoid regular dismissal of the
government by the parliament. Where previously
parliamentarians could harangue ministers and hold them
to account without any concern around a consequent
collapse of government, subsequently, parliamentarians
were restricted by that concern. It was they that
determined whether a government would remain in office
or collapse. This made disciplined parliamentary parties
inevitable, with government backbenchers loyal to their
colleagues in cabinet.
In the context of the general analysis around the
distribution of political power, these developments placed
an apparent contradiction at the heart of the constitutional
order, and one that is essential to the arguments made in
this article: the control and accountability of government
relied upon members of a parliament in which a majority
of members, by definition, regarded its principal
parliamentary function to be to maintain the government
in power. The irony is that as parliament became stronger
in terms of formal constitutional power, it became less
inclined to use that power, and so weaker in terms of
actual constitutional power. Holding the executive to
ultimate account now came at a cost: the collapse of
government. Moreover, it came at potentially a great cost
to each parliamentarian: an election and the subsequent
loss of ones seat. This might prompt a skeptical observer
to wonder whether the upshot of these developments was

that dominating control had simply shifted from an

individual to a group agent: from king to cabinet? The
people still lived in potestate domini.
There was almost no attempt by the Irish revolutionaries
and republicans to construct a system of political
institutions featuring a genuine separation of powers. A
system of responsible government virtually identical to
that of Britain was incorporated by the Dil ireann
Constitution, which was adopted by the technically illegal
First Dil in January 1919. It was subsequently entrenched
by the Free State Constitution in 1922 albeit with some
elements designed to counteract the tendency to
concentrate power and by Bunreacht na hireann in
The significance of the 1919 constitution might easily be
overlooked, perhaps because of the fact that it contained
a mere five articles and because it was overtaken within
such a short period of time by the 1922 constitution. But
the 1919 constitution was of international historical
significance. As Alan J. Ward has noted, because the
British system operated according to constitutional
conventions, the 1919 constitution presented the most
basic rules of the British model of government in a formal
constitutional document for the first time. Hence, Article
1 vested legislative power in Dil ireann. Article 2
assigned executive power to the members of the
Ministry or, in colloquial terms, the cabinet which was
to consist of a president and four executive officers. The
president was to be elected by the Dil and was
empowered to nominate and dismiss the executive
officers. Each member of the cabinet was to be a member
of the Dil, to which the cabinet was to be at all times
Although it was relatively insignificant in itself, it is
noteworthy in the present context that there was at least
some expression of concern amongst the deputies at the
extent of the concentration of power in the cabinet. The
Cumann na nGaedheal TD, JJ Walsh brought a motion,
seconded by Sen MacEntee, proposing that executive
power would be vested in Ministers assisted by
committees of the Dil, where the latter would enjoy
genuine control of the executive. The idea was that

parliamentarians would thus play a meaningful part in the

process of government, reminiscent of their counterparts
in the U.S. Congress. The motion is worth setting out in
Whereas Mr. de Valra has repeatedly publicly announced
in America that the Constitution of the Irish Republic was
based on the democratic foundations underlying the
Constitution of the United States; and whereas the latter
body provides for the consideration of all phases of
legislative activity through the medium of Committees
whose findings are subject only to the veto of the whole
Parliamentand as no such machinery has yet been set
up within the Irish Republican Government, with the
consequent practically entire exclusion of three-fourths of
the peoples representatives from effective work on the
nations behalf, we now resolve to bring this Constitution
into harmony with the American idea of Committees
elected by the whole House, and clothed with similar
Walshs motion was opposed in the Dil. The Minister for
Finance, Michael Collins, objected on the (surely
disingenuous) argument that the constitution vested
ultimate control of the cabinet in the Dil. Both Arthur
Griffith and Eoin MacNeill opposed on the grounds that the
proposal would amount to a revolution in the
constitution. (The irony that actors at this juncture in Irish
history might reject a proposal on the basis that it
amounted to a revolutionary measure cannot go without
mention.) In the end, by a vote of thirty-three to one, it
was agreed to postpone the motion for a year, which,
predictably, was its last meaningful mention.
For now, the point is to gesture at the significance of the
1919 constitution in the context of the concentration of
political power in the cabinet. It established the essential
arrangements for the political institutions that have
remained to the present day. It is understandable,
perhaps, that the main actors could not seem to summon
the intellectual energy to rethink the model most familiar
to them, or at least to integrate elements designed to
counteract its most manifest weaknesses. They were, after
all, engaged in a revolution of a more immediately
demanding kind. But the dye had been cast: many of the

problems around the concentration of power that continue

to afflict the Irish constitutional order almost a century
later had been set. This was a significant constitutional
moment and, arguably, an opportunity lost.
The Free State constitution of 1922 followed a similar
pattern. It entrenched the essentials of responsible
government, with an effective fusion of executive and
legislative power. Much as others have suggested of its
predecessor, the German scholar Leo Kohn wrote that the
1922 document reduced to precise terms the
conventional rules of the British Constitution. The
debates around it, however, as well as some of its detail,
justify a more comprehensive analysis. There was a clear
awareness amongst leading political actors of the period,
most notably the Minister for Home Affairs Kevin
OHiggins, of the tendency of the Westminster model to
concentrate excessive power in the cabinet. Although the
efforts to counteract that tendency ultimately failed, they
were at least innovative, and remain worthy of
consideration in the context of contemporary reform
The drafters of the Free State constitution were restricted
by the requirement that the provisions of the Anglo-Irish
Treaty be respected. Article 51 thus recognized the
monarch as head of the executive, and provided that
executive authority would be exercisable through the
representative of the crown, the Governor-General, in
accordance with the law, practice and constitutional
usage of Canada. In other words, the Governor-General,
although theoretically administering the Kings control,
was in practice obliged to accept the advice of the
Executive Council (the cabinet). The Executive Council
was to consist of between five and seven Ministers, all of
whom would be members of the Dil, and was
responsible to Dil ireann. It was to be collectively
responsible for all matters concerning the Departments of
State administered by Members of the Executive Council
and would meet and act as a collective authority. Article
53 required the Governor-General to appoint the President
of the Executive Council on the nomination of Dil
ireann, hence entrenching the practice of majority
government. Similarly, the President would nominate the

members of the Executive Council following their approval

by the Dil, while the Executive Council would resign
should the President cease to retain the support of a
majority in Dil ireann.
The innovating feature of this constitution, certainly in
respect of the distribution of power, was the provision for
the so-called extern minister. The concept was directly
concerned with empowering the parliament vis--vis the
cabinet, and can be traced to the Quaker businessman
and subsequent first vice-chair of the Irish Free State
Senate, James Douglas, who introduced the idea at a
meeting of the Constitution Committee (of which he was a
member) in early 1922. It involved an effective division of
the responsibilities of government into two categories: the
sensitive and political, on the one hand, and the
technical, or non-political, on the other. The political
responsibilities the likes of Finance, Defence, and
probably Home Affairs were mentioned in the debates
would be administered by members of the Executive
Council. The extern ministers would administer the nonpolitical responsibilities, such as Education, Industry and
Local Government. These ministers would be nominated
by the Dil on the recommendation of an impartially
representative committee of the Dil, and would not be
subject to collective responsibility. They would not
necessarily be members of the Dil, but would be
individually responsible to that chamber, and would be
entitled to speak in that chamber. In an early draft of the
constitution prepared by the Constitutional Committee
with words that clearly illustrate the concern around the
tendency of party politics to promote factionalism these
ministers were to be chosen with due regard to their
suitability for office and would be, as far as possible,
generally representative of the Irish Free State as a whole
rather than of groups or of parties.
The Minister for Home Affairs Kevin OHiggins, betraying
awareness that it was an experimental project, explained
the essential motivation for the concept:
It is well worth trying whether we could not devise a better
system of Government than that system by which men
constantly, as a matter of routine, vote against their own
judgment, and almost against their own conscience, for

fear of bringing down the particular Party Government to

which they adhere. We should try that. There is nothing
admirable in the Party system of Government. There is
much that is evil and open to criticism. If we can find, or
think we can find, a better system, we ought to try.
In similar vein:
[The extern ministers] are to bring forward proposals from
[their] Department in a way that will leave free thought
and discussion here [in the Dil], and that will eliminate
the evils of the party system by which men vote for a
particular Ministry under the crack of the party whip rather
than bring down the AdministrationThese proposals will
make the Irish Parliament what the British Parliament is
not. It will make it a deliberative Assembly that will weigh
carefully on their merits the measures brought before it,
and solely with an eye to the results of these measures in
the country. It will ensure that men will not vote for a
particular measure that they think will have evil results for
the country, simply to save that particular Administration.
The concept was thus concerned with counteracting the
stultifying effects of the doctrine of collective
responsibility and with placing parliament in control of the
ministers. The ministers would bring forward reform
proposals on matters relevant to their departments. The
members of parliament could reject them without any
consequent requirement that the minister, or indeed the
cabinet, would resign. The clear logic is that the minister
would bring forward proposals with an eye on the
considered opinions of the members of parliament the
representatives of the people and that both the minister
and the parliamentarians would engage in deliberation
based on the common good. They would not be
institutionally bound to operate with one eye, at least,
firmly fixed on party or factional concerns.
Although the extern minister experiment failed, it had
already been fatally undermined by the time it had been
set into operation by the constitution. Critically, under the
draft by the Constitution Committee that had been
favoured by the Provisional Government, the extern
ministers would not have been members of the Dil. The
thought was that this would be essential to insulating
them from the evils of party politics. This proposal met

resistance in the Dil, however, on the argument

whether well-grounded or otherwise that it would have
undermined the ministers individual responsibility to the
legislature. Hence, in the final document, extern ministers
could simultaneously be members of the parliament,
although they were not required to be. This effectively
doomed the project, as a president was hardly likely to
nominate non-partisans when he had the option of
nominating from amongst his own parliamentary party
ranks. In the event, all such ministers subsequently
appointed were members of the Dil and indeed, were
Cumann na nGaedheal party men and so the nonpartisan element of the experiment never got off the
If this was the primary cause of the failure, there were two
other concerns that have relevance to any consideration
of a revival of the concept. First, there was no obvious way
of distinguishing between government responsibilities that
should fall within and outside of the executive category,
and there was much controversy, for instance, when
Industry was included and Agriculture excluded in 1923.
Indeed, Leo Kohn suggested as far back as 1932 that any
such division was devoid of any reality in the conditions
of the modern state. The point, so far as it goes, is surely
no less persuasive in the present day: the current debates
in the Department of Education and Skills around reform
of the patronage model in the primary schooling system,
for instance, divide opinion heavily and are political by
any measure. Teasing out Kohns argument a little,
however, there seems nothing objectionable at least on
the basis of the argument around what counts as
political if this department were to be administered by
an extern minister, as that minister would be accountable
to, and indeed controlled by, the peoples elected
Second, and perhaps more substantively, the concept
arguably made for incoherence in government in respect
of government expenditure. That is, all ministers spent
public money, but only some of them were collectively
responsible for finance. This led, perhaps inevitably, to
tensions between ministers in the short period of the
experiment. In the end, the fifth amendment to the Free

State constitution, introduced by ordinary vote of the Dil

in 1927, permitted all twelve ministers to be members of
the Executive Council. Although the theoretical possibility
of appointing an extern minister thereby remained, the
president could then choose not to appoint any, and none
was appointed subsequently.
The extern minister experiment in the 1922 constitution
should not be summarily dismissed as a failure: as the
Labour leader Thomas Johnson insisted in 1926, this
experimenthas not been tried, and whatever value was
in it has not had a chance of finding expression. Whether
it is compatible with the model of responsible government,
or capable of meaningfully counteracting the tendency of
that model to concentrate dominating power in the hands
of the cabinet, is unclear, but it is worthy of further
consideration. Given the chance to operate in appropriate
conditions, it may very well prove a helpful remedy, and
one that republican theory might recommend. These
conditions might include, for instance, that the
impartially representative committee of the Dil tasked
with appointing these ministers would not be controlled by
government, but instead by the parliamentarians, with the
aim of promoting non-factional deliberation in making the
appointments. A further condition might be that such
ministers resign their membership of any political party
upon taking office, or even that they resign their
membership of the Dil should they be members prior to
appointment. The critical condition and one that the
aforementioned conditions might help foster would be
that a non-partisan culture develop around the extern
minister concept. On the other hand, it may be that once
responsible government takes root, the concentration of
power in the cabinet is inescapable and that, as John
Coakley suggests, much bolder constitutional reform
such as reform requiring that all ministers be nonparliamentarians is needed to strengthen the role of the
Dil and to distribute power more appropriately.
While the extern minister feature was perhaps the most
innovative of the 1922 constitution at least so far
counteracting the concentration of political power is
concerned it was not the only feature designed for that
purpose. There was also provision, in Article 47 and Article

48, for a kind of direct democracy in the form of the

Initiative procedure. Both articles were quite convoluted,
and a brief outline suffices here in any case. Article 48
envisaged that fifty thousand registered voters could
petition the Oireachtas to enact a particular measure, and
that if the Oireachtas rejected the proposition, that the
proposed law be put to the people in a referendum. Article
47 envisaged that the people again in a referendum
could block a proposed bill that had been passed by the
Oireachtas from becoming law, should the opportunity to
do so be afforded to them by a resolution assented to by
three-fifths of the members of the Seanad.
These provisions were never used, and were removed
from the constitution by the Cumann na nGaedheal
government in 1927. Their removal was prompted in part
by concerns relating to the declared intention of de Valra
to use the Initiative procedure to secure the abolition of
the oath of allegiance, which would have violated the
Anglo-Irish Treaty, thereby provoking a constitutional
crisis. Ward has suggested, however, that the removal of
these provisions was also prompted by the experience
that Cosgrave and Cumann na nGaedhael had had in
government, which had engendered in them a belief in the
merits of stronger executive power.
Article 53 contained a further significant antidote to
executive dominance inasmuch as it provided that the
Oireachtas shall not be dissolved on the advice of an
Executive Council which has ceased to retain the support
of a majority of Dil ireann. In other words, once the
government has lost the confidence of the Dil, it can no
longer dissolve the Dil and cause a general election. This
distinguished the Irish arrangement from that of
Westminster, where a Prime Minister could advise the
head of state to dissolve parliament even after he had lost
the confidence of a majority of the House of Commons.
This provision very much empowered the Dil vis--vis the
executive inasmuch as it would be up to the Dil and not
the government to decide whether or not to call a
general election. The Dil could instead decide to form a
new government from amongst its members. In the
Westminster system, by contrast, the government could
use its power in this regard to protect itself and to ward off

potential votes of no confidence. That is, it could

conceivably win a formal vote of confidence that it would
not otherwise win by effectively threatening a general
election (i.e. on members of parliament all of whom would
be concerned about the chance of losing their seats in
such an election) were it to lose that formal vote of
These features were also motivated by essentially
republican inclinations: the aim was to check power. It is
unclear, of course, if in practice such constitutional
arrangements might actually promote non-domination.
The Initiative procedure, for instance much as it might
counter the concentration of power in the executive
would have the effect of intensifying the political clout of
majority groups, and perhaps of engendering a kind of
majority tyranny so loathed by republicans. A procedure of
this kind in the Swiss constitution, for instance, enabled a
fringe group of politicians to launch a federal popular
initiative in 2007 proposing an amendment to the
constitution that would prohibit the construction of
minarets. Despite opposition from the Swiss government
and parliament, as well as human rights organizations, the
prohibition was approved in the resulting referendum.
If nothing else, it is instructive to observe from these
provisions, and from the debates around them, that many
of founding generation conservative though they may
have been were quite conscious of the shortcomings of
the Westminster model. They were concerned about the
extent to which aspects of that model undermined
parliament as a deliberative assembly and turned the
minds of political representatives away from the common
good. The concern seemed to diminish subsequently,
however, as the leading actors became accustomed to the
experience of government and to the holding of power. By
the time de Valra came to government in 1932, most of
these features had been all but undone. The great
republican then took up the baton and began arrogating
power with as much or more gusto.
II. The constitution of 1937 and de Valras taste for strong
For technical and political reasons relating mainly to

partition, the 1937 constitution stopped short of formally

declaring a republic. It is nonetheless generally
understood as at least a partly republican document.
Certainly, de Valra the primary political influence
thought of himself as a republican, whether justifiably or
otherwise. He also regarded the constitution as republican
in all but name. There is much in the strict text of the
1937 constitution that might be deemed, at least in the
superficial sense, republican. Basil Chubb suggests that
the provisions relating to the popularly-elected President,
the symbol of republican status, might be understood in
that way. Similarly, much like its predecessor, the text
ostensibly embraces separation of powers theory. Article 6
refers to all powers of government, legislative, executive
and judicial Article 15.2.1 provides that the sole and
exclusive power of making laws for the State isvested in
the Oireachtas. Article 13.1 provides that the Dil
nominates the prime minister now known as the
Taoiseach and approves the members of government,
while Article 28.10 asserts that the Taoiseach shall resign
upon ceasing to retain the support of a majority of the
Dil. Article 28.2 declares that the executive power of
the State shall be exercisedby or on the authority of the
Government, while according to Article 28.4.1, the
Government shall be responsible to Dil ireann. Article
26 and Article 34, in different contexts, grant powers to
the courts to invalidate legislation that is deemed
repugnant to the constitution.
The Preamble, similarly, despite the reference to the Most
Holy Trinity and to our obligations to our Divine Lord,
Jesus Christ, seems essentially republican. It refers to the
notion of the common good, and grounds the whole
constitutional order on the idea of popular sovereignty:
we the people of iredo hereby adopt, enact, and give
ourselves this Constitution. There was no longer need for
the simultaneous recognition incongruous as it had been
of both a monarch and the people as the ultimate
source of political authority. The authority to enact the
constitution, and to change it, is enjoyed by the people.
These provisions seem at one with de Valras assertion
concerning the citizens as masters, with which this article
began. The image presented is one of the citizens electing

representatives to the Oireachtas specifically for the

purpose of the making of the laws that are to govern
them. Dil ireann, in turn, is to elect a government that
governs the country, in the sense of running the
departments of state, and that is to be accountable, on an
ongoing basis, to parliament. The text of the constitution
thus imagines the citizenry in command, through their
representatives in parliament. They control the control
of government in a way that seems to sit well with the
republican account of liberty.
The shortcomings of this system of government which
was in essence carried over the 1922 constitution have
already been emphasized. De Valras enthusiasm for a
new constitution had nothing to do with any eagerness on
his part to enhance the role of parliament. In Chubbs
words, he found the system which he inherited an
adequate instrument for his purposes and, indeed, well
suited to a strong prime minister leading a loyal majority
party that looked to him for initiative and direction.
Rather, his enthusiasm had to do with setting the polity in
a Catholic frame and, to an even greater extent, with
aiming a final kick at the Anglo-Irish Treaty that he had so
Indeed, far from reforming the system of government, the
1937 constitution entrenched an even more intense
version of the Westminster model. The extern minister
concept, which had all but disappeared in 1927, was
formally removed from Irish constitutional arrangements,
while nothing of the Initiative procedure was revived.
There was also a notable increase in the power of the
prime minister, in the form of three new features. First,
the provision whereby an Executive Council that had lost
its majority in the Dil could not seek a dissolution was
removed. The new arrangement in Article 13.2.2
permitted a Taoiseach who had lost his majority to request
a dissolution of the President, although the President could
refuse such a request at his absolute discretion, thereby
enabling the President to ask the Dil to form a new
government if he was of the understanding that one could
be formed.
Second, and more significantly, under Article 28.9.1, the
power to dissolve the Dil is vested personally in the

Taoiseach, so long as he continues to enjoy the support of

a majority in the Dil. This power, which had been enjoyed
by the Executive Council as a collective body under the
1922 constitution, is considerable in practice, as the
timing of a general election can be so pivotal to its
outcome. Bagehot wrote of the English constitution that
this power which was enjoyed by the Prime Minister
rather than the cabinet meant that members of
parliament were far more inclined towards deference to
the executive: they are collected by a deferential
attachment to particular menand they are maintained
by fear of those men by the fear that if you vote against
them, you may find yourself soon to have no vote at all.
The fact that it is enjoyed personally by the Taoiseach
enhances his authority considerably, both amongst
members of his cabinet, as well as more generally in
parliament and amongst the public.
Finally, where there was no provision in the 1922
constitution allowing the President of the Executive
Council to dismiss a minister, under Article 28.9.4 of the
1937 constitution, the Taoiseach may request a minister to
resign at any time, for reasons which to him seem
sufficient. De Valra rejected arguments made by
opponents in the Dil that this might render ministers
subservient. In words that evoke the republican image of
the kindly master, he argued that it was inconceivable
that a Taoiseach could in a purely arbitrary waycompel
the resignation of a member unless there was concurrence
on the part of the other members of the Government. It
is surely true that it is unlikely that a Taoiseach would use
this power in an utterly capricious fashion as he could
hardly hope to do so while continuing to enjoy the support
of his parliamentary party upon which he relies for his Dil
majority. Nonetheless it is a significant departure from the
1922 constitution, as it vests a great deal of authority and
even prestige in the Taoiseach. Its inclusion dispels any
doubt that de Valra had had any misgivings about the
distribution of power in the Westminster model of
III. Tensions between theory and practice: a dysfunctional

The functions of parliament under the 1937 constitution,

just as in the case of all parliaments operating on the
Westminster model, are threefold: to appoint and dismiss
governments, to hold those governments to account, and
to make laws. The role of the Dil in the appointment and
dismissal of government much like as in other
Westminster-type parliaments is essentially formal,
despite the constitutional provisions that envisage the
House as a powerful agent in the processes. Generally, a
particular proposed coalition will win a majority of seats,
and the parliamentarians duly vote accordingly in a vote
for Taoiseach and in approving his proposed members of
cabinet. The same point can be made with respect to
Article 28.10 and the power of the Dil to break a
government. Because of the solidity of political parties
within the political culture, generally a government will
either last a full term, or will choose to go to the people
at whatever time the leaders of a government and their
advisors deem it most advantageous electorally.
Government backbenchers will toe the line because to do
otherwise would likely end their prospects of gaining high
political office.
There is a clear and important democratic connection
between the people and their government under this
model: they elect the parliamentarians, who in turn
appoint the government that has won the election. The
difficulty, however, is that although the citizens elect their
preferred government at election time, they have virtually
no control over the continuance or discontinuance in office
of their government in between elections. One of the
outstanding theoretical features of the notion of
responsible government is that government is perpetually
concerned about the prospect of being dismissed by
parliament, yet, just as in Westminster, governments in
Ireland are barely at all concerned about the prospect on a
month-to-month or even year-to-year basis. They are
concerned about their popularity amongst the electorate,
certainly, with an eye on the next election, but they are
not concerned about the prospect of being dismissed in
the meantime by the peoples representatives. This is not
to argue that the party system is antithetical to republican
ideals. The other side of the argument is that a system of

166 atomized parliamentarians, or even one with only

casual ties amongst them, would be chaotic and
unworkable. Governments would be made and broken
much too regularly, and usually, no doubt, on the basis of
populist and unworthy reasons. For now, the point is
simply to bring attention to the dissonance between
theory and practice, and to the to general problem so far
as the control of public power is concerned.
The role of parliament in holding government to account is
arguably more important than its role in the making and
breaking of government. On this function, Article 28.4.1 of
the 1937 constitution could not be more succinct: it
provides only that [t]he government shall be responsible
to Dil ireann. Again, however, much as in the case of
other Westminster-model countries, there is a dissonance
between theory and practice. There are two systems
established by the Dil standing orders for the purpose of
the holding of government to account: the system of
Parliamentary Questions (PQs) and the committee system.
The scholarship on PQs points overwhelming to a
dysfunctional system. It suggests that there is an
essential culture amongst both ministers and senior civil
servants of secrecy and obfuscation. The findings of the
Beef Tribunal, for instance, capture the problem starkly.
Mr. Justice Hamiltons report suggests that if questions had
been answered in the Dil as comprehensively as they had
been in the Tribunal, the Tribunal which lasted three
years and cost in excess of 17 million in the pre-Celtic
Tiger era would never have been necessary. The report
found evidence of deliberate vagueness and a culture of
evasiveness amongst civil servants, whose primary
concern was to protect their minister and department.
On the other side, there is evidence of an excessive
tendency amongst TDs to submit PQs relating to
constituency-specific issues. Very often, the purpose
seems to be to generate a press release for the local
newspaper proclaiming the fact that they had secured
some grant or social welfare payment which had already
been legally available without any input from the
particular TD.
Much the same can be said of the committee system in
the Irish parliament. Since 1992, the committees in the

Irish parliament are structured to match or mark

government departments. Each committee monitors a
government department, discusses its estimates, and
deals with the third stage of legislation that has been
introduced by the relevant Minister. The analysis on the
system in Ireland suggests that, despite considerable
improvements in the 1990s, it is unfit for purpose. For
MacCarthaigh, the chief cause of the dysfunction is the
partisan political culture. He suggests that if the
committees used all their powers to look at such issues as
secondary legislation, departmental strategy statements
or the work of state agencies under the aegis of various
departments, they could contribute significantly to a
culture of parliamentary accountability but notes that
the attraction of media attention rather than the
obligation of democratic accountability undermines the
system. Gallagher attributes the shortcomings to the fact
that government ministers just like all power-wielders
tend to dislike scrutiny, and so have a plain disincentive to
improve the committee system. He suggests that those
most likely to benefit from a strong committee system
backbenchers and the opposition have a related
disincentive: they aim to be ministers themselves some
day, and would prefer not to place their future selves
under a heavier burden should they be successful.
Gallagher further notes that the government parties tend
to hold a majority of seats on the committees and that the
whip system applies with the result that party loyalty
and discipline is as entrenched as ever, to an extent
inimical to the accountability required by the constitution.
The dominance of the executive is similarly evident in
regard to the law-making function. Indeed Article 15.2.1,
which vests sole and exclusive law-making authority in
the Oireachtas, might be described as the single greatest
myth of the 1937 constitution. It should be acknowledged
that the law-making process must allow that the
government of the day has the opportunity to have its
legislative agenda pursued. This agenda has, after all, won
the approval of the citizens in a general election. But this
should not be taken to mean that the role of parliament in
both the deliberative and scrutinizing senses are
unimportant. Analysis of the process suggests that

government dominates to an extent that parliament is

barely relevant. When a government minister wishes to
introduce new law, he brings a memorandum for
government to the cabinet outlining the essentials of the
proposed law. Essentially, once he has the approval of his
colleagues in cabinet, the bill will become law, more or
less in the same form. It goes through a number of formal
stages, but the grip of the governing parties is such
that, notwithstanding the power of the courts to invalidate
laws that are deemed unconstitutional, it is only just an
exaggeration to argue that the Ministers expressed will
amounts to law.
The legislation goes through the Office of the
Parliamentary Draftsman to the Oireachtas, and then
through five stages. The second and third stages are the
most significant, but only in a comparative sense. The
second stage is the debate on the broad principles of the
bill. Although the constitution might envisage this as the
great event in the life cycle of the law (i.e. the Dil
exercising the power which it enjoys solely and
exclusively) it is, of course, all a formality. The Minister
reads out a script: the opposition reacts, generally
negatively, and the bill is passed. There is little point in
the opposition reacting positively by offering an
alternative approach, as there is virtually no prospect that
government backbenchers will breach the code of loyalty
out of political conviction, and place their own political
careers in jeopardy. The third is the committee stage.
Notably, once the bill has passed through the second
stage, the relevant committee cannot amend the essential
principles. In other words, the committees are left to tease
out minor amendments and technical details, utterly
undermining the committee concept and process.
In respect of all three of these constitutionally-mandated
functions of Dil ireann, there is a dissonance between
constitutional theory and institutional practice. The
constitution theoretically envisions the House of
Representatives as the primary agent controlling the
government so that law and policy-making as well as the
running of the departments of state occur on the peoples
terms. But in practice, as those who designed the text well
knew it would, it is the government of the day that is in

control, scarcely at all checked by the Dil. There is the

argument, of course, that there is this ultimate democratic
connection between the people and their government
engendered through the ballot box at election time. This
moment is highly significant, but it is worth dwelling on
the fact that it is just that: a moment. To count as a
republic in the sense theorized by scholars such as Pettit
and Skinner, much more is needed for the control of the
power-wielders in cabinet not to count as arbitrary control.
This momentary democratic connection is thus inadequate
for the vindication of de Valras assertion with which the
article commenced.
In the case of each of the three constitutionally-mandated
functions, the shortcomings are intimately connected with
that contradiction that developed in the Westminstermodel in the mid-18th century, mentioned at the outset.
The temptation is to look for one great solution: to cast
this model to the dustbin of history and to look to an
alternative model such as a presidential system of
government, or, to draw on Arendt Lijparts scholarship, to
a consensus type democracy rather than the
majoritarian kind. How this model might promote the
ideal of non-domination is an immense scholarly question.
It is surely simplistic, however, to deem one model
superior to the other, whether generally, or when
measured by republican ideals. It is likely that either
model, in the abstract, is capable of accounting for the
avowable interests of all citizens in diverse modern
societies, and of promoting their equal freedom: it is in the
detail that these models fail. Accordingly, this final section
turns to consider concrete reforms that might enhance
Dil ireann in the execution of its functions. The thought
is that it is not the Westminster model that is at fault. It is
the particular instantiation of that model that is
problematic from the republican point of view, as well as
the political culture that has developed around that model.
IV. Will the long-suffering political generation stand up for
the republic?
The Fine Gael/Labour coalition government elected in
March 2011 came to office at an exceptional period in
modern Irish history. Fianna Fil the party that had

dominated Irish politics since the 1930s had lost more

than half of its first-preference vote from the 2007 election
as well as fifty-seven of its seventy-seven Dil seats. This
followed the Fianna Fil/Green coalition government of
2007-2011, which had governed during a period defined
by the decline of the Celtic Tiger property boom, the
near-collapse of the Irish banking system and the EU-IMF
bailout of November 2010. The scene seemed thus set for
reform of the political system: a public disenchanted with
politics and an incoming government comprised of parties
that had long suffered the frustration of the opposition role
in parliament.
The Programme for Government agreed by Fine Gael and
Labour, entitled the Government for National Recovery
2011-2016, contained some interesting commitments
regarding constitutional and political reform. It began with
familiar rhetoric, insisting, for example, that an overpowerful Executive has turned the Dil into an observer of
the political process rather than a central player, but this
was backed up with concrete commitments. On the
accountability function, there were proposals on improving
the system of PQs, including the introduction of a role for
the Ceann Comhairle [Speaker] in deciding whether a
Minister has failed to provide reasonable information in
response to a question. There was also a commitment to
the establishment of an Investigations, Oversight and
Petitions Committee which would be a channel of
consultation and collaboration between the Oireachtas
and the Ombudsman. It would be bi-partisan in structure
and chaired by a senior member of the opposition.
On the law-making function, there was a commitment to
break[ing] the Government monopoly on legislation and
the stranglehold over the business of the Dil.
Specifically, committees would be empowered to
introduce legislation. So too would backbench TDs, in
virtue of a new 10 Minute Rule. Similarly, there would be
an amendment to cabinet procedure instructions so as to
allow government to publish the general scheme of a bill
so that Oireachtas committees [could] debate and hold
hearings at an early stage in the legislative process.
There would also be a dedicated Committee Week every
fourth sitting week, in which the Dil plenary would sit

only for questions and the order of business leaving the

remainder of the day devoted to committee work.
The emphasis on strengthening the committee system is
encouraging. As Kaare Strm has argued, committees are
critical to the deliberative powers of parliaments and a
necessary condition for effective parliamentary influence
in the policy-making process. A good system allows for
specialization on policy matters and it tends towards
balancing the excessive partisanship in Westminster
model systems. Because the committees concentrate on
particular policy areas Education, Justice, Health etc.
policy-minded parliamentarians are afforded the
opportunity to focus on particular areas, and to develop
expertise in those areas. The small group psychology
that might develop amongst colleagues on a particular
committee could challenge the intense party loyalty that,
so often, undermines the constitutional vision of
accountability. Ultimately, a strong committee system
provides an opportunity for backbenchers to have a
parliamentary role beyond being mere lobby fodder.
The fatal weakness in the committee system is not
mentioned in the Programme for Government, however.
This is the fact that the composition of committees, or, at
least, the process of the appointment of members and of
chairs, is controlled by the cabinet. To return to what
might be deemed the elementary argument: it is absurd
that those who are to be scrutinized control those who are
to do the scrutinizing, in this case, in respect of their
appointment. Of the thirteen substantive committees in
the present Dil, Fine Gael and Labour together hold
twenty four of the twenty six chair and vice chair
positions, with the chair of the Public Accounts Committee
(as per the same constitutional convention that operates
at Westminster) and the chair of the newly formed Public
Service Oversight and Petitions Committee (as promised in
the Programme for Government) held by members of the
opposition. This amounts to a 92% share for the
government parties, compared to their 68% share of the
overall seats in the Dil. The government holds a majority
on eleven of those thirteen committees, an equal share on
one and a minority on one. Each committee also has two
convenors whose task it is to ensure that a quorum is

present for each meeting, but who essentially act as whips

ensuring voting along party lines. The proposals in the
Programme for Government fall short to the extent that
they fail to address this critical weakness.
To this end, reforms introduced at Westminster (perhaps
ironically) in recent times are noteworthy. The expenses
scandal of 2009 seemed to be the rupture that
prompted Westminster power-wielders to accept the
importance of institutional reform that would result in the
holding of power to account. The Report of the House of
Commons Reform Committee, which was prepared by a
Westminster committee chaired by the academic and
parliamentarian Tony Wright, focuses much attention on
this tendency of the government of the day to control
parliamentary committees by controlling their
membership and the appointment of chairs. The report
begins by outlining practice as it had been: at the
beginning of each parliament there would be a standard
division of places between the parties for each select
committee, based on a calculation of the seats held by
each party. The party whips would bring individual names
to fill the party quota on each committee. It would be up
to the parties themselves to determine who would be
selected, without any requirement for transparency. In
other words, mavericks or those more inclined to
thoroughly scrutinize decisions made by power-wielders
could be excluded, and membership of a committee could
be or at least could be perceived to be a matter of
patronage or reward for loyalty. Similarly in respect of the
appointment of committee chairs: while each committee
was theoretically entitled to choose any of its members for
the chair, in practice the matter hinged on the outcome of
private negotiations between party whips the outcome of
which would be passed on to individual committee
In what would be a significant departure for the Irish
parliament, the Wright Committee favoured retention of
the system whereby each committee would be comprised
of members of the parties in proportion to the balance of
parties in the Chamber as well as the system whereby
non-majority or opposition parties hold a proportionate
number of chairs of committees. The reform

recommended is that the whole House would elect chairs

of the committees by secret ballot (i.e. following
agreement as to how many chairs each party group would
have). The thought is that by having been elected by the
whole House, the chairs would be representative of the
whole House and would hold a clear mandate.
Subsequently, there would be election by secret ballot
within each party of members from that party to particular
committees, in accordance with the representation of each
party within the House (i.e. each party would function as a
kind of electoral college). These intra-party elections
would be governed and supervised by parliament (through
the Speaker) rather than by the parties themselves. In
other words, the whips would no longer control this
process: the power-wielders would no longer control those
who were tasked with holding them to account.
The other critical matter determining the capacity of the
parliament to function is the control of the agenda and the
scheduling of business. To recall, the Programme for
Government committed to breaking the stranglehold [of
the Executive] over the business of the Dil with the
promise of new Friday sittings dedicated to private
members business. The Wright Committee Report
perhaps in part because of the extent of the public disgust
at the political elite that led to its establishment offers
more radical reform proposals. After noting that the
default position is that parliamentary time belongs to
the Government and that the Government enjoys not
merely precedence but exclusive domination ofthe
Houses agenda, the report asserts that it should be for
the House as a whole to determine how much time to
devote todebate and scrutiny of bills and that it is
unacceptable that Ministers can determine the
scheduling of Opposition Days[and] that they have
untrammelled power to decide the topics for general and
topical debates.
The main proposal of the Wright Committee premised on
the principle that time in the house belongs to the
House is the establishment of a Backbench Business
Committee with the power to schedule all business other
than that which is exclusively Ministerial business (i.e. all
business other than Ministerial-sponsored legislation and

associated motions). This committee would be comprised

of between seven and nine members elected by secret
ballot of the House as a whole, again, with due regard to
party proportionality. The chair would be elected in the
same way, with frontbench members of all parties
ineligible for membership. The committee would meet
weekly to consider competing claims for time made by the
select committees and backbenchers. Although Ministers
would continue to enjoy the power to choose the time of
pursuing their legislative agendas, they would no longer
enjoy the power to dictate the length of debate, for
instance. A debate at any given stage of a bill is, after all,
parliamentary business rather than government business,
and accordingly ought to be controlled by parliament. The
point, ultimately, is that the weekly draft agenda for the
House would no longer be assembled and arranged by the
Government Chief Whips Office. Rather, it would be
controlled by a House Business Committee that would be
designed to account appropriately for the interests of all
parts of the House with a direct interest: backbenchers
(through the Backbench Business Committee),
Government and the Opposition.
The Programme for Government makes certain
commitments regarding the agenda and business of the
Dil: it proposes a 10 Minute Rule and Friday sittings
dedicated to private members business, as already
mentioned. It also expresses a general promise to restrict
the use of the guillotine motionsso that guillotining is
not a matter of routine. These kinds of reforms amount
to little more than fiddling around the edges of the
problem. The comparison with Westminster only goes so
far, of course. The sheer size difference six hundred and
fifty as against one hundred and sixty six cannot be
ignored. Put simply, more backbenchers are more difficult
to control. Nonetheless, the unchecked control of the
agenda and schedule enjoyed by the executive in Dil
ireann undermines that body as a deliberative forum
capable of holding the government of the day to account.
A Backbench Business Committee of the kind proposed for
the House of Commons by the Wright Committee (and
which, indeed, has since been established) would go a
considerable way towards checking the power of the whips

and counteracting the more destructive and unnecessary

aspects of party discipline.
V. Conclusion
With the growing power and importance of international
institutions, it may be that the task of checking public
power is more multifarious than before. If anything, this
intensifies the urgency of empowering parliaments in
Westminster-model countries such that those parliaments
might fulfill their function of holding government to
account. There are many aspects of the legal framework
around this question in twentieth century Irish
constitutionalism that have been ignored in this article.
Little has been said, for instance, about important
questions such as freedom of information laws, the office
of the Ombudsman, or the role of Seanad ireann. The
focus has been specifically on the relationship between
the cabinet and the lower house of parliament. The article
has emphasized that the contradiction at the heart of the
Westminster model of responsible government has proved
troublesome in Ireland as it has elsewhere: the
accountability of government to parliament relies on
parliamentarians the majority of whom, by definition, see
their primary parliamentary role to be to maintain the
government in office.
There are limits, of course, to what can be achieved
through formal legal and institutional change: the
problems are partly cultural. Much depends on the extent
to which parliamentarians tend to put their own career
interests, or the interests of their party, ahead of the
common good. (Although to this end, institutional reform,
as well as effecting changes directly, can effect change
indirectly too, in the sense of promoting conditions in
which parliamentarians are more likely to develop virtue.)
Much depends also on the expectations citizens have of
their representatives, and on whether, for instance, they
elect them on the basis of local or factional interests as
distinct from national interests.
But equally, much can be achieved through formal
institutional reform. The ideas canvassed in this article, it
is suggested, are worthy of careful consideration. It may
be, for instance, that the extern minister idea from the

1922 constitution could be revived, and that many of the

departments of state could be run by ministers directly
accountable to parliament and not hindered either by
concerns around party discipline or by collective
responsibility. Moreover, the committee tasked with
appointing these ministers could be controlled by the Dil
rather than by the government of the day, with the
Backbench Business Committee at Westminster as a good
working model. This would remove the primary cause of
the failure of the project in the 1920s: the fact that the
process was controlled by government rather than by
parliament. The extern minister idea would go a
considerable way towards returning parliament to the socalled golden era prior to 1841. Parliamentarians could
harangue these ministers and hold them to account
without the concern that the government would collapse
and that an expensive election would be prompted,
potentially causing the loss of those parliamentarians
seats. This would promote the idea that the people would
be governed on their own terms.
Similarly, as JJ Walsh insisted in the Dil debates on the
1922 constitution, a proper role for parliamentary
committees would enhance parliament markedly, both in
regard to its law-making and its accountability functions.
The reforms of the ways in which committee members and
their chairs are appointed, as well as the role of such
committees in the law-making process would tend towards
reversing the arrangements whereby, in Walshs words,
three-fourths of the peoples representatives [are
excluded] from [undertaking] effective work on the
nations behalf.
The article has been less concerned with specific reforms,
however. The main concern has been to assess the
general arrangements around the distribution of political
power in the constitutions since 1919. The article has
argued that the constitutional arrangements, or more
accurately the constitutional practices that have
developed around those arrangements, undermine the
republican credentials of Irish constitutionalism in the
20th century, owing to the excessive concentration of
power in the cabinet. Reforms of the text of the
constitution would not seem particularly necessary to

render he constitution more republican. The text of Article

28.4.1, for example, seems to do perfectly well by
republican idealism. It is the various legal and institutional
arrangements around such constitutional provisions that
are problematic. Much as there are deep challenges to
making the Westminster model of responsible government
serve the citizenry, the notion that the model is
incompatible with republican idealism is simplistic. At its
heart, after all, the model is concerned with holding power
to account. It is concerned essentially with the idea that
the political power-wielders are responsible to, in the
sense of being answerable or accountable to, the peoples
representatives. To this end, republican idealism far from
requiring that the model be cast aside seems to demand
reform of the practices around the model along with the
development of common good oriented virtues amongst
both political actors and citizens.

Ireland is a parliamentary democracy. The National
Parliament (in the Irish language, Oireachtas) consists of
the President (an tUachtarn) and two Houses: a House of
Representatives (Dil ireann) and a Senate (Seanad
ireann). The sole and exclusive power of making laws for
the State is vested in Parliament. The functions and
powers of the President, Dil and Seanad derive from the
Constitution of Ireland (Bunreacht na hireann) and law.
The Constitution of Ireland is the basic law of the State. It
was adopted by plebiscite in 1937. It is the successor of
the Constitution of Dil ireann (1919) and the
Constitution of the Irish Free State (1922). The
Constitution states that all legislative, executive and
judicial powers of Government derive from the people. It
sets out the form of government and defines the powers of
the President, the two Houses of the Oireachtas and the

Government. It also defines the structure and powers of

the courts, sets out the fundamental rights of citizens and
contains a number of directive principles of social policy
for the general guidance of the Oireachtas. The
Constitution may be amended only by referendum.
The Constitution outlines what are considered the
fundamental rights of the citizen. The definition of rights in
the Constitution covers five broad headings: personal
rights, the family, education, private property and religion.
Personal Rights: the Constitution declares that all citizens
are equal before the law; it guarantees to defend and
vindicate the personal rights of citizens in its laws: it
provides that there will be no deprivation of personal
liberty except in accordance with law; it provides for the
right to 'habeas corpus'; it guarantees the inviolability of
citizens' dwellings except in accordance with law; and it
guarantees, subject to public order and morality, liberty to
express freely one's convictions and opinions, the right to
assemble peaceably and without arms, and the right to
form associations and unions.
The Family: the State recognises the family as a moral
institution possessing inalienable and imprescriptible
rights, and guarantees to protect it and the institution of
Education: the State recognises the primacy of the family
in the education of children and undertakes to provide for
free primary education and to supplement and aid private
educational initiative, with due regard to the rights of the
Private Property: the right to own private property is
guaranteed and its exercise is subject only to the
exigencies of the common good.
Religion: the Constitution guarantees freedom of
conscience and the free profession and practice of
religion, subject only to public order and morality.

Unenumerated Rights: In addition to the foregoing

personal rights specifically provided for in the words of the
Constitution, the Courts have held in a series of cases that
there are other personal rights whose existence "result(s)
from the Christian and democratic nature of the State",
and which are implicitly guaranteed by the Constitution.
The Courts have ruled that these unenumerated personal
rights include:
The right to bodily integrity, the right not to have one's
health endangered by the State, the (qualified) right to
work and to earn a livelihood, the right to marital privacy,
the right of access to the courts, the right of the citizen to
sue the State in court, the right to justice and fair
procedures, the right to travel within and without the
State, the right to marry, the rights of the unmarried
mother in regard to her child.
This list is not exhaustive and it is also likely that the
Courts will identify more, as yet unenumerated, personal
rights in future.
Citizens, and in certain cases non-citizens, have the right
to apply to the courts to protect from infringement their
rights under the Constitution or to have a judgement
pronounced as to whether legislation is compatible with
the Constitution, provided the legislation affects, or is
likely to affect, the person challenging it. Moreover, the
President may before signing a Bill refer it to the Supreme
Court for a decision on its compatibility with the
Constitution. These procedures have been employed on a
number of occasions.
The President is the Head of State. S/he acts on the advice
and authority of the Government but performs a limited
number of functions after consultation with an advisory
Council of State. S/hereceives and accredits Ambassadors.
Every law made by Parliament is promulgated by him/her.
Bills passed by both Houses of Parliament require his/her
signature for their enactment into law. S/he may, before

signing a Bill, seek a Supreme Court ruling on whether it is

repugnant to the Constitution .
On the nomination of the Dil the President appoints the
Taoiseach (Head of Government). On the advice of the
Taoiseach and with prior approval of the Dil, S/he
appoints the other members of the Government. On the
advice of the Taoiseach she accepts the resignation or
terminates the appointment of members of Government
and summons and dissolves the Dil, but S/he has
discretionary power to refuse to dissolve the Dil on the
advice of a Taoiseach who has ceased to retain the
support of the majority in the Dil. This power, which has
not so far been exercised, would force the Taoiseach to
resign and give the Dil the opportunity to nominate a
The supreme command of the Defence Forces is vested in
the President. S/he is not answerable to either House of
Parliament or to any court for the exercise and
performance of the powers and functions of her office.
S/he may, however, be impeached for stated
Any Irish citizen of 35 years of age may stand for the
office of President. The President is elected by direct vote
of the people every seven years. A President may not
serve for more than two terms.
Dil ireann
The Dil nominates the Taoiseach and approves the
nomination (by the Taoiseach) of the other members of
the Government. The Government is responsible to the
Dil for the Departments of State administered by its
members. Not more than two Ministers may be members
of the Seanad. The Taoiseach, Tnaiste (Deputy Prime
Minister) and Minister for Finance must be members of the
Dil as must all other Ministers who are not members of
the Seanad.
The Government presents its proposals to the Oireachtas

(either Dil or Seanad) in the form of Bills or Motions

which the Houses debate, amend if they so desire, and
decide on, if necessary by a vote. These Bills go through
five stages in the House in which they are initiated.
Following its presentation or introduction (first stage), the
general principles of the Bill are debated (second stage)
and, if a second reading is agreed to, the Bill is then
considered in committee, which is usually a committee of
the whole House, though it may be a special or select
committee. At this third stage the Bill is considered section
by section and substantive amendments may be made. At
the fourth or report stage the Bill, as reported from the
committee, is considered in 'toto' and further amendment
may be made. At the fifth and final stage a general debate
is permissible but is confined strictly to what is contained
in the Bill. It may then be passed by the House and sent to
the other House. After a Bill has been passed by both
Houses it is sent to the President for her signature and
promulgation as law. Bills which become law are termed
Under the Constitution, the Dil has exclusive
responsibility for considering the estimates of receipts and
expenditure of the State, for approving international
agreements which involve charges upon public funds and
for assenting to a declaration of, or participation in, war.
Members of the Dil have the right to address questions in
Parliament to Ministers where these relate to public affairs
connected with the work of the Ministers' Departments or
with matters of administration for which they are officially
responsible. Parliamentary questions cannot lead to a
debate or a vote. However, a member who is dissatisfied
with an answer may, with the consent of the Ceann
Comhairle (Chairman) of the Dil, initiate a discussion at
the time of the adjournment of the House. Also with the
consent of the Ceann Comhairle, a member may, if
supported by at least twelve members, move a motion
that the House adjourn to discuss a matter of urgent
public importance.
The monies required by the Government for both current

and capital expenditure are voted by the Dil. A Money Bill

may only be initiated in the Dil and certain restrictions
apply to the extent to which the Seanad may amend such
Bills. The Ceann Comhairle must certify that the Bill in
question is a Money Bill.
A Bill passed by the Dil which the Seanad rejects or which
passed in the Seanad with amendments to which the Dil
does not agree, or a Bill which is neither rejected nor
passed within ninety days by the Seanad, may
subsequently be enacted into law by a resolution of the
Membership of the Dil
The Dil has 166 members (known as Teachta Dla
deputies to the Representative Assembly' or TDs) returned
by 41 constituencies, each of which elects three, four or
five members, according to its population. The
Constitution provides that the number of members of the
Dil must be such that there is not more than one member
for every 20,000 people or less than one member for
every 30,000 people. The constituencies must be
reviewed at least once every twelve years, with due
regard to changes in the distribution of the population.
Parties in the Dil
The following political parties were represented in the Dil
following the 1997 General Election: Fianna Fil, Fine Gael,
the Labour Party, Progressive Democrats, Democratic Left,
Sinn Fin and the Green Party.
Seanad ireann
Bills passed by the Dil are sent to the Seanad, where
they can be amended. These amendments are considered
by the Dil. The Seanad's duty in relation to finance is
limited to giving consideration, within 21 days, to Money
Bills. In general, the Seanad may delay for a maximum of
ninety days a Bill passed by the Dil or may suggest
changes in the Bill, but cannot block it permanently.
Membership of the Seanad
The Seanad has sixty members:

1. Eleven are nominated by the Taoiseach.

2. Six are selected by graduates of the University of
Dublin, the National University of Ireland and such other
institutions of higher education as may be designated by
3. The remaining forty-three are elected from five panels
made up of people representing different vocational and
professional interests and services. Each panel is divided
into two sub-panels: one composed of candidates
nominated by at least four members of the Oireachtas and
another composed of candidates nominated by registered
groups in the spheres of culture and education,
agriculture, labour, industry and commerce, and public
administration and social services.
Sittings of the Houses
Attendance at debates in the Houses is not compulsory
and no official record is kept of the members attending.
The Dil sits for about 100 days in the year and the
Seanad for about 60. Both meet in Leinster House, Dublin.
Privileges of members
Each House makes its own rules and standing orders, with
power to attach penalties for their infringement, and has
the power to ensure freedom of debate, to protect its
official documents and the private papers of its members,
and to protect itself and its members against any person
or persons interfering with, molesting or attempting to
corrupt its members in the exercise of their duties.
All official reports and publications of the Houses and
utterances made in either House are privileged.
The members of each House are, except in the case of
treason, felony or breach of the peace, privileged from
arrest in going to and returning from, and while within the
precincts of, either House, and are not, in respect of any
utterance in either House, amenable to any court or any
authority other than the House itself.

Each House elects its own Chairman (Ceann Comhairle of

the Dil and Cathaoirleach of the Seanad) and Deputy
Chairman. They have charge of the conduct of
proceedings and the administration of their Houses. The
outgoing Ceann Comhairle is automatically deemed to
have been re- elected to the Dil after a general election,
without having to go through the electoral process. Both
Houses of Parliament are assisted by a secretariat of civil
servants who work under the direction of the Clerks of the
Dil and Seanad.
The executive power of the people is exercised by the
Government or on its authority. Under the Constitution the
Government must consist of not less than seven and not
more than fifteen members, each of whom normally heads
one or more Departments of State. It acts as a collective
authority responsible to the Dil.
There may be up to seventeen Ministers of State, who are
not members of the Government but who assist specific
Ministers in their work.
The practice is that, following a general election, the
prospective Taoiseach first secures the support of a
majority in the new Dil and then is formally appointed by
the President. The Taoiseach must resign when the
Government ceases to retain majority support in the Dil.
Parliamentary Elections
The lifetime of a Dil is not more than five years from the
date of its first meeting. In practice, however, the
Taoiseach normally exercises his power to recommend
dissolution before the end of that period. A general
election must take place within thirty days of a dissolution
of the Dil, and the newly elected Dil must meet within
thirty days of the polling date.
How the Dil is elected
Irish citizens and British citizens who have reached the

age of 18 years and who are ordinarily resident in a

constituency are entitled to be registered as electors and
to vote in general elections in the Dil constituency in
which they are normally resident.
No person may vote more than once. The ballot is secret.
Members are elected on the system of proportional
representation and by means of the single transferable
vote in multi-member constituencies. The register of
electors is compiled annually by the registration
authorities. Postal voting is available to members of the
police (Garda Sochna) and full-time members of the
Defence Forces, civil servants (and their spouses)
attached to Irish missions abroad. Electors with physical
disabilities or illnesses which prevents them from going to
a polling station to vote may be registered as special
voters and may vote at home by having a ballot paper
delivered to them.
Every Irish citizen who has reached the age of 21 years,
and who is not placed under disability or incapacity by the
Constitution or by law, is eligible for membership of the
Dil and Seanad.
There is a register of political parties. A candidate's
nomination paper may include the name of the registered
political party which he or she represents or, in the case of
a person who does not represent a registered party, the
description 'non-party'. These particulars will appear on
the ballot paper.
Polling takes place in schools and other suitable public
buildings. Polling compartments are provided in which
voters can mark their paper in secret. Voters must vote in
person and not by proxy.
The voters mark their paper by placing the figure ' 1 '
opposite the name of the candidate of their first choice.
They may then place the figure '2' opposite the name of
their second choice and so on. Under the single
transferable vote system the elector is in effect telling the
returning officer: 'I wish to vote for A, but if A does not

need my vote or has no chance of being elected, transfer

my vote to B. If B in turn does not need my vote or has no
chance of election, transfer my vote to C, and so on'.
Counting votes
The count commences at 9 am on the day after polling
day. At the opening of the count the ballot papers are
mixed together and sorted according to the first
preferences recorded for the candidates. The total number
of valid papers is then found, and from that figure the
quota is calculated according to the formula:
Total valid votes
___________________________Plus 1
Number of seats plus 1
Thus, if there were 40,000 votes and 4 seats to be filled,
the quota would be 8,001 and only four candidates could
reach the quota. The quota, then, is the smallest number
necessary to guarantee the election of a candidate.
If, on the first count, no candidate has reached the quota,
the candidate who received the lowest number of votes is
eliminated and his votes are transferred to the candidate
for whom a second preference is recorded. If a candidate
receives more than the quota required for election, the
surplus votes are transferred to the remaining candidates
in accordance with the subsequent preferences expressed
by the electors.
When the number of remaining candidates neither elected
nor eliminated equals the number of vacancies to be filled,
those candidates are declared elected although they may
not have reached the quota.
A bye-election is held to fill a vacancy created by the
death, resignation or disqualification of a member of the
Dil. The voting procedure in a bye-election is the same as
that for a general election.

How the Seanad is elected

An election for the Seanad must take place within ninety
days of a dissolution of the Dil. The date of the first
meeting of the newly-elected Seanad is fixed by the
President on the advice of the Taoiseach. There are
separate systems for the election of university and panel
The numbers of members of the Seanad elected from each
panel is divided as follows:
1. Five members from the cultural and educational panel
(representing the national language and culture, literature,
art, education, law and medicine-including surgery,
dentistry, veterinary medicine and pharmaceutical
chemistry), of whom two at least are elected from each
sub- panel .
2. Eleven members from the agricultural panel
(representing agriculture and allied interests and
fisheries), of whom four at least are elected from each
sub- panel .
3. Eleven members from the labour panel (representing
labour, whether organised or unorganised), of whom four
at least are elected from each sub-panel.
4. Nine members from the industrial and commercial panel
(representing industry and commerce and including
banking, finance, accountancy, engineering and
architecture), of whom three at least are elected from
each sub- panel.
5. Seven members from the administrative panel
(representing public administration and social services,
including voluntary social activities), of whom three at
least are elected from each sub-panel.
Formation of panels
The Clerk of the Seanad, acting as Seanad Returning
Officer, is required to maintain a register of bodies entitled

to nominate a number of people to the panels of

candidates. At a Seanad election each nominating body
registered for a panel may propose for nomination a fixed
number of people. The final nominations comprise what is
known as the nominating bodies sub-panel.
Any four members of either House may nominate one
candidate for any panel, but each member may join in
only one such nomination. The nominations made by
members of both Houses to each panel are known as the
Oireachtas sub-panel.
Candidates must have knowledge and practical
experience related to the panel for which they are
The Electorate
The electorate for an election of panel members to the
Seanad numbers almost 1,000 and consists of:
1. the members of the incoming Dil,
2. the members of the outgoing Seanad,
3. the members of the Councils of Counties and the
Corporations of County Boroughs.
Each elector has only one vote for each panel. Each panel
is counted separately and the elections conducted in
accordance with the principle of proportional
representation, by means of the single transferable vote.

Tom OConnor Working

Paper Series
Department of
Government, UCC

Pdraig Mac Consaidn

No. 35, November 2014

Ireland in Austerity: Implications for Reform of
Performance Management and Development Systems in
the Irish Civil Service

Pdraig Mac Consaidn

Entering the final quarter of 2008, Ireland was floundering
in a sea of economic and financial uncertainty. Treading
the pecuniary waters was becoming arduous; the weight
of financial debt had begun to drag Ireland under; no
longer buoyed by the hot-air of the property bubble that
had inflated to the point of explosion. A state sponsored
blanket bank guarantee cost the state tens of billions of
euro. High levels of public expenditure, a sharp decline in
tax revenue and unfeasible borrowing arrangements on

the financial markets presented an inescapable truth;

Ireland could no longer financially sustain itself. The
government required a bailout from the lenders of last
resort; the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the
European Commission and the European Central Bank.
The Troika.
This, the most expensive bailout in the European Union,
and representative of 33 per cent of Irelands Gross
Domestic Product (OBrien, 2011), was the result of the
profligacy of the boom years and the inability of the
political system, social partners and society as a whole to
come to terms with the choices that needed to be made
when the bubble became unsustainable and eventually
burst (Collins, 2010). Incremental steps were taken as the
crisis evolved from 2008, but many of the more difficult
and unpalatable decisions came in the aftermath of the
bailout as the public finances were under the close
scrutiny of the Troika. Some of these decisions were made
in relation to the public sector.
Successive governments cited public service reform as a
solution to alleviating the pressure on the national purse.
The Memorandum of Understanding (Ireland, 2010: 25,
34) entered into by the Irish government and the Troika,
outlined the efficiencies which would be sought in the
public sector; a reduction in public service personnel
numbers and a streamlining of government programmes
and administrative practices. The Fine Gael/Labour
government have pursued a Public Sector Reform Plan,
agreed under the Programme for Government 2011, and
to date, have published two progress reports on the plan.
Although fiscal considerations underpin the renewed
emphasis on public service reform, the methods to
achieve the proposed reforms can be identified in the
literature of New Public Management (NPM) (Hughes,
2003: 165).
In 2010, Christopher Hood presented a paper in which he
contended that in times of fiscal stringency; there is
historical precedent for significant public sector reforms.
Hood argued that one such reform may be a greater
concentration on performance management,
measurement and audit; typically in keeping with classic

NPM practices.
In light of the recent financial crisis and the reform agenda
proposed by government, this paper will examine the
impact the financial crisis has had on the Irish civil service,
with respect to Hoods theory for public sector reform, and
a greater concentration on performance management and
measurement. This will be completed with specific
reference to the Performance Management and
Development Systems (PMDS) in the Irish civil service. The
paper will examine the civil service in general, through a
literature review of traditional public administration, new
public management and the evolution of the Irish civil
service. Finally, PMDS will be examined under the scope of
reforms proposed in 2011, drawing on experiences of
serving civil servants.
Review of the Literature
What is known of the history of organised administration
through time would indicate that there were common
forms of self-awareness and the codification of structures,
practices and values in the area of public administration
as civil societies began to organise and emerge (Waldo,
1984:14). The existence of organised and systemic
bureaucracies in the ancient civilisations of Egypt, China,
Greece and Rome has long been acknowledged (Lynn,
2005:29). Creel (1964:155-156) in his research on early
bureaucracies found that officials were selected by civil
service examinations and educated in dedicated
universities back as far as 124 B.C., creating career
bureaucrats from an early age.
This evidence indicates that public
administration/management is not a new phenomenon.
Even on the matter of the title, there is a question as to
whether a distinction can be made between
management and administration, an argument that has
persisted since Henri Fayol in 1916. In the context of this
research we may take both terms as encompassing the
organisational structures, managerial practices and
institutional values that are enacted on the authority of a

sovereign authority. This would consequently indicate

that the term public management is synonymous with the
term public administration (Lynn, 2005: 28). In the context
of this paper, the term administration shall be used until
we reach the period of transition to New Public
The Traditional Model
Hughes (2003:17) describes the traditional model of public
administration as once a major reform movement, where
the task of administering public services was carried out
by an amateurish few, though this changed to become a
distinct merit-based public service, manned by a
professional staff with a calling to public service, a
transformation that became ubiquitous in public service
models in most modern bureaucracies during the
twentieth century. Public administration, in its modern
guise, traces its origins to the nineteenth century in both
theory and practice, with a formalisation process taking
place at the start of the twentieth century, where further
change did not ensue until the end of the 1980s. In
offering a characterisation of the traditional model of
bureaucracy, Hughes (2003:17) asserts:
[] an administration under the formal control of the
political leadership, based on a strictly hierarchical model
of bureaucracy, staffed by permanent, neutral and
anonymous officials, motivated only by the public interest,
serving any governing party equally, and not contributing
to policy but merely administering those policies decided
by the politicians.
The traditional model, taking its theoretical legacy from
the works of Woodrow Wilson, Frederick Taylor, Max Weber
and Northcote and Trevelyan has been the longest
standing incarnation of public administration, and some
would argue the most successful, to date.
Origins of the traditional model Northcote and Trevelyan
Prior to 1854, the British civil service held a poor
reputation, staffed by those with political or aristocratic
patronage, who came together in an organisation with no
unity of purpose or endeavour. The pervasive image of

public administration at the time is said to be described by

Charles Dickens Little Dorrit, and in particular chapter ten,
Containing the Whole Science of Government(1868:97).
Dickens caricature description of the Circumlocution
Office is said to offer an accurate account of public
administration of the time. The British public
administration was the epitome of how not to get things
done as Dickens portrayed it.
There were reports of staff who were both mentally and
physically unable to perform the duties required of them,
and others who were simply incompetent, illiterate and
more worryingly, immovable (The UK Civil Service, 2014a).
It is said that during the preparation of a budget, the then
Chancellor of the Exchequer William Gladstone, found the
chief official at the Treasury ineffectual in fulfilling his
duties in assisting with the compilation of the annual
finance bill. As a result, Gladstone decided to act on long
standing concerns he held in relation to inefficiency,
nepotism and corruption in the civil service. His first
undertaking was to appoint his former private secretary,
Sir Stafford Northcote and the permanent head of the
Treasury at the time, Charles Trevelyan, to look into the
operation and organisation of the civil service. Gladstone
charged them with investigating ways of reforming the
bureaucracy, which Gladstone felt was becoming too
expensive for such an ineffective organisation
(Bebbington, 1993:85-86). The result was the Northcote
and Trevelyan report of 1854, the foundation for reforms in
the UK civil service (The UK Civil Service, 2014b).
The report recommended the creation of a largely selfsufficient civil service, staffed by entrants who had
undertaken competitive examinations which would train
its officials, so that promotion based on merit and
progression from within the service to the highest
positions of the organisation would be possible. This
procedure was in preference to filling such positions from
questionable sources, which was common practice at the
time. (Fry, 2000:17). From the outset, the report
recognised the importance of the civil service in
discharging the work of government; it also noted that

there were defects in the system and the organisation

was far from perfect. The report also outlined that the
authors had been given cause to investigate the occasions
when the service did not operate in a manner fit for the
purpose of government (Northcote and Trevelyan, 1954:12).
Though not their primary objective, it has been argued
that the report essentially conceived a service that was
politically anonymous. The service would be free of
political interference at the appointment stage, with
ministerial responsibility instituted as part of the reforms
that were introduced on foot of the report (Fry, 1969:263).
These reforms at the end of the nineteenth century still
form the basis for the UK civil service today, which also
underpin the Irish model, inherited from the British.
The four fathers in the study of public administration
Further afield, following advancements in public
administration, scholarly research may also be credited to
Woodrow Wilson, a President of the United States and
noted academic, who was a prolific writer on the subject of
government. One of his central contentions was that there
was little difference in actuality, between the
administration of private sector business and that of public
sector business.
In addition to Wilson, German sociologist, Max Weber also
wrote on the subject. Weber wrote his theory on
administration towards the end of the nineteenth century;
defining the discipline in formal, structured terms. (Meier
and Hill, 2005:52). Weber based his theory primarily on
legal-rational based authority (Quinlivan, 2011b), Weber
(1946) outlined six principles which would come to define
the discipline.

To Weber, bureaucracy was an organisation with specified

functional attributes, which would be large in size and

governed by a hierarchical structure with formal rules. The

personnel would be career appointed, salaried and
technically trained to carry out stated and unambiguous
duties with their expert knowledge (Quinlivan, 2011b).
This model as defined by Weber became the pervasive
form of public administration. However, Weber never
believed his definition would provide the perfect form of
bureaucratic organisation. He recognised that his model
was the most efficient system at the time, but
acknowledged that once established, it could become
almost impossible to destroy; growing in power to the
point that the one who would control the bureaucracy
could hold the balance of power (Goodsell, 2004).
Another figure who presented theories at the time was
industrialist, Frederick Taylor. Writing and implementing
practices aimed at a more efficient form of management
in the industrial sector, Taylor introduced his time study,
which aimed to increase efficiency by closely monitoring
employees to eliminate wasted time and motion accrued
during the course of their duties. This study formed the
basis for Taylors subsequent theories on scientific
management, from which he made a career, becoming a
Consultant Engineer in Management (Britannica, 2014).
He extolled the virtues of performance management
under the supervision of a respected and competent
foreman to maximise efficiency (Taylor, 1911:16-17), and
believed his theories were as relevant to the public as the
private sector (Hughes, 2003:27).
The perseverance of the traditional model
From the nineteenth century and for the majority of the
twentieth century, the traditional model remained
unchanged. Hughes (2003:17) states the traditional
model of public administration remains the longest
standing and most successful theory of management in
the public sector. Fully formed and functioning by the
1920s, it did undergo some change from the 1940s with
the emergence of the human relations school archetype,
advocated by Fayol, Maslow, Hertzberg and Mayo. These
practitioners concentrated on the social context of work,
rather than simply viewing the employee as a utilitarian

unit, responsive to financial incentive alone. Hughes

(2003:30) argues that human relations theory was more
readily applied to the public than private sector due to
fewer competitive restraints, and has been pivotal in the
discussion on managerialism in the public context, a
sentiment echoed by Pollitt (1993). The arrival of these
new viewpoints prompted some to argue that one theory
of administration should take precedent over the other in
public administration; others maintain that at any one
time one theory is pre-eminent, while at other times the
reverse is true (Hughes, 2003:30-32).
Though a longstanding feature of public administration,
the traditional model was rigid, bureaucratic and not
without its critics. Though more structured than what went
before, the system, consumed with notions of process,
rigid hierarchical structure and a clear politicaladministrative dichotomy, was dated. Inadequacies
became apparent during the 1970s and 1980s. The
bureaucracy was well suited to control, but less so for
management purposes, the machinery of government was
seen as slow moving and with a greater expectation of
accountability, comparing input and output in the system
was proving problematic. Relationships between political
leaders and bureaucrats had become complex,
complicated further by the arrival of specialist political
New theories were emerging in the area of management
and administration, which were being employed in the
private sector with some success. The traditional model
was collapsing under the strain of its own rigidity and
unyielding nature. Simply put, the traditional model did
not reflect the extensive, managerial, policy-making role
performed by the modern public service, change was
needed (Hughes, 2003:33).
The transition from traditional model to outdated model
Criticism of the traditional model began with Dwight
Waldo, who believed there was a better way forward than
the traditional model of public administration (Quinlivan,
2011c). Developments in the areas of public choice

theory, the study of institutions, political science and the

economics of organisation; coupled with the growth of the
welfare state and new challenges for those in charge of
public administrations, led to a greater interest in the
study of public administration through the 1960s and
1970s (Lynn, 2005:40-41).
This swell in the provision of state services led to a
situation by the mid-1970s where one sixth of the
industrialised worlds labour force was employed by
government (Tanzi and Schuknecht, 2000:27). A financial
reality was facing many countries that were monitoring
the cost of administering the state. There was a
requirement to reduce public spending, while
simultaneously not sacrificing the principal objectives of
government. There was also a realisation that this could
potentially be costly, politically. The electorate would need
to be faced with a fait accompli before the success of
reform would generate the necessary consensus (Tanzi
and Schuknecht, 2000:31,147).
New Public Management
The New Public Management (NPM) began life as a
conceptual device invented for purposes of structuring
scholarly discussion of contemporary changes in the
organisation and management of executive government
according to Barzelay, (2002:15). While the actual term
NPM was not coined until the 1990s in work by political
scientist Christopher Hood (1991). The term related to the
study of a series of reforms stemming from recycled
doctrines around organisation and management, effected
in public administration from the late 1970s and early
1980s (Barzelay, 2002:15).
Pollitt (2002:472) argues that in particular, as a reaction to
financial crises, waning public acceptance of the
traditional model of administration led to an unending
wave of reforms, which came under the banner of NPM.
With the management of public policy in a state of flux,
Anglophone countries championed the NPM doctrine and
were seen as the nexus of administrative reform.
Australia, New Zealand, Canada all undertook reform

measures, while Britain and the United States of America

are more commonly recognised as being the standard
bearers for the new doctrine (Collins, 2007:30).
Britain and NPM
In Britain, the Tories, led by Margaret Thatcher set about
reforming Whitehall and the public sector; long seen as
wasteful and inefficient. With a manifesto dominated by
issues of public sector reform, and coming on the back of
industrial unrest amongst public service trade unions,
culminating in the Winter of Discontent in late 1978 early
1979, the Tories swept to power in the general election of
1979. The monetarist approach replaced the Keynesian
interventionist approach; Thatcher rejected the post-war
consensus approach to social policy and pointed the finger
of guilt at the overwhelming presence of government in
business and society (Quinlivan, 2011c). Swann
(1988:225) described this as:
Excessive government meant excessive state expenditure,
including that on the nationalised industries, and this
acted as a burden on the productive private sector.
Excessive government also manifested itself as
interventions which inhibited the wealth generating power
of the free market system the latter needed to be
NPM and the United States
In the United States, a similar movement began under the
Reagan administration which came to power in 1981.
Though some attribute the beginning of the public sector
reform agenda to President Carter, and the Civil Service
Reform Act 1978 (Ferlie et al, 1996:17), the Reagan
administration is more synonymous with NPM than its
liberal predecessor. Pollitt (1993) suggests that the United
States took a more Taylorian approach to public
management; concentrating on scientific, generalist and
performance measurement facets of the discipline.
However, the more imaginative and developmental
aspects of the Carter reforms were set aside under the
new administration, in favour of a more cost cutting, bang
for buck mentality. Reagan chose to pursue greater value
for money in the public sector with the implementation of

best practice from the private sector in an attempt to

secure savings.
However, the new president achieved only limited
success, his agenda complicated by a Democratic
Congress and a pluralistic political system with well
organised lobby groups. As a result, the NPM agenda in
the US was not as progressive as its British counterpart
(Ferlie et al, 1996:17-18). Yet, the far reaching influence of
the Reagan era and his pursuit of public sector reforms
was such, that in his 1996 State of The Union address,
President Clinton, seeking re-election, declared; the era of
big government is over. This became a campaign mantra
and part of Clintons pledge to restrain public expenditure,
pay down the deficit and balance the budget (Fuller,
2014). If the Thatcher era was seen as the end of the postwar consensus, the Regan administration signalled the
beginning of the end of Lyndon B. Johnsons War on
Poverty movement, which was ultimately eliminated by
Clintons 1996 State of the Union, the ballast to Johnsons
1964 address where he announced the initiative.
NPM in academia
With regard to the academic commentary on the subject
of NPM, it was Christopher Hood in 1991 with his article; A
Public Management for all seasons? that NPM as a
concept became most widely cited. Examining the origins,
rise and acceptance of the phenomenon, Hood took the
new set of doctrines surrounding public administration and
placed them all in a unit that could be labelled, NPM. While
the traditional study of public administration concerned
itself with the analysis of political and administrative
values, the new paradigm would also examine private
sector managerial practices, performance management
and incentives (Dawson and Dargie, 2002:38).
NPM it can be argued, draws on two competing conceptual
frameworks, managerialism or neo-Taylorism on one side
(Pollitt, 1993), and new institutional economics; public
and rationale choice on the other (Downs 1967; Niskanen
1971). Initially, NPM was not a term widely used during
the period of change, it was afterward and through the

1990s and 2000s that the academic community finally

grasped the premise and incorporated it into the social
sciences. The early definition by Hood led to an emerging
consensus of what NPM was, and as others joined the
discussion the diversity of what the discipline
encompasses was established.
Initially, Hood, recognising NPM as one of the most
noteworthy changes in public administration, identified
seven key components that classified NPM:

Dunleavy and Hood (1994:10) presented their four

models of NPM, suggesting that there was not one, but
several movements within NPM that would determine its
future. While Ferlie et al. (1996) also promoted a
hypothesis comprised of four models, their interpretation
was somewhat at odds with early understandings of NPM,
is so far as it did not assume the total and absolute
acceptance of private sector practices only, but allowed

for the inclusion of the obvious public sector tradition that

some theorists had dismissed (Dawson and Dargie,
2002:39). In the US, Peters and Waterman (1982) and
Osbourne and Gaebler (1992) led the academic discourse
on NPM. From the reinventing government school of
thought, which later lent its name to their best-selling
book, the steer-dont-row principle emerged (Lynn,
2005:41-42). While Americans initially led the academic
dialogue on NPM, in practice, the US was accused of being
incoherent, contradictory relative to its stated goals and
ultimately in offering a challenge to bureaucracy, not
presenting any challenge at all (Meier and Hill, 2005:5455,57).
The US was not alone in having its own interpretation of
NPM, outside of Britain; NPM took on many incarnations
amongst the leading exponents of the field. New Zealand
took a contracting approach; entrepreneurship and the
reinvention of government is how the United States
adopted the changes; decentralisation, deregulation and
citizenship engagement was largely the European
mentality; while the UK were more inclined toward a costs
and control predisposition (Dawson and Dargie, 2002:39).
Australia took an incremental approach to the
implementation of NPM, though this was also influenced
by changes in government and associated political
ideologies. Initially favouring a corporatist method,
Australia then moved toward a more economic restraint
and public sector reform approach which was dominant up
to the mid-1990s (Johnson, 2000:345).
This paper will examine Hoods theory with respect to
performance measurement, and how in a time of fiscal
austerity there are calls for a re-focusing on input, cost
reduction, efficiency and productivity or performance
measurement in relation to output. This emphasis chimes
with early practices of NPM and academic evaluation of
the discipline, for example; The Efficiency Drive of Ferlie
et al. and Hoods initial definition and subsequent
scholarship of NPM and its evolution to simply, public

This will be conducted by examining the theory in the

context of the Irish civil service, making specific reference
to Performance Management and Development Systems
(PMDS), the chosen model of performance
measurement/management in the Irish civil service which
was introduced in 2000. This was achieved primarily
through desk research on existing documents, coupled
with interviews of civil servants with experience of PMDS
both in advance and since the financial crisis.
The Irish Civil Service
Under Article 17 of the Anglo-Irish Treaty of 1921, the
British government were required to take all necessary
steps to transfer the powers and apparatus of government
to the soon to be elected Irish government, so that it
would be able to discharge its duties of state. The transfer
of these administrative duties, for the most part, took
place on 1 April 1922 (Dooney, 1976:1). Unsurprisingly,
the public service structure that was inherited from Britain
was the Westminster-Whitehall model of administrative
government (Millar & McKevitt, 200:36). The retention of
the British system could however be considered
paradoxical, according to Millar and McKevitt (2000:40),
given the years of struggle to break free from British rule
only to retain its approach to public administration on
securing independence.
During a debate on the Civil Service (Regulation) Bill
(1923) in Dil ireann, Ernest Blythe the then Minister for
Finance, shed some light on the motivations for retaining
the configuration of the civil service at the time, stating
(Dil ireann, 1923:743):
It continues the system with which we are familiar. It has
worked well with the British, and has given them an
efficient and very capable Civil Service. It has done the
work of administration exceedingly well, on the whole. I
believe with us the system will also work well, and as time
goes on we will be able to get a good Civil Service at as
cheap a rate as will be consistent with requirements.
One possible reason for retention of the regime, and

Blythes praise for the system, could be the fact the Irish
administration had undergone a significant greening
process in the years preceding independence. This was
achieved through developments in open recruitment
procedures from the 1870s for lower grade positions, and
the discriminatory practice of promotion and appointment
of those with a nationalist persuasion to positions within
the service (McBride, 1991:304-312). This, coupled with
the introduction of the Local Government of Ireland Act,
1898, was at the time, the final step in modernising the
local government system and it may be argued that both
were significant factors in the gradual decline of British
influence in Ireland (Quinlivan, 2012a) (Coakley, 2010:9).
Yet, despite a fulsome endorsement of the administrative
system from the Minister for Finance, there were some
within Government who believed the system the state
took over was shambolic. Recalling the early days of
independence, Kevin OHiggins, the Minister for Justice in
1922 described what he saw as facing the Provisional
Government as (de Vere White, 1986:83-84):
[] eight young men in City Hall standing amidst the ruins
of one administration with the foundations of another not
yet laid, and with wild men screaming through the
keyhole. No police force was functioning through the
country, no system of justice was operating, the wheels of
administration hung idle, battered out of recognition by
the clash of rival jurisdictions
The latter part of OHiggins statement would seem to
contradict Blythe and McBrides view of the civil service at
the time, indicating that on handover of sovereignty, the
British left the new Irish State with very little. This was not
the case on a number of levels. At the constitutional level,
many roles and competencies had evolved over time and
would eventually prove invaluable reference points for the
new State builders. On the political level, traditions and
practices, most predating 1922, existed. This meant the
new parliamentarians would not face such a steep
learning curve. And finally, at the administrative level, the
evolution of a large civil service bequeathed to the new

state a body of trained professional staff in the role of

public administration that numbered in the region of
21,000 (Coakley, 2010:4-5) (Dooney, 1976:5).
Legislating for public administration the seminal Civil
Service Regulation Act, 1924 and Ministers and Secretaries
Act, 1924
Charged with independently governing the state, Dil
ireanns first major piece of legislation in relation to the
civil service came with the Civil Service (Regulation) Act,
1924. Though the Provisional Government and first
Executive Council of the Free State had recruited a
number of civil servants to assist with the handover of
responsibilities from the British, these were temporary
staff members, whereas the new Act established the Civil
Service Commission which would have responsibility for
future appointments to the civil service by open
competitive examinations. The Act further removed the
boards of commissioners that previously handled the
administration of the State, and brought all staff into a
single civil service, which came under the jurisdiction of
the Minister for Finance, eliminating much of the
autonomy the Dublin Castle staff had enjoyed under the
British regime.
Blythe also used the Act to satisfy an economy measure of
his department, by reducing the entrant level
remuneration for new civil servants. There was also the
trace of a gender bias, in so far as the entry level
requirements were set low in order to take men primarily,
who had long since left education and were unemployed,
using the civil service as an instrument to calm disquiet
amongst men who were affected by the demobilisation of
the army following the cessation of hostilities (Maguire,
2008:170-173). This gender bias would manifest in a more
apparent way through the marriage bar amendment to
the legislation at a later date.
While the Civil Service (Regulation) Act was approved,
some elements of the legislation were questioned by the
opposition, who believed the Civil Service Commission
should report to the Dil and not solely to the Minister for

Finance, and in relation to competitive examinations, while

it may be efficient as a means to recruit to the service, it
may not be ideal for recruiting the most suitable of
candidate (Dil ireann, 1923: 745-746). This was borne
out when the first round of examinations for the clerical
class, reserved for men with army service, saw a failure
rate of forty six per cent (Maguire, 2008:173).
Though Blythe confirmed the civil service would continue
with the system with which we are familiar, significant
changes to the structure of the service were undertaken.
The practices of day-to-day administrative functions may
not have altered a great deal, yet the formation of the
service was altered considerably (Brennan cited in
Maguire, 2008:122). While the Civil Service (Regulation)
Act, 1924 was important in its own right, the second piece
of legislation Dil ireann debated within a matter of days,
was seminal in the context of the civil service.
The Ministers and Secretaries Act, 1924, is the
fundamental statute governing Irish public administration
(Collins and Cradden, 2007:19). In presenting the bill, W.T.
Cosgrave (Dil ireann, 1923:917) argued:
From the point of view of the State, it appears to me to be
next in importance to the constitution itself. Engaged here
in the consideration of this measure, we are laying the
foundations of the future governing institutions of this
Seeking to provide a new and basic structure for a
functioning administrative system under political and
parliamentary control, the 1924 Act, had two distinct
functions (MacCrthaigh, 2012:27). First, it provided the
legal basis for the civil service, outlining the structure and
organisation of central administration, while also defining
ministerial responsibility. Second, the Act established the
departments of state, their remits, and distributed the
associated public activities accordingly (Chubb,
1982:248). Given the time, the Act may be described as a
radical concept in the administration of public business in
1920s Ireland.

Prior to the Treaty, the Irish system of public

administration had been conducted via a number of
boards of commissioners who carried out much of the
executive work. The new structure meant that almost all
executive functions were transferred directly to the
appropriate minister, who, along with an assigned staff of
civil servants, would discharge the responsibilities of their
assigned portfolio (Dooney, 1976:4). This built further on
the structural changes the Civil Service (Regulation) Act
instituted, with Section 2 (2) of the Ministers and
Secretaries Act, 1924 stating:
The Executive Council shall on the recommendation of the
Minister appoint the principle officer [or Secretary as he is
continued to be called] of each of the said Departments
and each of the said Ministers may appoint such other
officers and servants to serve in the Department of which
he is the head, as such Minister may, with the sanction of
the Minister for Finance, determine []
The machinery of public administration had an identity
and under the title of the civil service, a demarcation
between the responsibilities of the administration and the
minister was established. So, what and who was the
service comprised of?
An accepted definition of the Irish civil service is; a group
of persons, selected by the Commission for Public Service
Appointments (formerly the Civil Service Commission) via
competitive examinations, to serve in a civil capacity, the
agencies of state as set out in the Constitution, namely;
the President, Houses of the Oireachtas, judiciary, the
Taoiseach and his ministers, the Attorney General and the
Comptroller and Auditor General. The vast majority of civil
servants are assigned to serve the Taoiseach and the
various government departments with the remainder
fulfilling the roles in the other offices outlined above
(Dooney, 1976:4-5). Therefore, strictly speaking, the
greater civil service is comprised of two separate civil
service units, with the civil service of the government
being the one of greater importance according to
Barrington (1980:30).

The civil service should of course, not be confused with

the public service, which by comparison is vastly greater
in its composition, consisting of; the civil service, public
servants employed in local authorities, the health service,
the educational system, state sponsored bodies, the
defence forces, and An Garda Sochna (Dooney, 1976:5).
The Ministers and Secretaries Act 1924, was decisive in
establishing the political-administrative dichotomy. This, it
has been contended, is the most significant feature of the
legislation, which has not been altered in any of the
subsequent fifteen amending acts to the initial 1924
statute (Barrington, 1980:31). This element of the
legislation is defining, whereby it is the clear adoption of
the British concept of the minister as the formulator of
policy and the civil servant as the impartial implementer
of the ministers wishes, with no independent role in the
policymaking process (Collins and Cradden, 2007:19)
(Quinlivan, 2012a).
In legally creating ministerial responsibility, the Act
fostered the policy-administrative dichotomy of the classic
bifurcation model advocated by Wilson in 1887
(MacCrthaigh, 2012:29). The Act, positioning the minister
as the corporation sole of the department, makes the
minister the legal personality with the department merely
an extension of that personality. Legal power is vested
with the minister, to be exercised by him in the course of
his duties or performed for him under his direct and
explicit instruction (Barrington, 1980:31). Essentially, this
presents the minister as the department, ultimately
accountable and responsible to Dil ireann and the
citizens, for the actions taken by civil servants in the
department. In 1924 when the act was ratified, it
established eleven government departments; Finance,
Justice, Local Government and Public Health, Education,
Lands and Agriculture, Industry and Commerce, Fisheries,
Posts and Telegraphs, Defence, External Affairs and the
Department of the President of the Executive Council
(Collins and Cradden, 2007:19). Such ministerial
responsibility may have been deemed reasonable at the
time, given the number of departments or more

importantly, given the number of civil servants. However,

with the growth of the State and the expansion of
ministerial portfolios , the concept of sole ministerial
responsibility became unrealistic for ministers whose
responsibilities required the juggling of departmental
obligations, constituency duties and since 1973, affairs of
the European Union.
The retention of this provision whereby the minister is the
corporate sole of the department is, according to Millar
and McKevitt (2000:49), an administrative if not legal
fiction. From the perspective of a former minister and
Taoiseach, Garret Fitzgerald (1996) believed making the
minister responsible was asinine, as the idea that they
have much time to spare to manage their department is
illusionary to the point of being absurd. Interestingly, in
the same piece, Fitzgerald states that the concept of
ministerial responsibility may have seemed a reasonable
concept, to the civil servant who drafted it (Fitzgerald,
1996). Though in the overall context, Garret Fitzgerald did
have a positive attitude towards the civil service (OMalley
and Martin, 2010:316) despite his comment that the
Ministers and Secretaries Act sheltered civil servants, for
which he was admonished by Tom OConnor, a former
senior official in the Department of Finance, who claimed
far from sheltering civil servants, ministers needed to
acquire competence to articulate coherent policies and
cease from corrosive and niggling interference in the
process of administration (OConnor, 1996).
However, as the work load and responsibilities of the
ministerial role grew, and the minister not in a position to
make every decision required of him, he could informally,
though not strictly speaking, legally, delegate his powers
to senior officials within the department (Barrington,
1980:32). This effectively ordained the senior civil
servants as the de facto managers of the department,
though the minister still retained legal liability for actions
taken in the name of the department. It may be argued
that these senior officials would be aware of the ministers
preferences on a given matter and act accordingly. If the
matter were to be queried later, the minister would be

aware to who in the department he would need to contact.

Resultant from this, the service tries to avoid political
embarrassment to the minister, this has led to a
conservative approach by the service, where they play a
passive role unless they are unreservedly backed by the
minister (Millar and McKevitt, 1997: np). Perhaps this is
why Kingston (2007:72) in identifying a need for public
sector reform, outlines that ministerial jurisdiction in the
area of senior civil service appointments, is a motivation
for civil servants to be sympathetic to the preferences of
their political leaders; hence the cautious approach to
decision making. Yet, despite the legal constraints of the
Ministers and Secretaries Act, 1924, a move away from
the historical, toward an attempt to redefine the new and
actual reality could prove difficult according to Connolly
(2005:342). This, possibly a result of the clientelist nature
of much of Irish politics, where the ministers may not be
overly enthusiastic relinquishing some of their power to
senior civil servants on an official legal basis (Connolly,
This initial phase of establishing the Irish States identity is
classified by Muiris MacCrthaigh (2012:28) as the
emergence phase in the development of the public
administration. As outlined thus far, this was characterised
by designating the political-administrative dichotomy and
creating the Irish civil service through the Civil Service
(Regulation) Act, 1924 and subsequently the Ministers and
Secretaries Act, 1924. Some of the provisions contained in
these Acts were later amended, with others becoming
enshrined in the Irish Constitution, which was adopted in
The civil service, a permanent government in a changing
political and economic environment
Following the emergence period, the state began to
move into an era of development according to
MacCrthaigh (2012: 28). In relation to the composition of
the civil service, little changed with respect to the number
of government departments, while the number employed
in the service remained much the same for a number of

years. Proposed pay cuts in 1931 did not come to fruition

due to the Dil being dissolved and a general election
called. Civil servants were active in seeking confirmation
from candidates and parties in the 1932 general election
as to whether their pay would be reduced, as had been
the intention of Blythe in his final days as Minister for
Finance in 1931. These actions were a progression of the
public demonstrations organised by a number of trade
unions in the late 1920s and early 1930s against
government cuts to the cost of living bonus received by
civil servants (Maguire, 2008:202,206).
Fianna Fil campaigned on the issue of civil servant job
and salary security in 1932, and following their success in
the election, the new government established a
commission of inquiry into the pay and conditions of the
service, chaired by Joseph Brennan. The commission ran
from 1932-1935, producing its report in 1936 amid claims
the commission and its work failed to live up to the
expectations of many civil servants, based on promises
made prior to the election (Maguire, 2008:208-209).
The civil service continued its role as the administrative
arm of the state for many years with little by way of
change or reform. New ministers took charge of their
departments in successive governments, gaining an
understanding of the department under the tutelage of
the senior civil servant, the Secretary General, in the
department in keeping with Webers (1946:38) statement:
Under normal conditions, the power position of a fully
developed bureaucracy is always overpowering. The
political master finds himself in the position of the
dilettante who stands opposite the expert, facing the
trained official who stands within the management of the
Though the political-administrative dichotomy as
envisioned under the Ministers and Secretaries Act, 1924,
clearly saw the minister as policy formulator and the
administrator as policy implementer, there was some
ambiguity on the separation.

It is sometimes said that the Secretary General of a

department personifies the civil servant. Playing a key role
in the mechanics of government in an almost covert
manner, who along with their fellow secretaries, operate in
a political culture with deep rooted traditions not easily
changed (Connaughton, 2005: np) (Zimmerman, 1997:
540). This said however, the civil service and servant,
specifically the Secretary General, has a distinct
relationship with the government and its ministers. The
service is at the centre of public affairs, playing both the
role of advisor and administrator (Hussey, 1993:86-91).
During MacCrthaighs second phase in the evolution of
the Irish bureaucracy, the development period, a greater
emphasis was being placed on the expansion of the
economy. During this period, it materialised and is well
documented that some senior civil servants took a leading
role in creating an economic strategy for the country
(MacCrthaigh, 2012:30). Principle amongst these was Dr.
T.K. Whitaker, regarded by some to be the father of
economic strategy in Ireland (Hussey, 1993:84), who by
his own admission, simply sought to make some positive
contribution towards the betterment of the country. And
this, according to Whitaker, was set against the backdrop
of an economy where the policy seemed to be on the side
of hoping that things would get better, but not taking the
right actions to achieve it (Chambers, 2014:5).
Operating as one of the youngest Secretaries of the
Department of Finance, Whitakers brainchild, the First
Programme for Economic Expansion is credited as moving
Ireland from a prolonged period of economic stagnation,
characterised by protectionist economic policies, to a
more open economy; accommodating foreign direct
investment and promoting exports. However, despite his
pioneering efforts, Whitaker held reservations that the civil
service would be equipped to deal with the strain a
burgeoning economy would have on the States
administration, including the long term effects if the new
economic strategy had the desired effect (Whitaker,
1961:87). Some of Whitakers concerns related to the
burden on senior officials, now to be more concerned with
administrative detail than the broader minutiae of policy

(Barrington, 1980:32) (Dooney, 1976:134). It could be

reasoned that Whitakers comments stemmed from his
interpretation of the legislation instituted two years
previously (1956), relating to civil service departmental
The Civil Service Regulation Bill, 1956, made the provision
for the regulation, control and management of the civil
service. The Act recognised that a civil servant was to
serve their office at the will and pleasure of the
government; this bequeathed to the government the
power to dismiss any civil servant without notice for grave
misconduct. The 1956 Act also instituted a capacity for the
reduction of salary or grade, for cause. Duties, such as
those of the minister as head of the department, could be
delegated if required. One would expect this to pertain to
the Secretary General, though the Act is slightly
ambiguous, only referring to the designate as the
appropriate authority (Dooney, 1976:123-126). The Act
of 1956 is more readily remembered however, for the
ratification of the infamous marriage bar, that required
women to retire from the civil service on the occasion of
their marriage. This section of the legislation was
rescinded in 1973 on Irelands accession to the European
Economic Community, due to the provisions conflict with
the Treaty of Rome. Fundamentally, the Civil Service
Regulation Act, 1956, simply reaffirmed the model of
administration inherited in 1922, with the civil service
remaining conformant to the Weberian form of public
administration (Collins and Cradden, 2007:22). Whitaker,
as stated earlier, believed that the First Programme of
Economic Expansion would challenge this bastion of
Modernisation or stagnation?
Unfortunately, the case for civil service reform in Ireland
did not improve following the success of the First
Programme for Economic Expansion. There were some
initiatives aimed at reform, but incremental and lacking
any real ambition. The Public Services Organisation
Review Group, commissioned in the late 1960s, under the
chairmanship of Liam St John Devlin, endeavoured to

improve the ministerial role in parliament. For instance,

one recommendation was to move the role of the minister
beyond the task of answering to the Dil for every detail of
the department (Hussey, 1993:84-85). Influenced by some
of the findings from the Devlin Report in 1969, the
Ministers and Secretaries (Amendment) Act, 1973, created
the role of Minister for the Public Service to oversee the
state administration at large, but a lack of motivation on
behalf of politicians and civil servants alike, hindered any
real reform agenda (Collins and Cradden, 2007:36).
This period of modernisation as MacCrthaigh (2012:28)
labelled it, saw the emergence of managerial principles
and further blurring of the political and administrative
roles. Specifically, an amendment in the 1970s allowed for
clerical staff to engage in political activities, which had
been prohibited to that point. Though a period of
modernisation, conspicuous by their absence were any
amendments to the entry level requirements for the civil
service. A minimum requirement for entry was a second
level education, yet free second level education was not
made available to all until 1967. Therefore for those with a
second level education, success in the civil service exams
was prized above many other positions and academic
scholarships (Chubb, 1982: 265). Some argue that this
restriction, coupled with the dependence on an
educational system that for so long had been dominated
by the Catholic Church, but more precisely the Christian
Brothers, led to general intellectual constipation of not
just society, but also the civil service (Lee, 1985:4).
Excluding the removal of the marriage bar, two steps were
taken in the 1980s that could be described as the only
noteworthy developments since the 1960s. Introduced in
1984, the first may be interpreted as an attempt to break
the cycle of progression and promotion which perpetuated
the same management philosophy within government
departments. This was Taoiseach Garret Fitzgeralds
concept for a new procedure in appointing civil servants to
senior positions (Hussey, 2003:86). Long had it been the
unofficial ethos of the civil service, that promotion was
achieved through seniority rather than merit, that one

must have served ones time before promotion (Millar

and McKevitt, 2000:42). The new procedure, under the
title of the Top Level Appointments Commission would
oversee appointments to Secretary and Assistant
Secretary level: with an additional objective of promoting
interdepartmental mobility and to end the dual structure
of professional and non-professional career structures
(Murray, 1990:108).
The second step was the creation of the office of
Ombudsman, to ensure best practice in public
administration, by investigating complaints about the
administrative actions of government departments, the
Health Service Executive and the local authorities (Collins
and Cradden, 2007:36). One year later, the White Paper;
Serving the Country Better was published by John Boland,
the Minister for Public Service. Though the paper failed to
make a significant impact, Boland did suggest a greater
focus on management systems and personal responsibility
for results, costs and services (Hussey, 1993:84-85)
(Collins and Cradden, 2000:26), a precursor to similar
proposals under the Strategic Management Initiative in the
The forces of change
A combination of factors in the late 1980s began an
agenda of change. Chronic economic difficulties, mass
emigration, international competition, the apparent
triumph of neo-liberal economics, the end of protectionism
and a desire for national regeneration both socially and
economically encouraged the agenda. In the international
context, changes in political administrations with the
electoral successes of the New Right brought Thatcher
and Reagan to power with their beliefs of rolling back the
state and making government more business-like. This
put enormous pressure on the existing structures of public
administration, which led to a move toward a difference
type of management culture, where results were
measured, methods of service delivery would change and
control would cease to be so centralised as the private
sector became more involved in public business (Collins
and Cradden, 2007:27,30-32) (World Bank, 2005).

These reforms to how public administration would be

conducted came to be known as New Public Management .
As Ireland was in an economic crisis, retrenchment of
government spending became the primary concern of the
Department of Finance, which once more regained control
over the civil service following the abolition in 1987 of the
Department of Public Service. A cost-cutting agenda
permeated from government, led by the Department of
Finance. The Civil Service Training Centre, a series of
networks of civil servants set up in the 1980s, formulated
a consensus on the need to improve management within
the civil service (Collins and Cradden, 2000:36-37). The
Assistant-Secretaries Network, compiled a number of
reports and proposals, and these were presented to the
Group of Secretaries-General, created to oversee and
facilitate a reform effort in the civil service. During the
same period, a group of eleven Assistant-Secretaries
produced a masters dissertation, examining international
best practice in New Public Management and reviewing
these from an Irish perspective (Collins and Cradden,
As a result of these developments, since 1994, reforms in
Irish public administration have been promoted by
consecutive programmes that emphasise a more efficient
public service that only benefits the citizen (Connaughton,
2012:63). MacCrthaigh (2012:28) refers to this period as
one of complexity, given the Irish attempts to adapt to
the New Public Management model of public
administration, against the backdrop of coalition
governments, a relative failure in the devolution of power
to senior civil servants, the advent of the political advisor,
and the apparent defectiveness of the politicaladministration dichotomy which led to successive
governments losing control over the size and cost of the
public service. The Irish approach to NPM came in the form
of the Strategic Management Initiative, introduced in
1994, with many recommendations coming from the paper
Delivering Better Government in 1996.
Contained in one tranche of these incremental reforms,

was the introduction of the Performance Management and

Development System in 2000. This paper examines if,
since the financial crisis in 2008 and subsequent bailout of
the Irish State in 2010; which has seen a refocusing on
efficiency and value for money in the public sector,
whether PMDS, which has suffered a troubled incarnation,
will now realise the potential it had been envisaged it
would fulfil with fresh impetus from a new administration.
The SMI and subsequent second progress memorandum to
government, which later became Delivering Better
Government (1996), created a blueprint for reform in the
Irish civil service (Collins, 2007:38). A series of
incremental decrees under the umbrella of SMI and postSMI, became known as the public service modernisation
programme (Hardiman, 2010:15). Targeted substantial
changes in the way public services were organised,
managed and delivered, and transforming the way the
personnel who delivered these services were managed,
would be an integral part of ensuring the best possible
outcome for the SMI and the modernisation programme
(Cradden, 2007:157).
The implementation of private sector management
theories in the public sector was one of the key features of
NPM. Therefore, inevitably, practices and concepts in
human resource management (HRM) were also introduced
to the public sector. In Ireland the PMDS system was
designed and embraced in order to infuse a sense of
management and staff accountability in the public sector,
mirroring what had been the call of reformists in Britain
many years earlier (Cradden, 2007:157), (Collins,
2007:44). As people management was a fundamental
principle of NPM, it would therefore be essential if the SMI
was to realise its potential.
Ireland, late in its transition to NPM, would benefit from
the experience of others, who, despite implementing
many reforms on a budgetary and organisational nature,
were still encumbered by personnel practices from the
traditional model of administration. Of those attempting
HRM changes in the public sector, all strove for similar
results; the weakening of tenure, strengthening

disciplinary procedures, linking promotions and pay to

appraised performance, creating more flexible senior
cadres and decentralising personnel authority to line
managers (Pollitt, 2005:2-3). Irish reform efforts would
also target the same goals, but what would make the SMI
unique from other nations, was the fact that Ireland was in
a position to incorporate the public service unions into the
process (Cradden, 2007:157).
An initiative since the late 1980s with the introduction of
National Development Plans, government by partnership
in terms of the economic and political management of the
state, marked a turning point in the public administration
and governance of Ireland in and of itself, even prior to the
SMI. Indeed, former Taoiseach Bertie Ahern (2002)
commented, partnership agreements and sound financial
management within an EU framework got us through [the
1980s]. The adoption of social partnership, a concept
borrowed from Swedish and Dutch models also reflected a
change from the traditional channel of influence, that of
the UK. Accommodating public sector unions, considered
by many as a distortive influence in free market theory
through their influence on labour costs (Cradden,
2007:159), were recognised as an essential partner in
facilitating an orderly transition to perceived more
thorough and proficient work practices which were
expected under PMDS.
Performance Management and Development Systems
Introduced in 2000, Performance Management and
Development Systems were instituted as part of the
modernisation blueprint, in recognition that staff training,
development and up-skilling were necessary, in
conjunction with more flexible working arrangements to
secure greater HRM (MacCarthaigh, 2008:79). The
systems were to ensure that each civil servant could
develop his/her maximum potential in contributing to the
attainment of stated goals by their division. The premise
was simple; link the performance of the individual to the
overarching goals of their unit and ultimately the
department. It was envisioned that staff would take
greater ownership of their role at the individual level for,

in the interests of the organisations overall performance

(OECD, 2008:79-81).
The PMDS process, on paper, would seem relatively
straight forward. An annual exercise, staff would complete
a Role Profile Form (RPF), outlining their personal
priorities, objectives and performance targets for the year
ahead, with due diligence to the aggregate goals of their
specific division. This RPF would allow staff to indicate the
competencies and skills required to carry out their duties,
and request training where appropriate. There would be a
mid-term performance appraisal report to chart the
progress made, before a final review session where the
staff member would be assessed on their performance,
based on the RPF they completed the previous year. Then,
the cycle would begin again; PMDS would be a continuous
process in an effort to achieve consistent high standard
HRM practices in the civil service. Aside from performance
measurement and management, the procedure was also
envisaged as a means of helping staff to clearly
understand their role, what the expectations of them
were, the targets and standards that were required, along
with the technical skills and knowledge necessary and if
necessitated how these skills could be acquired (OECD,
Four years after its introduction, a civil service-wide
evaluation of PMDS was carried out to ascertain if the
system was achieving its stated objectives. There was a
broad consensus among staff that the implementation of
the process was a positive measure, with those at a
management level and higher reflecting a greater degree
of support for the process. Concerns were raised in
relation to certain aspects of the system, some of which
were significant criticisms taking into consideration the
original rationale for PMDS. These included; a clear lack of
integration between HRM strategies and PMDS; the
system provided some useful information internally at the
micro level, but with no opportunity to communicate the
information back to a central hub; it was unclear how the
overarching needs of the organisation would be met, if the
organisation hierarchy did not fully understand or

appreciate the resources it had at its disposal, a facet

PMDS was originally intended to provide (OECD, 2008:82)
(MacCarthaigh, 2014).
This report also coincided with a period of unparalleled
growth in the Irish economy, where government income
and expenditure increased significantly. The state
benefited from full employment and recruitment
opportunities in the public and civil services were frequent
(ESRI, 2014). The extraordinary performance of the
national economy meant that considerations of efficiency
and performance measurement in the public sector,
associated with NPM and periods of economic austerity,
were no longer high on the governments agenda; indeed
the section responsible for reform was consigned to a
small recess in the Department of the Taoiseach
(MacCarthaigh, 2014).
Forward to 2007/2008. Ireland, drowning in a spiralling
international economic and financial crisis, aggravated by
a domestic credit fuelled property bubble, saw significant
pressures on the public finances. (Schn-Quinlivan, 2013)
The government established the Special Group on Public
Service Numbers and Expenditure Programmes .This
group was tasked with; identifying savings in public
spending and ensuring expenditure of remaining funds
was achieving the maximum economic efficiency in the
pursuit of priority policy objectives (Cowen, 2009:1-2).
Several of the groups recommendations were
implemented by Minister for Finance Brian Lenihan in
2010, and many of the cost saving initiatives were crude.
This was classic NPM (MacCarthaigh, 2014). The crisis
deepened, culminating in a financial rescue package for
the state, from the IMF, ECB and European Commission.
Soon after, the Dil was dissolved and a general election
called. In the subsequent general election, public sector
expenditure and reform was one of a number of central
topics that dominated the discourse of the campaign. In
the aftermath of the election, the reform agenda became
part of the Fine Gael-Labour 2011-2016 programme for
government. A wave of reforms were promised, one of
these was a re-examination of the PMDS process

(MacCarthaigh, 2014).
New government, new reform plan, same old PMDS?
In 2011 the new Fine Gael-Labour government began its
reform efforts for the public service by first creating a
Department of Public Expenditure and Reform, to reduce
public spending and improve public services through
reform (DoPER, 2014a). Following a review of existing
practices and with reference to the ambitions of the
programme for government, in November 2011, the
Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, Brendan
Howlin, presented the governments comprehensive Public
Service Reform Plan.
The plan commitment to the pursuit a high
performance culture in the public service by;
strengthening performance management, enhancing staff
development and dealing with underperformance where it
occurred through the implementation and consolidation of
a performance management system (DoPER, 2011).
Existing systems in the civil service would be specifically
targeted for improvement, with a new Role Profile Form
(RPF) and an effort for greater integration between PMDS
and HRM policies and related processes, something the
original PMDS failed to achieve as per the 2004 progress
report (OECD, 2008:82).
The following year saw the Public Service Reform
Plan: First Progress Report published. The report outlined
how substantial headway had been made on PMDS
reforms as agreed with the public sector unions. The
streamlining of paperwork for completion of annual
reviews had been agreed, reducing the RPF from three
separate documents to one single form. Recognising a
lack of engagement between staff and management
previously cited by staff in the 2004 report, more
meaningful co-operation was agreed upon by both parties.
The last point to emerge from the first progress report in
relation to PMDS was the revised performance rating
scale. This represented an important development, by
virtue of the fact that the revised scale, linked to the
payment of salary increments was being amended. Staff

receiving less than a rating of three in their appraisal

would fail to qualify for their salary increment . Long a
practice in many private sector organisations and in the
public service since 2005 (Duncan cited in MacCarthaigh,
The system was being amended following concerns raised
by the Comptroller and Auditor General in 2011 regarding
the deficiencies in the process which led to a number of
staff not receiving performance reviews, yet, still being
recipients of pay increments. The issue was further
compounded by an article in The Irish Times where the
statistics of the rating process were reported, reflecting a
figure of one per cent of civil servants being deemed
unacceptable or needing improvement (OBrien,
2013). In the Ministers defence, this had been a statistic
he was aware of and had acknowledged the previous
October, where he pointed to the fact that these ratings
had been under the old system, but that the practice
could not continue under the new regime.
Applied experiences with PMDS
To evaluate if there has been any change to PMDS since
the onset of the financial crisis, this author interviewed a
number of civil servants, all of whom have experience of
both the old and new Performance Management and
Development Systems. The interview began be asking the
interviewees of their experience of PMDS prior to 2011.
Interviewee one was assigned to a different department
than their current posting when they first experienced
PMDS, but advised that PMDS were not adhered to by the
section in question. This was reviewed in the aftermath of
the 2004 progress report carried out across all
departments. It was pointed out that both in their previous
department and the current department, prior to 2011,
performance appraisals and PMDS in general only featured
when filling out forms now and again (Interv. 1), and they
found the process a complete waste of time (Interv. 1)
(Interv. 2), knowing the process was not really
performance linked (Interv. 1). This was in contrast to
Interv. 3 who said:

My first experience of PMDS was, I think, atypical of the

service as a whole. Roles were set out clearly, goals were
specific and tasks defined. It was very easy to see if a CO
(or a HEO) was doing their job or not, and if they were,
how well.
Asking the interviewees how their supervisors approached
the process, interv. 1 confirmed that their manager said
the process did not serve any real purpose. interv. 2
experienced similar indifference to the process from their
line manager, though nothing was expressly vocalised.
Interv. 3 is the exception once more, advising that their
first manager enthusiastically encouraged the process and
utilised the procedure throughout the year and not just on
an annual basis. Interv. 3 advised that in their experience
since, this is the exception rather than the rule, adding it
is practically unique.
The interviews then proceeded to examine the period
since the advent of the financial crisis. It was asked how
the financial crisis has directly affected the departments of
all interviewees. All advised that due to a reduction in staff
numbers through retirement and transfers, pressure has
increased on the remaining staff. There was a universal
theme, that due to understaffing, trying to keep overdue
work to a minimum was an overriding consideration in all
sections/departments. Questioning if PMDS held any
significance whatsoever, the reply was simple, how can
you review performance if the whole unit is dysfunctional
because we do not have enough staff to meet the
workload required (Interv. 1). Asking if this had been
relayed to management, the answer was yes, but nothing
happened (Interv. 1).
In relation to the development element of PMDS, all were
asked if they had requested training as part of their
performance review. Interv. 1 and 2 both advised that
training had been requested, interv. 1 received training,
interv. 2 did not. Interv. 3 advised that in their experience,
training and development took place outside the PMDS
process; which would seem to indicate impotence on

behalf of the designated process for training and

development. Interv. 3 also outlined that training was
offered in keeping with office needs, rather than with the
personal development of the employee in mind.
Addressing reforms since the publication of the Public
Sector Reform Plan and subsequent progress reports, it
was asked in a general sense if either interviewee had
seen a difference in the implementation of PMDS. Once
more the replies were unanimous on the subject. No.
In relation to one question, there were significantly
different replies. This was on the matter of the
introduction of a rating scale for the receipt of salary
increments. Interv. 3 believes that the new one to five
rating system can constrain giving an accurate
measurement on performance. They also painted a picture
of the new PMDS rating system suffering as a result of the
constant pressure the service is under at present. That
more often than not, giving a three on the new one to
five rating scale, which is limited in measuring
performance anyway in their opinion, but which
guarantees the payment of a salary increment, is the
easiest course of action. This is because of the difficulties
in giving a poor rating; which leads to lack of support from
line managers and intervention by trade union
representatives. Interv. 3, outlined an example where as a
supervisor, they gave a below par rating, for documented
cause, which would have resulted in the withholding of a
salary increment. Without the support of the reviewers
manager, this led to a long and drawn out process
involving most management levels in the department,
which eventually was resolved at one of the highest levels
when the low rating was retained, but interv. 3 found
themselves transferred from the section.
Interv. 1 replied that everyone in their section received the
same mark, ensuring everyone received their pay rise.
More interestingly however was interv. 2s interaction with
this aspect of PMDS. They received the minimum required
mark on their PMDS form in order to receive their salary
increment, yet, shortly afterward were subject to
disciplinary action for absenteeism and punctuality which

resulted in their increment being withheld, this was done

citing incidents prior to the completion of the performance
appraisal process, that were not raised during the process
itself. The increment was later paid, but after a probation
period, which was not referenced in the subsequent
performance appraisal session the following year. It would
seem in this case, that the respondents beliefs that
performance appraisal under PMDS is a paper exercise
could be warranted, as respondent two did admit to
consistent chronic lateness and a high number of days
absence from duty, yet this did not form any part of the
performance appraisal process, defeating the purpose it
would seem.
Asking if they had faith that the new PMDS under the
Public Sector Reform Plan would achieve the goals of more
accurate performance measurement, addressing
underperformance and contributing to the development of
staff, most respondents did not exhibit any confidence.
Interv. 2 stated:
I go in and do my job, I fill out the form when I am asked
but I know my manager has no time for it, so I suppose I
dont either. PMDS has not done what you [Interviewer]
say it should and I cant see it happening either, especially
in my section and definitely not with my manager.
The aims and objectives of PMDS do not seem to be
evident in the experience of the civil servants I spoke to,
with the exception of one, and their positive experience
was possibly more attributable to an enthusiastic manger
than a cultural norm. While the predisposition of some
may have been negative due to the conditions they
reported to be working in at present and personal
experience in relation to disciplinary action may colour
their answers, on balance all seemed to have similar
responses to the overarching questions of the presence
and functionality of the PMDS in their employment, in that
it was not, both prior to the financial crisis and since.
Though, having an early positive experience, and a
background in private sector employment, interv. 3
maintains the view, if used correctly PMDS could have a

positive impact on the service. At present however, all had

a broadly similar approach to PMDS; there are more
important things to worry about.
This paper set out to examine the impact the financial
crisis had on the issue of civil service reform in Ireland
with reference to Hoods theory (2010), that in conditions
of fiscal stringency there is historical precedent for
significant public sector reform with respect to
performance management and measurement. From the
evidence presented, especially in the chapter charting the
history of the Irish civil service, it is clear that reform has
been a slow and incremental process without any radical
departure from the traditional system, with institutional
and cultural path dependency evident in many decisions.
The SMI and the subsequent modernisation period since
the mid-1990s has seen the most significant strides in the
reform agenda, however many of the initiatives fell victim
to an apathetic approach by those charged with pursuing
and sustaining the reform programme during the
economic expansion of the 2000s. PMDS were one
casualty of this oversight, with the process instituted,
reviewed, but ultimately neglected, until the financial
crisis once more brought public sector spending and
efficiency back into focus. Reform of PMDS has been
identified as a strategic objective of the Public Service
Reform Plan 2011, and has been addressed in both of the
ensuing progress reports.
On paper, PMDS would seem to have some way to go in
order to achieve the ambitions the Minister and the
Department of Public Expenditure and Reform have set for
the programme, as recent performance reporting statistics
and interviews for this paper would indicate. However,
what appears to set this reform agenda for PMDS apart
from the inaugural strategy and subsequent reforms is
that a more detailed blueprint has been created with a
greater monitoring of progress being recorded.
Compliance across government departments has
increased by 10 per cent and now stands at 85 per cent

(Murphy-Fagan, 2014). There has been a revised emphasis

in recent months on the performance measurement
element and reflected by the ministers comments that
the system as it was operating was not acceptable and
must change (MacCarthaigh, 2014) (OBrien, 2013).
Practical experience would suggest that even the new
rating system, and a requirement to comply with the
process, true performance measurement under a
functioning system has yet to be achieved across the
service as a whole.
The financial crisis has been the catalyst for many
changes in Irish government administration in recent
years. There is no doubt the financial crisis has played a
role in the context of broader public service reform,
through the establishment of the Department of Public
Expenditure and Reform and an associated ministry. The
governments pursuit of a reform agenda is set out in both
the programme for government and later the Public
Service Reform Plan 2011. With regard to civil service
performance management reform, this has been affected
through the broader reform plan, but with a greater
emphasis being placed on the matter now. The ambitions
and objectives of the government in relation to
performance management in the civil service have been
set out, achievement of these goals has yet to be realised
as changes have not yet had a chance to be fully
implemented and measured.
Therefore, while this paper cannot definitively state that
civil service performance management reforms have been
or will be successful, the progress is encouraging. The
recalibration of middle management and those
responsible for measuring performance has begun with
training workshops. It is hoped and anticipated that
reforming attitudes at this level of management, should in
turn reflect a greater deference for the PMDS process and
by extension cultivate a more functioning system of
performance management and measurement (MurphyFagan, 2014) (MacCarthaigh, 2014). Perhaps in coming
years, further study on the matter could be carried out,
with the benefit of a longer period of time for the reforms

assessed. Until then, one can only hope that as the

economy begins its recovery, the same fate does not
befall the new incarnation of PMDS as the original
programme. Time will tell.

Ahern, B. (2002), An Taoiseachs Speech to the Financial
Services Ireland, [Annual Members Dinner]. 18 September.
Barrington, T. J. (1980), The Irish Administrative System,
Dublin: Institute of Public Administration.
Barzelay, M. (2002), Origins of New Public Management:
an international view from public administration/political
science, in Kate McLaughlin, Stephen P. Osborne and
Ewan Ferlie (eds.), New Public Mangement Current
trends and future prospects. London: Routledge.
Bebbington, D.W. (1993), William Ewart Gladstone Faith

and Politics in Victorian Britain. Michigan: Wm. B.

Eerdmans Publishing Co.
Brittanica (2014), Frederick W. Taylor. Available at:
ick-W-Taylor (Accessed: 1 February, 2014).
Bryman, A. (2004) Social Research Methods. 2nd edn.
Hampshire: Oxford University Press.
Burnham, P., Gilland Lutz, K. Grant, W., andLayton-Henry,
Z. (2008), Research Methods in Politics, 2nd edn.,
Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.
Chambers, A. (2014), A plan to save the Irish economy,
The Irish Times, 20 September, p.5.
Chubb, B. (1982), The Government and Politics of Ireland,
Harlow: Longman.
Coakley, J. (2010), The foundations of statehood, in John
Coakley and Michael Gallagher (eds.) Politics in the
Republic of Ireland, 5th edn. New York: Routledge.
Collins, S. (2010), Surrender of sovereignty highlights
political failings, The Irish Times, 18 November, p.16.
Collins, N. and Cradden, T. (2007), Irelands bureaucratic
traditions in Neil Collins, Terry Cradden and Patrick Butler
Modernising Irish Government The Politics of
Administrative Reform. Dublin: Gill & Macmillan.
Connaughton, B. (2005), The impact of reform on politicoadministrative relations in Ireland: enlightening or
confusing roles of political and managerial
accountability?, paper to the NISPAcee Conference,
Moscow: Russia, 19-21 May 2005.
Connaughton, B. (2012), Ministers and their Departments:
Inside the Public Policy Process, in E. OMalley and M.
MacCrthaigh (eds.), Governing Ireland. Dublin: Institute of
Public Administration.

Connaughton, B. (2012), Ministers and their Departments:

Inside the Black Box of the Public Policy Process, in Eoin
OMalley and Muiris MacCarthaigh (eds.) Governing
Ireland, Dublin: Institute of Public Administration.
Connolly, E. (2005).The Government and the
Governmental System, in John Coakley and Michael
Gallagher (eds.) Politics in the Republic of Ireland, 4th edn.
New York: Routledge.
Cowen, B. (2009), An Taoiseachs Statement on
Transforming the Public Service, [Online]. Available at:
eaFwg (Accessed: 8 April 2014).
Cradden, T. (2007), People management: HRM in the
public sector, in Neil Collins, Terry Cradden and Patrick
Butler Modernising Irish Government: The Politics of
Administrative Reform. Dublin: Gill and Macmillan.
Creel, H. G. (1964), The Beginnings of Bureaucracy in
China: The Origin of the Hsien, Journal of Asian Studies,
23, pp. 155-184.
Dil ireann (1923), Official Report: Parliamentary
Debates, Volume 5. Dublin: The Stationery Office.
Dil ireann (1994), Official Report: Parliamentary
Debates, Volume 1404/94. Dublin: The Stationery Office.
Dawson, S. and Dargie, C. (2002), New Public
Management: A discussion with special reference to UK
health, in Kate McLaughlin, Stephen P. Osborne and Ewan
Ferlie (eds.), New Public Mangement Current trends and
future prospects. London: Routledge.

De Vere White, T. (1986) Kevin OHiggins, Dublin: Anvil

Denhardt, R. (2004), Theories of Public Organisation, 4th
edn, California: Wadsworth/Thomson.
Dickens, C. (1868), Little Dorrit, Massachusetts: The
Colonial Press Inc.
Dooney, S. (1976), The Irish Civil Service, Dublin: Institute
of Public Administration.
DoPER (2011), Public Service Reform Plan, Dublin: The
Stationery Office.
DoPER (2012), Public Service Reform Plan: First Progress
Report, Dublin: The Stationery Office.
DoPER (2014), Department of Public Expenditure and
Reform; what we do, [Online]. Available at:
http://www.per.gov.ie/what-we-do-2/ (Accessed: 9 April,
Downs, A. (1967), Inside Bureaucracy, Boston: Little and
Dunleavy, P. and Hood, C. (1994), From old public
administration to new public management, Public Money
and Management, 14(3), pp. 9-16.
Eisenhardt, K.M. (1989), Building Theories from Case
Study Research, Academy of Management Review, 14(4),
pp. 532-550.
Elcock, H. (1993), Strategic Management, in D. Farnham
and S. Horton, Managing the New Public Service, London:
ESRI (2014), Irish Economy [Online]. Available at:
http://www.esri.ie/irish_economy/ (Accessed 5 April, 2014).
Ferlie, E., Ashburner, L., Fitzgerald, L., and Pettigrew, A.
(1996), The New Public Management In Action, Oxford:

Oxford University Press.

Fitzgerald, G. (1996), Civil Service must cease hiding
behind dated idea, The Irish Times, 30 November, p.14.
Fry, G.K. (1969), Statesmen in Disguise: The Changing
Role of the Administrative Class of the British Civil Service
1853-1966. London: Macmillan.
Fry, G.K. (2000), The British Civil Service System in H.
Bekke and F. van der Meer (eds.), Civil Service Systems in
West European. London: Edward Elgar Publishing Ltd.
Fuller, J. (2014), The third most memorable State of the
Union address: Bye Bye Big Government, 26 January.
[Online]. Available at:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/thefix/wp/2014/01/26/the-3rd-most-memorable-state-of-theunion-address-bye-bye-big-government/ (Accessed: 11
March 2014).
Goodsell, C.T. (2004), The Case for Bureaucracy: A Public
Administration Polemic. Washington D.C.: CQ Press.
Hardiman, N. (2010), Economic Crisis and Public Sector
Reform: Lessons from Ireland, Impact of the Economic
Crisis on Public Sector Reform, UNDP Seminar, Tallinn, 4-5
February. [Online]. Avaliable at:
gearywp201013.pdf (Accessed 14 March 2014).
Hardiman, N. (2012), Introduction: profiling Irish
Governance, in Niamh Hardiman (ed.) Irish Governance in
Crisis, Manchester: Manchester University Press.
Hood, C. (2010), Reflections on Public Service Reform in a
Cold Fiscal Climate, London: 2020 Public Services Trust.
Hughes, O. (2003), Public Management and
Administration, 5th edn., Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.
Hussey, G. (1993). Ireland Today Anatomy of a Changing

State. Dublin: Town House.

Ireland. Government of Ireland (2010), Memorandum of
Understanding EU/IMF Programme of Financial Support
for Ireland. [Online]. Available at:
http://www.merrionstreet.ie/wpcontent/uploads/2010/12/EUIMFmemo.pdf (Accessed: 4
April, 2014).
Johnson, J. (2000), The New Public Management in
Australia, Administrative Theory and Praxis, 22(2),
Kingston, W. (2007), Interrogating Irish Policies. Dublin:
Tasc at New Island.
Laub, J.H. and Sampson, R.J. (2004), Strategies for
Bridging the Quantitative and Qualitative Divide: Studying
Crime over the Life Course, Research in Human
Development, 1, pp. 81-99.
Lee, J. (1985), A third division team, Seirbhs Phoibl, 1(6).
Lodge, M. and Hood, C. (2012), Into an Age of Multiple
Austerities? Public Management and Public Service
Bargains across OECD Countries, Governance: An
International Journal of Policy, Administration, and
Institutions, Vol. 25, No. 1. pp.79-101.
Lynn, L. E. (2005), A concise history of the field, in E.
Ferlie, L.E. Lynn and C. Pollitt (eds.) The Oxford Handbook
of Public Management. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Mac Consaidin, P. (2013), Woodrow Wilson, in Aodh
Quinlivan, The Freedom of Cork A Chronicle of Honour.
Cork: The Collins Press.
MacCarthaigh, M. (2005), Managing Performance in the
Civil Service: Some Perspectives and Practice Report on
Proceedings, IPA Newsletter, 1(5). [Online]. Available at:
x=b11,b11,w (Accessed: 28 March 2014).

MacCarthaigh, M. (2008), Government in Modern Ireland,

Dublin: Institute of Public Administration.
MacCarthaigh, M. (2012), Governance and accountability:
the limits of new institutional remedies, in Niamh
Hardiman (ed.) Irish Governance in Crisis, Manchester:
Manchester University Press.
MacCarthaigh, M. (2013), Adapting to Europe: The Irish
Administrative Experience, [Conference presentation,
University College Cork]. Political Reflections: Forty Years
of Ireland and the EU Administration, Law and Identity,
29 November.
MacCarthaigh, M. (2014), Public Service Reform,
[Conference presentation University College Cork].
Sovereignty Regained: Has the bailout changed the Irish
State, 4 April.
Maguire, M. (2008), The civil service and the revolution in
Ireland, 1912-1938 shaking the blood-stained hand of
Mr Collins, Manchester: Manchester University Press.
McBride, L. (1991), The Greening of Dublin Castle: The
Transformation of Bureaucratic and Judicial Personnel in
Ireland 1892-1922. USA: Catholic University Press.
Meier, K. and Hill, G. (2005), Bureaucracy in the TwentyFirst Century, in E. Ferlie, L.E. Lynn and C. Pollitt (eds.)
The Oxford Handbook of Public Management. Oxford:
Oxford University Press.
Millar, M. and McKevitt, D. (1997), The Irish Civil Service,
paper to Civil Service in Comparative Perspective
Conference, Indiana University, 5-8 April 1997.
Millar, M. and McKevitt, D. (2000), The Irish Civil Service
System in H. Bekke and F. van der Meer (eds.), Civil
Service Systems in West European. London: Edward Elgar
Publishing Ltd.

Ministers and Secretaries Act (1924), Act of Dil ireann,

no.16 of 1924.
Mulholland, J. (2007), The Challenge for Government
Priorities for the Next Five Years, Dublin: The Liffey Press.
Murphy, P. (2011a), Theories and Methods in Political
Science, [Lecture to BSc Government II]. 27 September.
Murphy, P. (2011b), Qualitative Research, [Lecture to BSc
Government II]. 4 October.
Murphy, P. (2011c), The Study of Documents, [Lecture to
BSc Government II]. 18 October.
Murphy-Fagan, H. (2014), Public Sector Reform, [Lecture to
University College Cork Executive MBA Programme]. 31
Murray, C. (1990), The Civil Service Observed, Dublin:
Institute of Public Administration.
Niskanen, W. (1971), Bureaucracy and Representative
Government, Chicago: Alsone-Atherton.
Northcote, S. and Trevelyan, C. (1954) The NorthcoteTrevelyan Report, Public Administration, 32, pp.1-16.
OBrien, D. (2011), Unilateral Irish bank guarantee
triggered EU-wide stability measures, says Almunia, The
Irish Times, 18 June, p. 10.
OBrien, C. (2013), Civil Service performance review
deemed failure as majority pass, The Irish Times, 9
December, p. 3.
OConnor, T. (1996), Civil Service Roles, Letters to the
Editor, The Irish Times, 5 December, p. 17.
OMalley, E. and Martin, S. (2010), The government and
the Taoiseach, in John Coakley and Michael Gallagher
(eds.) Politics in the Republic of Ireland, 5th edn. New York:

OECD (2008), OECD Public Management Reviews: Ireland Towards an Integrated Public Service, Paris: OECD
Peters, B.G. (1989), The Politics of Bureaucracy, 3rd edn.,
New York: Longman.
Pollitt, C. (1993), Mangerialism and the Public Services:
Cuts or Cultural Change in the 1990s, 2nd edn., Oxford:
Basil Blackwell.
Pollitt, C. (1993), Managerialism and the Public Services,
Oxford: Basil Blackwell.
Pollitt, C. (2002), Clarifying convergence: striking
similarities and durable differences in public management
reform, Public Management Review, 4(1), pp. 471-492).
Pollitt, C. (2005), International Experience of Public
Management Reform: Lessons we can Learn? [Presentation
to the Department of the Taoiseach]. 19 January.
Quinlivan, A. (2011a), Public Management, [Lecture to BSc
Government II]. 28 September.
Quinlivan, A. (2011b), Four Men and a Model (of Public
Management), [Lecture to BSc Government II]. 5 October.
Quinlivan, A. (2011c). Forces of Change, [Lecture to BSc
Government II]. 18 October.
Quinlivan, A. (2012a), Case Study: Irish Civil Service.
[Lecture to BSc Government II]. 30 January.
Quinlivan, A. (2012b), Case Study: Irish Civil Service.
[Lecture to BSc Government II]. 21 February.
Sarantakos, S (2004), Social Research, 3rd edn,
Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.

Schn-Quinlivan, E. (2013), The Troika in Ireland: an

institutional analysis of financial regulatory change, PSAI
Annual Conference, Trinity College Dublin.
Simons, P. (2008), Weather Eye: the winter of discontent
1978, 29 December. [Online]. Available at:
(Accessed: 10 March 2014).
Stephens, W.B. (ed.) (1964), A History of the County of
Warwick: Volume VII: The City of Birmingham. London:
University of London Institute of Historical Research.
Suiter, J. (2012), Quantitative Data Analysis, [Lecture to
BSc Government II]. 4 January.
Swann, D. (1988), The Retreat of the State, Hertfordshire:
Harvester Wheatsheaf.
Tanzi, V. and Schuknecht, L. (2000), Public Spending in the
20th Century: a global perspective. Cambridge: Cambridge
University Press.
Taylor, F.W. (1911), The Principles of Scientific
Management, Reprint, [Online]: The Floating Press, 2012.
The UK Civil Service (2014a), A Partial History of the
Service; the starting point - before Northcote and
Trevelyan. Available at:
http://www.civilservice.gov.uk/about/a-partial-history-ofthe-civil-service/the-starting-point-before-northcotetrevelyan (Accessed: 9 January 2014).
The UK Civil Service (2014b), A Partial History of the
Service: the origins of the modern civil service the
1850s. Available at: http://www.civilservice.gov.uk/about/apartial-history-of-the-civil-service/the-origins-of-themodern-civil-service-the-1850s (Accessed: 9 January
Thompson, J. (2001), Strategic Management, London:
Thompson Learning.

Waldo, D. (1984), The Administrative State: Second Edition

with New Observations and Reflections. New York: Homes
and Meier.
Wall, M. (2013), Civil service ratings need reform, says
Howlin, The Irish Times, 14 October. [Online]. Available at:
(Accessed: 15 October 2013).
Weber, M. (1946), From Max Weber: Essays in Sociology, in
H.H. Gerth and C.W. Mills (eds. and translators). New York:
Oxford University Press.
Weber, M. (1946), From Max Weber: Essays in Sociology, in
H.H. Gerth and C. Wright Mills (eds.). New York: Oxford
University Press.
Wesley, J. (2010) Qualitative Document Analysis in
Political Science, T2PP Workshop, Vrije Universiteit
Amsterdam, Netherlands, 9-10 April. [Online] Available at:
(Accessed: 11 December 2011).
Whitaker, T.K. (1961), The civil service and development,
Administration, 9(2), pp. 83-87.
Wilson, W. (1887), The Study of Administration, Political
Science Quarterly, 2, (June), pp.197-222.
World Bank (2005), Administrative and Civil Service
Reform [Online]. Available at:
,00.html (Accessed: 15 January, 2014).
Yin, R.K. (2009) Case Study Research. 4th edn. California:
Zimmerman, J. F. (1997), The Changing Roles of the Irish

Department Secretary. Public Administration Review, Vol.

57: 534-542.
Interv. 1 Interview with Department of Agriculture
official, carried out in Laois on 31 March.
Interv. 2 Interview with Department of Agriculture
official, carried out in Cork on 31 March.

Dundonnell, Taughmaconnell, Co. Roscommon.

25 May
On Friday the 20th of May a local Garda and Roscommon detective
called to Mike Gavin's Home, Dundonnell Taughmaconnell. They
were told Mikie was gone to Mullingar (Protest). They said they
wanted to see Mikie re the Fraud "Thing". They called back the next
day despite the fact that Mike's sister Eileen called them and told
them that they were sending their Fraud file to Dublin when it was
complete. They came regardless and told Mike's sister it had nothing
to do with her and they wanted to see Mike Gavin. Mike's sister
locked the door and told them repeatedly out the window to go
away and leave them alone and eventually they did. 3 Gardai
returned Wednesday when and got Mike home alone. Mike Gavin
describes here what happened.Instead of investigating
http://mikegavin83.com//Solicitor-Financial-ElderAbuse-of-We will
bring our Peaceful Protests to their Homes. Saturday, June 11 at 1
PM In retaliation to this intimidation and attempted interrogation,
followed by Clare Daly TD being disallowed to question Tanaiste and
Minster for Justice re Roscommon Gardai entering Elderly Mike
Gavins Home. Join and use the "Invite Button" to invite all your
Please Share Far & Wide
We will now bring our Peaceful Protests to their Homes. More details
to follow nearer date

here http://mikegavin83.com/book/
or you my order a copy from Amazon
Amazon UK goo.gl/vbnCqF
Amazon USA goo.gl/Mg6jDh
"Well written account of the injustice perpetrated against
an innocent man aided and abetted by the Irish legal
profession to steal this elderly man's money from him. The

solicitor should be charged and jailed.

"This is a very sad case of an elderly man being cheated
by the law. It's very detailed and definitely worth a read,
cases like this abound in Ireland, where people will behave
in truly shameful manner where land is concerned.
Shocking Corruption Exposed by Elderly Farmer. This is
Rural Ireland 2015. You wont see this on 6.01 News.
To commit fraud is an offense in Ireland. But the
prosecution for such will depend very much on where you
reside on the social scale #vinb
This story highlights the blue-shirt mentality of current
regime. People should read it and stand up against FG
cowards and Bullies.

So far i can See into FG and FF and LB Future, so far these

are all Fucked along with Healy Rae bro's too, and they are
all Goner's very Sooner than we Think , The beans on

Nama is to be spilled the Spoken Media Spit like wildfire

news of High Felony Treason Economy has been commited
Against The Irish Citizen, more has to Come out Sooner
Than we Think, its only a matter of time when all is
revealed, Noonan is in Big fucken Shit, prison and Porridge
for him, He has Committed treason Economy and
Corruption Dealing with NI Enemies by Selling Half of
Ireland to Corrupt US and British multinationals along with
the backings of Kenny, bruton and burton and howling and
varadkar, and Coveney, and Hogan, and Fitzgerald wait
and see, all will be revealed on Jan 26th 2017


A bunch of skangers in white shirts and suits. Wouldn't trust them,

to throw my rubbish in the bin.

Fobb them off to some precarious Bullshit 1 night stay

shithole hostel...
Where you're fkd out onto the street at 7 or 8 am the next
morning with all your belongings. .That's the best he'll do
That'll be Problem solved for him. .#GetUpStandUp

Coveney: 'I will work with Apollo House activists'

Housing Minister Simon Coveney said he will work with the activists
behind Apollo House and that they have sparked a national
conversation about homelessness, writes Joyce Fegan.
Brendan O'Carroll sorts nearly 3,000 Irish families with Christmas dinner
Thursday 22nd December 2016

Brendan O'Carroll with wife Jenny Gibney at the annual

Celebrity Ward Walk in Crumlin Children's Hospital yesterday

The Mrs Brown's Boys star has joined forces

with the Society of St Vincent de Paul to
ensure families don't go hungry on Christmas
The Irish comedian has donated vouchers for turkey and
ham to the Society of St Vincent de Paul (SVP) that
will help out 2,800 families in Dublin, Kildare and Wicklow
who otherwise don't possess the means to have a proper
Christmas dinner.
President of the SVP East Region Liam Casey thanked Mr
O'Carroll and his family for the generous donation as he
spoke to the Irish Daily Mirror. "We have seen an increase
in requests for food this year and these vouchers will
make a huge difference to many families," said Mr Casey.
"The vouchers, signed by Brendan, Jenny and all the
Brown and O'Carroll families also make the vouchers
themselves special."
The region overseen by Mr Casey will have dealt with
more than 65,000 calls by the end of 2016 as SVP support
requests have hit record levels.
Liam Casey added: "The Irish public have been extremely
generous to the SVP in the past through their financial
donations and we are dependent on them to continue their
support into the future."
The donation from the Mrs Brown's Boys lead actor comes
as he joined a host of Irish personalities yesterday for the
12th annual Celebrity Ward Walk at Crumlin Children's
Hospital in Dublin, including Stephen Hunt, Glenda Gilson
and Brian McFadden.

Why Does This Man Goe Public Overtime he Give A Donation The
Media Get to Hear about It, If you Voluntary Give a Donation to Such
Good Causes why was he not Discreeet, if i were given a donation i
wouldn't want the Media to know, you give from the Heart not For
publicity Stunt PR

This is totally unacceptable

By Rita Cahill

Apollo house was a vacant building, left to rot . A group of

people made up with those who have worked in the sector
of people's rights came together along with some well
known people plus a huge volume of volunteers to house
the homeless. The 'Home Sweet Home' team have
reawakened the derelict building and given it new
meaning to serve as a place of refuge. providing a safe,
comfortable, place to stay where dry clothes, food and
beds are available. Where there is no judgement,but a
place where people care and the homeless feel accepted
& welcomed. Home sweet Home have succeeded where
our government has failed. People are dying on the streets
and the government need a huge plan to prioritise
homelessness now . Instead they along with Nama are
bringing forth legal action against those who set up 'Home
Sweet Home ' for illegal occupancy.This Is our buiding and
should be used "by the people & for the people"of our
nation to best serve it's citizens .I, Anna Hodgins an Irish
tax payer, approve of the use of my taxes to be used to
help the homeless to have shelter this year in a building
that we the tax payer own...
Before I head somewhere to do something important, I see the
Government/NAMA/RTE propaganda machine has geared into
overdrive regarding Apollo House. The heading on AERTEL today
reads: "Authorities To Contact Occupiers". Now let that heading sink
in. The words 'AUTHORITIES' and 'OCCUPIERS' in the one heading.
The sublime message here is that the 'AUTHORITIES' i.e. Dublin City
Council, Government and Receivers are the legitimate bodies and
the 'OCCUPIERS' are the law breakers. Be prepared for an avalanche
of media propaganda on this story between now and eviction day
which is on January 11th.
22 December 2016
Shocking Story, of All Irish Born as in Refugees on their own island,
7,000 People Will Be Spending Christmas in Emergency
Accommodation or on Their Own Streets Here in Ireland
Homeless Epidemic Crisis, here in Ireland, and the FG, LB, FF, GP,
Independent Landlords of TD's In Government Powers Don't give A
Fuck About the Homeless people Suffering, only The Artist and
comity People who Care More


From Asset Based Welfare to Welfare Housing: The
Changing Meaning of Social Housing in Ireland
Michelle Norris and Tony Fahey
The Government have no interest in returning to the asset
welfare model of supplying houses to the poor. They want
the "Free Market" to do their jobs for them.This crisis has
its genesis in the 1980s. Ireland used to supply social
housing to the poor. Today, they supply dwindling rent
allowance payments to private capital.

ESB now admits it pays

80,000 a year to
hardline union boss Ogle
Jane Last 01 September 2011 03:00 PM

THE hardline ESB workers' union

boss -- who described his own
members as "spoilt" -- gets paid
more than 80,000 by the semiState company.
The energy supplier admitted it finances Secretary of the Group
of Unions Brendan Ogle's salary, plus his full-time secretary's
wages and top floor offices on Merrion Square.
This admission comes a day after Mr Ogle refused to say whether
the ESB paid some of his wages.
Recently the union boss, who praises Fidel Castro, has been a
guest speaker for hardline republican socialists Eirigi.
Last night, the commercial semi-State company admitted the
arrangement was "unique" as Mr Ogle is on secondment from the
UNITE union. The ESB said Mr Ogle's appointment to the job three
years ago was the first time a union official had taken the role,
and gone on the payroll. Previous holders of the position were
already staff members.
Mr Ogle was yesterday forced to apologise to ESB staff, who earn
an average 75,000 a year, after describing them as "spoilt" in a
speech last May which was caught on camera and subsequently
posted online.
In the speech to Eirigi, Mr Ogle had also claimed the ESB workers
enjoyed Government "gravy" in the form of perks like after work
In his statement, Mr Ogle claimed his comments were reported
"completely out of context". "Nevertheless, I fully appreciate that
the comments were made in an inappropriate environment and

manner and I sincerely apologise to all ESB staff for any hurt
caused by recent reportage," he said.
"Throughout my address, I repeatedly stated that I am lucky and
privileged to represent the staff in ESB. I reiterate that comment
now." he said.
"In that role, I have consistently pointed out to staff that due to
the downturn, loss of customers and the fall off in project
development that 'gravy' which all workers in the public and
private sector benefited from during the so-called Celtic Tiger
years would dry up."
His "gravy" comments came to light as the ESB announced a 12pc
hike in prices.

Poll: Do you think the

Government's new "rent
pressure zones" proposal will
be effective?

The Government has unveiled a new strategy in an attempt to combat

the ongoing rental crisis.
Dec 14th 2016, 9:51 AM 12,849 Views 109 Comments
Share22 Tweet Email

Text content
YESTERDAY, THE GOVERNMENT announced plans to
introduce rental increase caps of 4% per year in certain
rent pressure zones in Dublin and Cork.
The move, which forms part of Governments new rental
strategy, is one of the most substantive yet in its battle
with a housing crisis that has dogged the country for some
years now.
However, the plans have not exactly met with universal
approval. Sinn Fin have accused Housing Minister Simon
Coveney of failing renters, while Fianna Fil, on whose
support the Government consistently relies given their
confidence and supply arrangement, have said the plan
is flawed and needs to account for additional cities (whilst

also agreeing to support it).

But what do you think? Will the measures have the desired
Were asking: Will the Governments new rent pressure
zones proposal be effective?
Poll Results:

Civil Service Regulation ...

Ministers and Secretaries Act 1924. ... Power to Executive
Council to appoint ... problems around the concentration of
power that continue to afflict the Irish Executive Council.
The extern ministers ... Public Service Oversight ..

Taoiseach Urged To

Make Statement On
Irish Water
Fianna Fil Leader Michel Martin has called on the
Taoiseach, Enda Kenny, to make an "urgent
statement on the future of Irish Water and water
charges after the entire financial model for the
quango failed to meet key EU rules".
Mr Martin said the failure of Irish Water to get
approval from Eurostat to be treated as a standalone semi-State operation exposes the
Governments disastrous water policy for what it is.
"The whole debate around Irish Water and the
introduction of water charges has been punctuated
by mistruths, threatening rhetoric and
mismanagement from Government at every
juncture," Deputy Martin said.
"The fact that Irish Water has failed to meet the
Eurostat test is a damning indictment of the policy
that has been adopted and the rush to establish
the agency and bring in water charges.
"We need to get a comprehensive statement from
the Taoiseach about what the Government intends
to do now. The EU has completely exposed the lie
at the heart of the Irish Water horror story. Irish
Water will not be able to stand on its own without
government financial aid unless it increases water
charges. The Fine Gael model for this agency all
along was that households would be paying high
charges within a matter of years. In fact looking at
the detail of the Eurostat decision today it is clear

there are more fundamental concerns about the

structure and governance of Irish Water that go
way beyond its reliance on State funding.
"It is not credible for Ministers to simply shrug off
the EU ruling and plough on issuing bills customers
arent paying and pretend they have created this
quango on a sustainable footing. Irish Waters
financial architecture is in tatters and Europe has
pointed out major issues with its governance
"Last Autumn the Taoiseach claimed that a reversal
of water charges would be equivalent to increasing
the top tax rate by 4%. Enda Kenny must
immediately clarify where he stands of this now in
light of the EU ruling. Is the Government seriously
telling people this decision will have no impact on
their policy?
"This Government has buried its head in the sand
for long enough. Irish Water is a failed political
project first envisioned by Fine Gael in 2009 and
hopelessly propped-up by the Labour Party in
Government. The Government is continuing to
spend hundreds of millions of euro on water
meters, consultants fees, billing and set-up costs
for Irish Water and it is been a complete waste of
"Fianna Fil is committed to dismantling this
bloated entity that has no prospect of securing the
confidence or support of the Irish public. The
Government needs to recognise the extent of its
failures with Irish Water. It is simply not credible to
do otherwise."

Alan Kelly's Eurostat

Letter Dismissed As
'Bluff And Bluster'
Reports that the Environment Minister, Alan Kelly,
has written to Eurostat to complain about the
agency's conclusions on Irish Water, has been
dismissed as "bluff and bluster".
Dismissing the move, Fianna Fil environment
spokesperson, Barry Cowen, said: "As each week
passes, the Irish Water fiasco takes a new turn.
This morning, we are subjected to reports that the
self styled 'tough talker' Alan Kelly is going to give
Europe a piece of his mind, taking on Eurostat and
pulling apart its analysis of the Irish Water
"All of which would be fine of course, if it wasn't for
the fact that the Eurostat dismissal of the Irish
Water business case was based on the Minister's
own CSO figures and was widely predicted by all
those who had analysed the figures and recognised
the extraordinary mess Kelly and his colleagues
have made of the entire Irish Water project.

"The contents of this letter, leaked to media by the

Minister's department, represent little more than
self serving spin unlikely to convince anyone, least
of all independent analysts at Eurostat.
"Alan Kelly arguing that Irish Water's operations are
not being carried out by local authority workers, or
that the 100 inducement payment is really a
'water conservation' measure, is an insult to the
intelligence of Eurostat officials and the entire Irish
public. Eurostat, like a majority of people in this
country, has looked at the facts and made up its
mind that this thing is a mess.
"Just this week, Fianna Fil demonstrated how,
based on the current compliance rates and publicly
available information on the costs associated with
water charges, the net revenue from domestic
water charges in 2015 will amount to MINUS 72m.
"This represents an incredible waste of public
resources and a complete failure of strategy.
Rather than co-ordinating a rearguard Public
Relations campaigns, Alan Kelly would be much
better advised to put some effort into
understanding how he can stop throwing more
good money after bad and put the doomed Irish
Water out of its misery."

Eurostat Report
'Major Blow' To

Reports that Eurostat rejected a plan to keep Irish

Water "off balance sheet", has been described as a
"major blow" to the government.
Sinn Fin finance spokesperson, Pearse Doherty,
made the comments, and added that the
governments argument against his party's plan to
abolish Irish Water was now gone. He called on
Enda Kenny scrap Irish Water and water charges.
"Sinn Fins view has always been that the
governments entire rationale for the Irish Water
was flawed. It was simply a vehicle to charge
people for their water," Deputy Doherty said.
"But the view that it could be kept off the states
balance sheet was fundamentally flawed for three
key reasons which we pointed out at the time.
"One, the so-called water conservation grant is
nothing more than a transfer from government to
Irish Water via households which which means this
money would be likely to be deemed by Eurostat
as expenditure by the government to Irish Water.
"Two, according to Eurostat a company must be
fully functional for a number of years before it goes
off balance sheet.
"And three, given the level of non-payment the
governments figures simply did not add up. The
money put into Irish Water by government must be
less than what is returned by its customers.
"The current non-payment level means that the
cost of the Water Conservation Grant and its
administration costs will exceed the money

returned in domestic water charges.

"Sinn Fin is not surprised by the news today as
the government had already failed the Eurostat
Test when it tried to put 240million into Irish
Water off balance sheet in 2013 and it was told
that this money must be on balance sheet.
"Todays ruling has proved Sinn Fins analysis
correct. The government is now left with egg on its
face as it argued time and again that its plan would
pass the Eurostat test.
"As a result of this Eurostat ruling all borrowing by
Irish Water is now deemed as government
borrowing yet Irish Water has borrowings of 850
million which can rise to 2 billion, mostly from
commercial sources at rates higher than what the
government is paying for its borrowings. This is
simply money down the drain.
"The whole argument against Sinn Fins call to
abolish Irish Water is now gone. Enda Kenny should
now accept defeat, he should scrap Irish Water and
water charges once and for all.
"If the government continues with its plan to
charge for water and to keep Irish Water off
balance sheet it will need to scrap the water
conservation grant or increase charges. Either way
it will be the customer that pays and the public
must be made aware of this."

EU Water

Framework Directive
Will Not Force Water
Charges - FF
The proposed EU Water Framework Directive will
not force any new government to retain water
charges, Fianna Fil's Spokesperson on Public
Expenditure and Reform, Sean Fleming, has said.
Deputy Fleming has said that the 'polluter pays'
principal in the directive does not bind Ireland to
the imposition of domestic water charges.
"We absolutely contest the legal advice being put
forward by Irish Water. It's important to recognise
that this legal advice was commissioned by Irish
Water, and it should be examined with caution in
light of this. It's extraordinary to see Irish Water
quoting EU rules as sacrosanct considering they
failed to meet the key Eurostat market test last
year," Deputy Fleming said.
"Under Article 9 of the Directive, Member States
are required to ensure the price charged to water
consumers, both domestic and non-domestic, for
the distribution of fresh water and treatment of
waste water reflects the true costs.
"However Member States have a clear opt-out
clause (Article 9.4) from domestic water user
charges, which allows that Member States may
"take account of the social, environmental and
economic effects of water usage in recovering the

costs of water services.

"Even without the opt-out clause in Article 9.4 of
the EU water directive, the government's own flatrate water charges would not be compliant with
the principle of incentive water pricing included in
the directive. We do not believe there is any basis
for concluding from the directive that any future
Irish government is tied to water charges. In fact,
we believe it is entirely possible for the next
government to suspend water charges and invest
in our water infrastructure.
"The Fianna Fil position on water charges has not
changed. We do not support the continued
imposition of water charges on households. It
remains Fianna Fil's position that priority must be
given to investing in our water infrastructure,
repairing leaks and improving water quality."

Govt Must End

'Imposition Of

Domestic Water
Charges' - SF
The government must "end the imposition of
domestic Water Charges completely", Sinn Fin
leader Gerry Adams has said.
Mr Adams claims that the government is set to
reduce water charges in the coming Budget,
following a "collapse" in support for Government
parties in the recent by-elections and a major
protest in Dublin. However, he added that a
reduction would not assuage public anger.
Mr Adams said that following a major protest in
Dublin "the Government has been given a very
clear message - it must end the imposition of
domestic Water Charges completely".
He added: "The Governments policies have been
rejected. It has lost its mandate. It needs to
introduce a budget that gives a break to struggling
families and hard-pressed citizens.
"The first item on the agenda should be the
scrapping of water charges. Alternatively the
government should put its policies to the people in
a General Election."

Sinn Fin Tells The

Dil The 'Game Is
Up' On Water Tax
Sinn Fin leader Gerry Adams has told the Dil that
the "game is up" on the water tax "fiasco".
Mr Adams reiterated his call to the Taoiseach for
the Water Charge to be scrapped, and asked him to
"clear up the contradiction between a statement
made by Tnaiste Joan Burton" that was later "flatly
rejected by Mr Kenny."
Addressing the Taoiseach in the Dil, Mr Adams
said: "Taoiseach, yesterday the Tnaiste told the
Dil that a family of four adults would pay a Water
Tax bill of 200 euro. Her statement was later
quickly and flatly rejected by her own
spokesperson and by your spokesperson.
"There were then media briefings from the
Government that the Tanaiste was expressing a
"personal view". So, here we have the Taoiseach
repudiating the Tanaiste. The question is, which
one of you is tweedle dum? And who is tweedle
dee? Taoiseach, is the Tanaiste not part of the
Mr Adams accused the government of rushing
water charges through the Dil at the end of 2013,
while citizens were still waiting to be told how
much they would be charged almost a year later.

"The Minister who introduced the Water Charges

legislation says it has "abjectly failed". He
described it as "arrogant, uncaring, and a
cossetted quango with a bonus culture," Mr Adams
Adding: "Following unprecedented public protests,
right across this State and a very clear rejection of
your Water Tax in any shape or form, what you are
telling me is that the Government has no idea of
how much it is going to charge householders.
"Taoiseach, the game is up in relation to the fiasco
of your attempt to impose a tax on water. Will you
now recognise this reality and cease your
ultimately doomed attempts to impose a tax that is
not and will not be accepted by the citizens of this

Deep Dysfunction'
In Government Over
Irish Water
The comments of former Minister Fergus O'Dowd,
who described the set-up of Irish Water as an
"unmitigated disaster", point to a "deep
dysfunction" in the establishment of the company,
Fianna Fil Spokesperson on Environment, Barry
Cowen, has said.
Deputy Cowen said that many of the concerns

raised by Fianna Fil since Irish Waters

establishment, made while Deputy ODowd was the
Minister in charge, are now being acknowledged.
"From its very establishment, Fianna Fil raised
deep concerns about this bonus-driven, super
Quango. From the start Fianna Fil warned about
rushing through legislation without proper scrutiny,
I also warned about the fact no account was taken
for peoples ability to pay. All of these matters were
raised with Fergus ODowd when he was the
Minister in charge, which fell on deaf ears at the
time," Deputy Cowen said.
Adding: "Irish Water was set up by ramming the
legislation through the Oireachtas without debate
and now many of the failings plaguing the
company and the Government are coming to light.
"Even now there is no proper complaints
mechanism in place so people can raise their
concerns about the bills they will be forced to pay
in January.
"The considerable public anger with Irish Water is
now a big concern for Fine Gael and Labour.
Measures must now be taken to address the issues
raised. Peoples ability to pay has to be taken into
consideration. It is deeply unfair to charge people
the same rates for water no matter what income is
coming into the household.
"Moves must also be made to allocate capital
funding to address the water infrastructure
problem. As much as half of all water in some
areas is being lost through leaking pipes. How can
people have confidence in the water utility if there

are no plans to fix faulty pipes?

"The comments from Deputy ODowd should serve
as a wake-up call for the Taoiseach and the
Government. Changes must be made to
acknowledge peoples ability to pay."

Fianna Fil Accused

Of Hypocrisy Over
Water Charges
Fianna Fil has been accused of hypocrisy over
water charges, by Sinn Fin spokesperson on the
environment, Brian Stanley.
Deputy Stanley made the accusation is response to
a proposal that households whose water supply is
contaminated should be exempt from water
charges, saying: "While I support the common
sense behind the proposal, I would also remind
people that despite their rhetoric and public
posturing that it was the last Fianna Fil
government that agreed, as part of the disastrous
bank bailout, to introduce these charges in the first
place, and to put a separate standalone utility
company in place to remove water services from
local authorities."
He continued: "That is there in black and white in

the Memorandum of Understanding that the Fianna

Fil/Green coalition signed in December 2010. On
page 26, it is clearly set out that the Irish
Government would both transfer responsibility for
water services to a new public utility and introduce
domestic water charges. So it is highly
disingenuous for Fianna Fil to be now posing as in
some way as being in opposition to domestic water
"Sinn Fin has opposed the charges from the
outset, and will continue to do so."

Govt Accused Of
Putting Lives At Risk
With Water
Treatment System
The government has been accused of putting lives
at risk with its "failure" to put in place a 21st
century water treatment system.
Sinn Fin Senator Trevor Clochartaigh made the
comment following the publication of the
Environmental Protection Agency's Urban Waste
Water Report for 2014.
"The EPA's Urban Waste Water Report makes for
shocking reading. It shows that raw sewage is
being discharged into at least forty-five rivers,

lakes and beaches around the country," Senator

Clochartaigh said.
"This clearly has serious public health implications
and in regions that are heavily dependent on
tourism it has the potential to damage the local
economy. Raw untreated sewage is also very
damaging for already hard pressed coastal
communities and the aquatic environment.
"The ongoing saga with the shambolic entity of
Irish Water and the continued lack of investment in
the country's water infrastructure is a damming
indictment of this government. The government's
spin on Irish Water is fooling no one as the failure
to provide water treatment plants to the people of
Carraroe, Spiddal, and Athenry speaks for itself.
"It seems that Fine Gael and Labour prefer to
spend tax payer's money on the inflated salaries of
senior Irish Water officials rather than on ensuring
the quality of the nation's water."

TEEU Calls For Govt

To Abolish Water
The Technical Engineering and Electrical Union
(TEEU) is calling on the Government to abolish
water charges with immediate effect.
The union made the call after it revealed it had
joined the Right2Water Campaign.

TEEU General Secretary Eamon Devoy said: "The

call for a referendum to secure the consolidation of
Irish Water in public ownership will secure the jobs
of thousands of workers already providing essential
maintenance and repair programmes to Irish Water
through service level agreements from local
authorities throughout the country.
"By withdrawing the water charge and holding a
referendum the Government will clear the way for
a considered debate on how best to carry out a
badly needed overhaul of water services, while
having regard for the environmental issues
involved and the EU Laws governing the delivery
and protection of water as our most precious and
essential commodity."
The Right2Water National Demonstration is to be
held in Dublin on Saturday 29 August.

Irish Water 'Not FIt

For Purpose'
Irish Water is "not fit for the purpose of serving the
interests of ordinary citizens", Sinn Fin Mary Lou
McDonald has said.
The Deputy Leader and party spokesperson on
Public Expenditure and Reform has called again for
the scrapping of water charges, saying that the
government's management of the company has
seen a "litany of debacles".

Deputy McDonald said: "The manner in which Irish

Water was established, the management of the
company to date and the imposition of water
charges has been an unmitigated disaster. Even
government back-benchers have woken-up to this
Ms McDonald said that the government has
resorted to "serious bully-boy tactics" to deal with
public dissent over the issue.
"This madness has to stop. Taoiseach Enda Kenny
and Minister Alan Kenny must now get their finger
out and move to address the debacle in a
comprehensive manner. This must include the
complete abolition of domestic water charges," Ms
McDonald said.
Adding: "Irish Water cannot remain as the utility
responsible for the delivery of water services in its
present form. The company is toxic. It must now be
radically reformed into a single utility that acts in
the interests of our citizens as suggested by Sinn
Fin in our proposals for the delivery of water

EPA Reveals E. Coli

Water Concerns
30 water supplies across Ireland are currently on
'boil water' notices or restrictions, as the
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) says there

is "more to do" to supply safe water to the public.

The EPA's Drinking Water Report for 2012 shows
public water supplies serving more than 82% of the
population have improved year-on-year over the
past five years.
There has been a 92% reduction in E. coli
exceedances in public water supplies since 2005,
while the number of supplies requiring
improvement is down from 339 to 140 in five
Remedial works on a further 70 supplies are
expected to be completed by the end of the year.
Gerard O'Leary, Director of EPA's Office of
Environmental Enforcement said: "The results show
progress, but the results also show that Irish Water,
the new state utility, has a lot of work to do to
provide safe and secure drinking water to the
"In Roscommon, 15,443 people on public supplies
are currently on boil water notices and, overall, 30
supplies across the country are currently on boil
water notices or water restrictions. These figures
are unacceptable."
EPA said the quality of drinking water from private
supplies "remains inferior to that from public
supplies and gives cause for concern."
In 2012, the HSE reported a doubling of the
number of VTEC cases, a particularly harmful form
of E. coli.

"We continue to be concerned about the number of

VTEC cases," said David Flynn, Programme
Manager, Office of Environmental Enforcement.
"Any form of E. coli is an indicator of faecal matter
in the water supply, and VTEC can have
particularly serious consequences. We would urge
the owners of private supplies to check their water
sources, and ensure that they are adequately
protected and the water is disinfected."
The report also said poor weather increases the
risk of contamination to water supplies, as rainfall
can wash potential contaminants into water

Irish Water Must Not

Bill Homes With Boil

Water Notice SF
Householders living in areas with a boil water
notice must not be billed by Irish Water, Sinn Fin
TD for Cork East, Pat Buckley, has said.
Deputy Buckley made his comments during a
debate on a Sinn Fin bill to abolish water charges,
stating that a number of areas in his constituency
with unsafe contaminated water supplies were still
being billed by Irish Water.
"Despite the proposed suspension of water
charges, the people of East Cork are still receiving
their water bills in full in the boil water notice areas
of Whitegate, Cloyne , Ballinacurra and Ballycotton
just to mention a few," Deputy Buckley said.
"In recent days, I have received a number of
complaints from my constituents in these areas
complaining that Irish Water are still issuing bills
for water in and water out, despite the fact that the
residents of these areas were assured that they
would not be charged for water in.
"Irish Water have said 'where a boil water notice
has been issued, or where a customer is subject to
a drinking water restriction notice linked to the
public water supply network, affected customers
will receive a 100% discount to the water supply
portion of a their bill for the duration of the
restriction which will be reflected in their next bill.'

"So why are these costumers still being billed for

water in and water out?
"Irish Water also failed to properly notify many
people in the locality of the boil water notice. They
are able to send a bill to every household when it
comes to collecting money, but are not able to
notify every household when it comes to the safety
of their water supply. This is unacceptable.
"It shows clearly that where Irish Water is
concerned, charges are more important that public

Irish Water
Criticised Over
Attitude To Lead
Sinn Fin Environment Spokesperson has branded
Irish Waters attitude to lead piping in the water
system as "disgraceful".
Brian Stanley made the comments after the
company sent letters to 26,000 households saying
that they would not be removing lead pipes until
householders took action first.
He went on to criticise the amount of money
wasted on the introduction of water charges with a
complete lack of proactive measures being taken
by Irish Water.

Deputy Stanley said: "Once again, we are faced

with the sheer apathy in which Irish Water hold the
presence of lead pipes in the network. It is
disgraceful how little concern they have for the
presence of lead in the water supply. The
government are only now coming to grips with the
crisis with promises of a grant system for removal
in the next budget. The government and Irish
Water have both floundered since the introduction
of water charges.
"The Water Framework Directive on which Irish
Water and water charges are based is concerned
primarily with the removal of contamination of the
water supply. The removal of lead piping should be
the first objective of Irish Water, not spending 86
million on consultants who told them to spend a
further 22 million on sending out bills that a
majority of Irish people have rejected.
"It is clear once more that Irish Water is not fit for
purpose. They have admitted it will take ten years
to deal with the problem of lead pipes and will not
act proactively to remove lead. Sinn Fin would
question the ability of Irish Water to complete the
task at even this lengthy timeframe. The company
must be scrapped and a public body that is
committed to providing clean, fresh water set up.
We dont need domestic water charges, we need
safe drinking water."

Irish Water Staff

Balloted On LRC Pay
A Labour Relations Commission (LRC)
recommendation on pay for staff at Irish Water has
been accepted by its parent company, Eriva.
A dispute began last year when Eriva announced
that it would not pay Performance Related Awards
(PRA's) to Irish Water staff for 2013 or 2014.
The company's Group of Unions consider the
decision to be a breach of the agreement with the
company in relation to pay and referred the matter
to the LRC.
Unions and Eriva entered into talks with the LRC in
an effort to resolve the dispute.
The proposal now put forward by the LRC is that:
The pay model introduced to Ervia in 2013 should
be implemented in full immediately across the
Ervia group, with modified proposals for Irish Water
as outlined below.

The pay model should apply in Irish Water from

2017. Before then, an interim arrangement will
apply where Irish Water employees revert to an
increment-based model for a period from January
2014 to the end of 2016. Irish Water employees
will receive non-pensionable annual increments
ranging from 1.5 to 3% effective from January of
each year following their appointments.
The PRA element of the Ervia pay model will
therefore not apply to staff in Irish Water for this
interim period to the end of 2016 and the
increments which are applied to Irish Water staff
during the interim period will be withdrawn when
these staff revert to the Ervia pay model, with
effect from 1 January 2017.
The pay proposals will be put to ballot by the

Households To Pay
800 Million To Pay
For New Water
Following the continuing controversy over who will
foot the bill for the installation of water meters, the
government last night confirmed that households

will also be liable for funding arrangements,

totalling more than 800 million, needed to
establish a water company, including interest
payments on a loan from the National Pension
Reserve Fund
Mr Hogan confirmed the National Pension Reserve
Fund would supply a loan of 450 million to
establish Irish Water and supply an estimated one
million homes with water meters. He said the
funding would be provided at commercial interest
rates, but the department last night would not give
any details of the interest rate on grounds of
commercial sensitivity.
The Minister said the annual repayment for
householders would work out at about 39 or 40
per year over 20 years. On that basis, the interest
payable on the loan will total 350 million, or 340
for each home over that period. According to a
source, the interest on the bond-type loan from the
National Pension Reserve Fund could be as high as
6 per cent.
I know it will be difficult for some people to find
money to pay for this finite resource, Mr Hogan
said yesterday. Setting out the rationale for the
tax, he said the Government did not want to
increase income tax, or tax business, or cut social
welfare payments. The annual public deficit of
18 billion necessitated a broadening and reform
of the tax system, he added.

Just the Facts Ireland Exits

EU/IMF Bailout Programme

by Comms Team on November 15, 2013 in Just the Facts, Latest
News, Our Publications

On the evening of 21 November 2010, the then Taoiseach
Brian Cowen confirmed that Ireland had formally requested
financial support from the European Unions European Financial
Stability Facility (EFSF) and the International Monetary Fund
As part of this request for financial support, the Irish
government had to seek a 67.5 billion bailout from the EU,
other European countries (via the European Financial Stability
Facility fund and bilateral loans) and the IMF as part of an
overall total 85 billion programme.
The Irish State assigned 17.5 billion to this bailout; an
amount that was equal to the Total Discretionary Portfolio of
the National Pensions Reserve Fund. The initial interest rates
stipulated for the irish bailout loans were onerous, coming in
at around 6% over all the lenders although these were
rapidly adjusted to well below market rates (averaging
somewhere around 3% across all lenders).
As part of the terms and conditions of the Bailout Programme,
the Irish government agreed to a range of cost cutting and
revenue increasing measures aimed at bringing Irelands public
finances under control. These terms and conditions continued
to be met when a change of government occurred in March
2011 after the general election. By August 2011, total funding
for the six Irish banks by the ECB and the Irish Central Bank
came to about 150 billion.
Taoiseach Enda Kenny TD confirmed in a speech to Dil
Eireann yesterday that the Irish Government had made the
decision that Ireland will exit the EU/IMF programme in
December as planned and without a pre-arranged
precautionary credit facility. The Irish Governments
assessment is that the best option for Ireland is to exit the
programme as planned in December without a pre-arranged
backstop. A number of reasons were cited including:
The market and sovereign conditions are favourable
towards Ireland with the country returning to the markets in
2012. In addition, Ireland is holding over 20 billion in cash
reserves at year end which can be used to ensure that we can
meet our maturing commitments and funding costs till early

2015 and finally, Irish sovereign bond yields at historically low

In terms of public finances coming under control, Ireland
is targeting a deficit of 4.8% in 2014, which is within the 5.1%
target, and will deliver a primary balance or small surplus. The
Government is committed to reducing the deficit to less than
3% in 2015 and putting the debt ratio on a downward path.
The two pack, the six pack and the stability treaty, the
introduction of the ESM, and the major efforts by the ECB to
do whatever it takes to safeguard the euro currency, further
support Irish efforts to make a sustainable and durable return
to the markets.
Domestic and international economic conditions are
improving, monetary policy decisions are conducive to exit
with confidence and sentiment towards Ireland having
improved considerably in recent months.
German chancellor Angela Merkel has pledged to work closely
with Ireland to improve funding mechanisms for the Irish
economy, including access to finance for small and medium
businesses. Having spoken to European Central Bank (ECB)
President Mario Draghi, Commissioner Olli Rehn and IMF MD
Christine Lagarde earlier in the day ahead of the
announcement in Dublin, Minister for Finance Michael Noonan
TD said yesterday that he had the full support of European
lenders and the International Monetary Fund in deciding to exit
the bailout without a precautionary credit line, arguing that the
time was right to return to full market access unaided.
Going Forward
This announcement means that of 15 December 2013, one
month from today, Ireland will no longer be receiving
emergency funding from the EU-IMF fund albeit the measures
announced in the Budget last month will still be required to be
The governments decision does come with the condition of
twice yearly monitoring by officials from the European Central
Bank and the European Union, though according to the head of
the Eurozone Finance Ministers, Jeroen Dijsselbloem, the
length of time for which these monitoring visits continue, has
not been yet agreed.
Although a number of political and economic commentators
have expressed concerns about Ireland not availing of a
precautionary backstop come December, Ireland has received
widespread support from European governments and officials
over its decision to exit the bailout project without the

provision of extra emergency funding. International Monetary

Fund Managing Director Christine Lagarde said the
performance of Ireland bodes well for the future.
The Irish authorities have established a very strong track
record of policy implementation. This bodes well as Ireland
exits its EU/IMF-supported programme, she said.
Although uncertainties remain in Europe and the global
economy more broadly, Ireland is in a strong position in terms
of its bond yields and has built a sizable cash buffer. We look
forward to continuing to work with the authorities as they
address the challenges that remain
Department of the Taoiseach ... Brian Cowen, T.D.
Taoiseach John Curran, T.D. ... Northern Ireland, European
and International Affairs

Just the Facts: The Paris

Agreement Enters into Force
by Comms Team on November 4, 2016 in Just the Facts, Latest
News, Our Publications

At the Paris climate conference in December 2015, 197

Parties, including Ireland and the EU, agreed the first
universal, legally binding climate deal. The Agreement sets
out a global action plan to avoid the adverse effects of climate
change by limiting global warming to below 2C. The EU
ratified the Agreement on 5 October 2016 after approval by
the European Parliament and the Council of the EU. The Irish
government formally ratified the Agreement on 27 October.
The Paris Agreement entered into force on 4 November 2016.


From 30 November to 13 December 2015, climate negotiators

met in Paris at the 21st Conference of the Parties, COP21, of
the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change
(UNFCCC). The UNFCCC was one of the three Conventions
adopted at the first UN Conference on Environment and

Development in 1992. Under the Convention, Parties have a

general commitment to address climate change, to adapt to its
effects and to report on action taken. The aim of the COP21
was to produce the first legally binding and universal
agreement on climate in the 23 years of negotiations, to
mitigate global warming and the negative effects of climate
The Agreement was first signed by 175 Parties on 22 April
2016, with 20 further Parties pledging their signatures soon
afterwards. Ireland was among the signatories. The further
need for ratification allows time for the domestic approval of
the Agreement and the necessary legislation to give the
Agreement effect. The Paris Agreement required ratification
by at least 55 Parties, who between them account for at least
55% of total global Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions, in order
to come into effect. The ratification of the Agreement by the
EU on 5 October 2016 pushed the number of Parties beyond
the required minimum, triggering the entry into force of the
Agreement 30 days later, on 4 November.

Key Elements


Mitigation: Reducing GHG emissions

A long-term goal of keeping the increase in average
global temperature well below 2C above the pre-industrial
level. This level is determined according to the average global
temperature of 13.5C prior to the Industrial Revolution. The
aim is to limit the increase to 1.5C in order to significantly
reduce risks associated with global warming.
A need for global GHG emissions to peak as soon as
possible, recognising that it will take longer for developing
An undertaking of rapid reductions thereafter, in
accordance with the best available science.
Transparency and global stocktaking
A meeting every 5 years to set more ambitious targets as
required by the latest scientific developments.
A commitment to report on the implementation of
A transparency and accountability system to track
progress towards the long-term goal of limiting the increase in
average global temperature.
A commitment to strengthening societies ability to deal
with the impacts of climate change.



A commitment to provide continued and enhanced

international support for climate adaptation strategies in
developing countries.
Loss and damage
An effort towards averting, minimising and addressing
loss and damage associated with the negative effects of
climate change.
An effort to cooperate and enhance the understanding,
action and support in areas such as early warning systems,
emergency preparation and risk insurance.
Role of cities, regions, local authorities
The Agreement recognises the role of non-Party stakeholders,
such as subnational authorities, civil society and the private
sector, in addressing climate change. These actors are invited
Scale up their efforts and support actions to reduce GHG
Build resilience and decrease vulnerability to the adverse
effects of climate change;
Uphold and promote regional and international
Industrialised and economically developed countries
committed to:
Continue to support climate action to reduce GHG
emissions and build resilience to the impact of climate change
in developing countries;
Continue the collective goal of mobilising 100 billion US
dollars per year from the public and private sector by 2020, as
agreed at the COP15 summit in Copenhagen in 2009, and to
extend this to 2025, with a higher goal to be set thereafter.

Ratification and Entry into Force

Irelands ratification of the Paris Agreement was discussed in

Dil ireann on 27 October 2016, after which its ratification
was approved. Minister for Communications, Climate Action
and Environment, Denis Naughten TD, welcomed the
ratification, which was signed by Minister of Foreign Affairs and
Trade, Charles Flanagan TD.
The Paris Agreement requires all Parties to advance their best
efforts through their Intended Nationally Determined
Contributions (INDC), which publicly outline climate actions
they intend to take under the Agreement. Ireland will
contribute to the Agreement through the INDC tabled by the

EU on behalf of its Member States, which commits to a

reduction of 40% in EU-wide GHG emissions by 2030,
compared with 1990.
The Paris Agreement entered into force on 4 November and
comes in advance of the next United Nations climate change
conference, which will take place in Marrakech from 7-18
November 2016.

Just the Facts: European

Council, 15 December 2016
by Comms Team on December 20, 2016 in Just the Facts, Latest
News, Our Publications

On 15 December, the leaders of the 28 EU Member States met

for the final scheduled European Council meeting of the year.
The agenda for the summit included migration, security,
economy and youth, and external relations. The next formal
European Council summit is scheduled to take place on 9-10
March 2017, with an informal meeting of the EU27 to take
place on 3 February 2017.


The European Council looked at the implementation of the EUTurkey statement, which was agreed in March 2016, and
reiterated their commitment to it. The Council also assessed
the progress on the agreements signed with five African
countries of origin and transit under the Partnership
Framework tool for addressing illegal migration, and called
upon Member States to step up their engagement in this
Leaders discussed the reform of the Common European
Asylum System, welcoming where progress had been made
while recognising that there was still work to be done. This
work will be taken forward during the Maltese Presidency in
2017, with the aim of achieving consensus.

External Relations
The European Council discussed the EU-Ukraine Association
Agreement in light of the result of the Dutch referendum on
the issue in April 2016. A Decision was taken to address
concerns expressed prior to the referendum, including
reassurances related to Ukraines accession status and security
assistance. This Decision is intended to help clear the path for
the Netherlands to ratify the Agreement, as all other Member
States have done.
There was unanimous agreement to extend the sanctions on
Russia until mid-2017, with a formal decision to be adopted in
the coming days.
The situation in Syria was discussed as leaders condemned the
continued assault on Aleppo by the Syrian regime and its allies
and pledged to work constructively with all partners. Before
the meeting, President of the European Council, Donald Tusk
had met the Mayor of Aleppo, Mr Brita Hagi Hasan, and
invited him to address the leaders directly.


Prior to the summit, President Tusk said that the aim of the
European Council in relation to security was clear: to
strengthen Europes security in a challenging geopolitical
environment, and to better protect our citizens. Focus is on
three priorities: the EU global strategy in the area of security
and defence; the European Defence Action Plan; and
implementation of the common set of proposals which follow
up on the EU-NATO Joint Declaration signed in Warsaw in July
The European Council agreed on greater military cooperation,
more defence spending, and improved EU-NATO cooperation.
Leaders also agreed on tough deadlines for progress on
internal security, notably on the European Commissions
proposal to pre-screen travellers from visa-free countries in
conjunction with EU databases. NATO Secretary General, Jens
Stoltenberg, joined the beginning of the meeting to discuss
EU-NATO cooperation.

Economy, Social Development and


The European Council welcomed the agreement reached in the

Council of Ministers on the extension of the European Fund for
Strategic Investment (EFSI). Leaders reiterated the

importance of the various Single Market strategies and the

Energy Union, which should be completed and implemented by
2018, underlining the importance of completing the Banking
Union in terms of reducing and sharing risk in the financial
President Tusk invited Mario Draghi, President of the European
Central Bank, to deliver a brief intervention and deliver his
views on the economic recovery and outlook. President Draghi
said that there was a pickup in 2016, but warned that 2017
was fraught with risk due to Brexit and the result of the US
Presidential election.


A dinner to discuss Brexit, to which UK Prime Minister, Theresa

May, had not been invited, did not take place as planned.
Instead, the EU27 leaders held a 20 minute discussion on the
issue. The subsequent statement from the leaders of the
EU27, President Tusk and the President of the European
Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, reiterated that any
agreement must include a balance between rights and
obligations and that access to the Single Market would require
acceptance of all four freedoms. The internal institutional
procedures for the negotiations were also agreed.
Speaking after the summit, Taoiseach Enda Kenny TD clarified
that there would be no bilateral agreement between Ireland
and the UK. The Taoiseach said that the other EU leaders have
been made aware of Irelands priorities in the Brexit

The Green Book Volume X

by Comms Team on October 14, 2016 in Jobs and Internships in

Europe, Latest News, Our Publications

The Green Book is back! And we are so proud that we have

reached Volume 10. More than 200 pages of job and internship
opportunities for students, graduates, seasoned workers and
anyone else keen to try their hand in a professional European
The Green Book is our most popular publication, and forms a
key part of our Grad Jobs in Europe campaign, which aims to
make Irish students, graduates and jobseekers of all
disciplines more aware of the opportunities available for them
in the EU system and to provide encouragement, guidance and
useful advice to help them find and get the position they want.

If you have any questions about the opportunities detailed in

The Green Book, please get in touch wed be happy to help.
If youd like your very own, handy A5-sized hard copy of The
Green Book, they are available from the EM Ireland office.
Just drop us a line to info@europeanmovement.ie for more
information. In the meantime, happy reading!

Just the Facts: Estonian

Presidential Election 2016
by Comms Team on October 12, 2016 in Just the Facts, Latest News,
Our Publications

When the Estonian Parliament failed to elect a new President

of Estonia in August 2016, the decision passed to a specially
convened Electoral College. With no candidate securing a
simple majority in the Electoral College on 24 September, the
vote returned to the Parliament on 3 October, where a final
decision was reached. On Monday, 10 October, Kersti
Kaljulaid took office as Estonias first female President.


The incumbent President, Tomas Hendrik Ilves, served the

maximum of two five-year terms as President allowed in the
Estonian constitution. President Ilves had previously served as
Estonian Ambassador to the US and Minister of Foreign Affairs,
as well as a Member of the European Parliament, before his
election to the Presidency in 2006.
In order to have their names placed on the ballot, potential
Presidential candidates must be nominated by at least 21
Members of the Riigikogu, the Estonian Parliament. In the
current Parliament, only the Reform Party, which is the largest
party in the ruling coalition, is able to nominate a candidate
outright, as it is the only party to have more than 21 seats.
Other political parties with less than 21 seats in the Riigikogu

often form coalitions to nominate a candidate.

Parliament vote

The first stage of the Presidential election took place on 29-30

August 2016 in the Estonian Parliament. Three rounds of
voting failed to elect a President, as the three candidates on
the ballot each failed to gain the necessary 68 votes out of a
total of 101 to secure a two-thirds majority. The three
candidates were: former Chancellor of Justice and former
Ombudsman, Allar Joks; former Education Minister, Mailis
Reps; and former European Commissioner and former Prime
Minister, Siim Kallas. The latter had replaced Eiki Nestor,
former leader of the Social Democratic Party (SDP), former
Minister of Social Affairs and current Speaker of the Riigikogu,
in the second round, as a result of a pre-election agreement
between the SDP and Reform Party.

Electoral College vote

The second stage of the Presidential election took place on 24

September, when a special Electoral College was convened.
This electoral body consists of 335 members, including all 101
Members of the Riigikogu as well as 234 representatives of
local government councils.
Five Presidential candidates participated in the first round of
the Electoral College vote. Mailis Reps and Siim Kallas
automatically qualified as candidates, having reached the last
round of voting in the Parliament stage. An additional three
candidates gained the required support of 21 Members of the
Electoral College to nominate them. The three candidates
were: former Foreign Minister, Marina Kaljurand; Conservative
Peoples Party of Estonia Chairman, Mart Helme; and Allar
Joks, who had also been a candidate in the Parliament stage.
The two candidates scoring the highest amount of votes in the
first round would face off in a second round, if a simple
majority was not reached by a single candidate. Mailis Reps,
Marina Kaljurand and Mart Helme were all eliminated after the
first round, with 79, 75 and 16 votes respectively. Siim Kallas
and Allar Joks proceeded to the second round of voting, having
gained 81 and 82 votes respectively.
Supported by the Reform Party, Siim Kallas received 138 votes
in the second round, while Allar Joks, supported by both the
right-wing Pro Patria and Res Publica Union and the Free Party,
received 134. 60 votes were either spoiled or empty, meaning
that both candidates fell short of the required number of votes
to gain a simple majority.

This was the first time that there has been a failure to elect a
President in both the Parliament and the Electoral College
since Estonian independence in 1991. Siim Kallas blamed a
failure of the electoral system for the result, saying that he
would not run for a third time. Allar Joks also withdrew from
the contest, saying that he would not pursue the Presidency
any longer.

Second Parliament vote

A second election in the Estonian Parliament took place on 3

October, when new candidates were permitted to run for the
office. 68 votes were once again required by a candidate to
guarantee a two-thirds majority in the Estonian Parliament.
Due to the failure to elect a candidate in the first two rounds
of voting, the Council of Elders of the Estonian Parliament,
which included representatives of all parliamentary parties, the
Speaker and two Deputy Speakers, agreed to find a consensus
candidate. The Council selected Kersti Kaljulaid, and having
asked her consent, proposed her as the only Presidential
candidate. Kersti Kaljulaid had not participated as a candidate
in the previous stages of voting. Her candidacy was supported
by 90 MPs, and she was elected as President with 81 votes,
surpassing the 68 required.

The new President

Kersti Kaljulaid, 46, was most recently employed as Estonias

representative at the European Court of Auditors in
Luxembourg, a position she held since Estonias accession to
the EU in 2004. Previously, she held roles as director of the
Iru Power Plant in Estonia and as economic adviser to Prime
Minister Mart Laar from 1999 to 2002.
Kersti Kaljulaid took office as Estonias first female President
on 10 October, following nine men who have served as
President, or the equivalent role, since 1938. Although a
largely ceremonial position, the President has a role in
approving legislation after its constitutionality has been
verified. Kersti Kaljulaid takes office as Estonia is preparing to
take over the rotating Presidency of the Council of the EU in
July 2017.

Remarks With Ireland

Prime Minister Brian
Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Farmleigh House, Dublin, Ireland
October 11, 2009
MINISTER COWEN: Were delighted to be here to
welcome Secretary Clinton to (inaudible) of Ireland. And as
recently as last March, we met together to celebrate St.
Patricks Day in the White House with President Obama.
And Im delighted shes taken time to visit us here today. I
also would like to take this opportunity to recognize and
congratulate President Obama on being awarded the
Nobel Peace Prize. Secretary Clinton has been
fundamental, and has been fundamental at the new U.S.
Administrations commitment and massive efforts to build
a better world to tackle global problems in a cooperative,
multilateral framework. The award of the Nobel Peace
Prize is an early and truly well deserved recognition of
those efforts.
The fruits of Secretary Clintons efforts are already clear
and progress on issues that are impacting the global
economic crisis, on nuclear disarmament, on climate
change, on poverty and disease in the developing world,
and on relations between the United States and the
European Union and major powers such as Russian and
China. That international multilateral approach is, of
course, a cornerstone of our own Irish foreign policy. The
recent overwhelming verdict of the people and our
relationship with the European Union and the Liston Treaty
referendum serves to reaffirm that point. It sent a clear
signal around the world about Ireland sees herself as a
modern outward-looking partner, active in the
international community.
Today, the minister of foreign affairs and I look forward to

discussing a range of international issues, as well as the

close bilateral relationship between Ireland and the United
States with the Secretary of State. We will also take the
opportunity to review progress in Northern Ireland, a place
transformed in no small part due to the efforts of the
Clinton Administration and with Secretary Clinton herself
in a crucial period at the start of the peace process.
Im optimistic that we will see definitive progress on the
issue of devolution of (inaudible) and justice in the coming
days. That will, in turn, lay the platform for a concentration
of all of our efforts on the economic and social issues that
matter most to the people, including our joint investment
in building an all-island economy as an essential
component of a common future and an economic recovery
for our people both north and south.
I know that Hillary Clinton will continue to work closely
with us in support of the peace process and indeed she
has found great inspiration from her work here as she
works for peace elsewhere in the world.
SECRETARY CLINTON: Taoiseach, thank you so much.
And its wonderful to be back here in Dublin. I wish to
congratulate your government on the resounding vote in
the Lisbon treaty referendum, and also to thank you for
the kind words about President Obama. I know our
commitment to working with like-minded friends, such as
Ireland, means that well be seeing a lot of each other and
consulting often about what more we can do to provide
the conditions for peace, security, and prosperity.
I just came, of course, from a day yesterday in Geneva
where the hard work of diplomacy and multilateral
engagement was on display to try to work on another
difficult conflict, but I think thats what diplomacy and
international relations calls for today. But there is no
greater joy than to come back to Ireland to be in Dublin
today. I said to Brian, I wish we could just sort of take a
day off, wander around this beautiful park and enjoy some
of the hospitality that I have experienced before. Bill and I
feel such a special connection to Ireland and, of course,

we are not alone millions of Americans feel the same.

But its not only ties of family and culture and history and
heritage. It is because we have built a strong partnership.
Our diplomats and our aid workers collaborate together to
resolve conflicts, fight hunger, poverty and disease, our
businesses invest in trade to create new jobs and wider
prosperity, education, innovation, and productivity have
made Ireland a great place to do business, and Americans
have leapt at the opportunity. At the end of last year, U.S.
foreign direct investment in Ireland ran into the tens of
billions of dollars per year.
Now, we know that weve had some challenging economic
times. That has been apparent, both here in Ireland, the
United States, and really around the globe. As we grapple
with this global economic downturn, we are aware of the
difficulties that people are suffering, people who are losing
jobs, people who are unable to pursue their dreams. But
Ireland has moved aggressively to stabilize its financial
markets, to jumpstart its economy. And we will continue to
work with our Irish friends because they understand that
we live in an interconnected and interdependent world. It
has been a hallmark of Irelands history. The Irish may
have gone into the world as exiles and immigrants, but
they also (inaudible) poets and speechmakers as
entrepreneurs and innovators, and we see that still today.
I want to thank the Government of Ireland for your pledge
to commit 20 percent of your foreign assistance by 2012
to eradicating hunger around the world, with the aim of
cutting that number of hungry in half by 2015. As a people
whose history is scarred by famine, the Irish understand
that this is an extraordinary global challenge that requires
a commitment of that measure.
I was very pleased that Minister Power participated in our
hunger summit at the UN during the United Nations
General Assembly in New York. Ireland, truly does, punch
above its weight on the big issues of the day from climate
change to nonproliferation. Irish peacekeepers have saved
lives and provided crucial stability in troubled lands from

Kosovo to Liberia to East Timor. And we are grateful for

their service and their sacrifice.
Here in Phoenix Park, whose name symbolizes renewal, I
am absolutely in accord with former President Kennedy,
that Irish future is as promising as your past is proud. And
it is a future that we will share together. I will leave here to
go to Belfast to continue work that our countries have
done together, that I have been very committed to for a
number of years, in which the people of the north, as well
as the entire island, have made so much progress on
So thank you again, for welcoming me here.
QUESTION: Secretary of State, Tommy Garlan from RTE.
The name Clinton is synonymous with Irelands peace
speech process. Today, we have one parliamentary group
saying this war is over, but at the same time, political
relationships in Northern Ireland power-sharing
administration remains fragile. How would you
characterize the state of Irelands peace process today?
MINISTER COWEN: Well, our peace process is known to
many parts of the world where there is conflict of the great
example of what can be achieved through (inaudible)
determination, through working not only in terms of the
political resolution of conflict, but seeing the support that
economic investment and the economic dividend that
(inaudible) peace can bring to afflicted communities who
have been affected by this conflict for over three decades.
And we are very clearly of the view that we move now
towards the devolution of (inaudible) and injustice in
Northern Ireland is a critical factor in completing the
process that (inaudible) agreement and (inaudible)
agreement have set out in great detail. And culminating in
that process will be the means by which decisions can be
taken locally in these matters as they are in other matters.
And that itself provides the basis for (inaudible)
reconciliation (inaudible).
And the challenge to all of who are working in the peace

process is to ensure that both that effort and the spirit of

using agreements (inaudible) by which we can resolve our
SECRETARY CLINTON: I agree that the step of devolution
for policing and justice is an absolutely essential
milestone. Clearly, there are questions and some
apprehensions, but I believe that due to the concerted
effort of the British Government, the Irish Government, the
support of friends like us in the United States, that the
parties understand that this is a step they must take
I will have the distinct honor of speaking at Stormont
tomorrow. I will certainly provide as much encouragement
and support as I can. We have appointed another
economic envoy to Northern Ireland, Declan Kelly, who is
here with me. He is already hard at work. So, as the
Taoiseach said, there are so many dividends for peace,
and theyve already been evidenced in Northern Ireland,
but theres more to come. Yet it will take the leaders of
both communities working together, not only to continue
the devolution, but as the Taoiseach said, then to make
day-to-day governing a reality. And Im confident that that
is within reach.
QUESTION: Mark Landler of The New York Times. A
question for you on the economic situation. Few countries
in the world were as hit by the bursting of the housing
bubble as Ireland, and it was a crisis that originated in the
United States. I know the G-20 has held a number of
meetings to talk about new arrangements for the global
economic structure. Are you satisfied, as a small country
that is extremely vulnerable, that youll be protected and
that this type of thing wont happen again.
And Madame Secretary, one follow-up to RD question:
What, in concrete terms, can you offer the Northern Irish
beyond moral support? You alluded to investment. I
wonder whether youd give us a few more details. And
secondly, on the economic question, what can you tell the
Taoiseach about his country which has suffered so much,

and what the U.S. can do?

MINISTER COWEN: Well, Id say, first of all, as members
of the European Union, were very supportive of the whole
effort that is being made going across the globe
(inaudible) the global financial system to make sure its
regulatory regime is efficient to meet the financial
requirements of stability in the future. And thats come
across very clearly in how the European Union has been
working through the G-20 to bring that about. There is no
doubt in our minds that, from an Irish point of view,
internal economic growth and worldwide is critical to an
export-led economy like ours. Where there is (inaudible)
and more demand for our growth and services, the
backwash economically of our economy has been quite
severe, as you say.
The government here, as well, is taking corrective action.
(Inaudible) five percent of GNP in terms of the adjustment
this year, and next year we are committed to further
correct stabilize our public finances. We have a high debt
currently, but we also have a low debt in overall
(inaudible). So that head room is available to us now to
make the adjustments in coming years. And we have
(inaudible) to do that by the end of 2013. We have met
these sort of challenges before in this country. And I will be
working with everyone now in the coming weeks to make
sure that a maximum effort is brought about whereby you
will take further policy initiatives in our domestic policy as
to (inaudible) budget that meets the requirements of
But I emphasize again, that we (inaudible) economic
growth will effect the (inaudible) probably more quickly
here. And as you know, we are about to complete the
enactment of our asset (inaudible) legislation, and that will
provide more (inaudible) on (inaudible).
SECRETARY CLINTON: And of course, the Obama
Administration took immediate action upon the President
taking office last January. Obviously, the situation, as it
stood when we came into office, was very challenging and

the crisis could have gone even deeper with greater and
longer lasting costs for not just the United States but for
the world economy and countries like Ireland. Were
beginning to see some positive signs, but were very
conscious of the fact that the United States must right its
own economic boat, in order to lead the global recovery.
And I dont think a day goes by that this Administration,
particularly the President and the economic team, are not
focused on what more we can do.
So the responsibility that our country and our government
has assumed is one that we will continue to see through. It
is certainly a concern to us that good friends, like Ireland,
have suffered the negative growth that the Taoiseach just
referred to, but it is also very heartening to see the
positive steps that this government has taken to begin to
deal with the underlying economic challenges.
With respect to Northern Ireland, there are really three
points. I mean, one, yes, it is a moral issue. As the
Taoiseach said, many people who are despairing over the
prospects of peace look to Northern Ireland. They think to
themselves that if it could be done there, then perhaps
we, too, have a chance to try to cross that border between
conflict and peace and chart a different future for
ourselves and our children. And its been an example, and
it certainly is an encouragement to me Im one of those
who refer to it often in conversations with those engaged
in other conflicts.
Secondly, I think the day-to-day realities of peace have
been not only good for the people of Northern Ireland, but
they have recognized that it makes a difference, if your
husband goes off to work in the morning, you dont have
to worry about whether he comes home at night. Or if your
son goes off to the pub at night, you dont have to worry
whether hes going to make it back. There is a sense of
relief at the end of the troubles and a commitment to a
different way forward. That doesnt mean its been easy or
that it will be easy. This is like so many other deeply held
conflicts that have to be worked at and constantly moved
toward a different outcome.

But that brings me to the third point, which is that the

United States has been committed in a very active way
since 1993. We remain committed. It has been bipartisan.
It has now spanned three administrations. And we are
going to continue to work with the parties, with the Irish
and the British governments, and the appointment of a
special economic envoy is a very tangible signal that we
want to invest in the peace dividends that will come with
the final devolution of power and authority and the full
acceptance of responsibility by the people of Northern
Ireland themselves. So we were very hopeful and were
going to keep committed until we see the fruits of all of
this extraordinary hard work by so many who really yearn
for a durable, lasting peace.
QUESTION: (Inaudible) INN radio news. (Inaudible) about
20 25 years on from one of the biggest outflows of
immigrants from this country to this United States, I think
about 50,000 or so undocumented in the United States,
and theyve reached the stage where (inaudible) they
cant came home for funerals and so on. Can I ask you,
what is the current status of the Irish lobbying of the
United States Government in dealing, first of all, with the
un-document theres no documented (inaudible)
immigrants of the future?
MINISTER COWEN: I think its important to point out that
we continue to engage with the Hill, Congress, with the
Administration and (inaudible) to this matter. This is a very
difficult and sensitive issue and (inaudible) within the
United States itself, and we respect and understand that.
So therefore, the Irish issue must be dealt with that
broader context. And we are, of course, in constant
contact through our ambassador and through our staff,
that in the United States and New York and Boston and
Chicago as well as in Washington, D.C., San Francisco and
other parts of the United States, with those groups who
are seeking to find a solution here. But thats is
something, as I said, that we need to work on. It is a
priority for our government. But it is something that we
have to address in the context of the wider (inaudible).

SECRETARY CLINTON: Well, I can attest that the

lobbying is very effective. It is well organized. As a senator
from New York, I was deeply involved in the
comprehensive immigration reform on behalf of so many
but I must say that the lobby for immigration reform from
the Irish community was always persistent and usually a
good time as well as all of the serious work. I cant think of
a rally I went to that there wasnt a lot of singing as well
as speechmaking.
But the Taoiseach is right. I mean, this is an issue that we
have to deal with in the overall need for comprehensive
immigration reform, which we are hoping to do. The
President has made that very clear.
QUESTION: Hi. Janine Zacharia from Bloomberg News.
Taoiseach, Ireland has taken two detainees from
Guantanamo Bay, how is the resettlement going? And do
you believe European colleagues should assist President
Obama with the closure of the facility by taking some of
those detainees?
Madame Secretary, the United States faces problems in
finding places, especially for a hundred Yemenis at the
facility. The Saudis are not willing to accept them. What is
the status of those negotiations? Thank you.
MINISTER COWEN: Yes, well, obviously our government
has indicated, as I did, when I met President Obama on St.
Patricks Day, we are obviously prepared to take some of
the detainees as agreed and we are proceeding with that.
Weve had some experience in this area before with
respect to the Palestinian personnel on a number of
occasions. So our government is capable of arranging
(inaudible) takes place. (Inaudible) being pursued
(inaudible). Were happy to do so in an effort to assist a
friend in dealing with an issue which we very much
welcome the fact that the present administration
(inaudible) in this area is to close Guantanamo in due

SECRETARY CLINTON: And were very grateful to

Taoiseach, to the government and to the people of Ireland
for accepting the detainees. Obviously, we have worked
closely with the Irish Government to effectuate this
transfer. And were not only appreciative, but quite
admiring of the approach that this government has taken.
We are working every day to find placements for those
detainees who can be appropriately transferred, as the
two coming here have been, but we are also well aware
that it will be difficult with certain populations. And were
looking at a variety of options. There are three categories
of detainees. There are those who are going to be tried for
crimes that we believe theyve committed and we believe
that we can put the evidence forward without, in any way,
endangering national security or sources and methods of
We also believe that there are some who cannot be tried
and cannot be freed, and we are seeking a different
placement for them. You know the debate back home
about where they will go, under what circumstances. And
then there are those who we believe can be appropriately
and safely transferred, and weve been very pleased at
the response that weve gotten from around the world.
And were going to continue to work out that important
MINISTER COWEN: Thank you very much.

Taoiseach opens roundtable


The Taoiseach Brian Cowen TD last

week opened the Economist
Conferences First Business
Roundtable with the Government of
Ireland on the topics of real
strengths and new challenges.

The conference, held in Dublins Conrad Hotel, was

chaired by Dan OBrien, senior editor of Economist
Intelligence Unit, and attended by senior
representatives from the legal, accountancy, financial,
multinational and third-level education sectors. The

roundtable discussions aim to produce ideas and

clarity on how Irelands economy can accelerate and
continue to grow well.
In his address, the Taoiseach outlined that navigating
through the severe financial situation requires a firm,
decisive approach from Government. "We are under no
illusion as to the magnitude to the task, and our job is
to communicate to the public precisely the gravity of
the situation. The decisions we are making now will
determine whether we throw away the economic
progress we have achieved or whether we give
ourselves and our children a prosperous future. That is
how stark this situation is and that is why we have
been taking the difficult decisions that we have."
He outlined four priorities for his government:
managing the adjustment process that was begun with
Budget 2009; developing a credible economic recovery
strategy; modernising the public service; and dealing
with the continuing banking and financial crisis.
The Taoiseach stated that economic recovery will
depend on increased exports and that the Government
will re-focus efforts on identifying and exploiting areas
which generate export-led growth. "Its important to
show that Ireland is open for business. The recent
trade mission to China is an indication that the global
reach of Irish exports has greatly broadened."
He said the much-reported doom and gloom is not
justified when taking a comparative view and called for

a more reasoned outlook. "Ireland has been a prime

example of where an agile, small economy that
focuses on the right strategies can experience full
employment. Thats going to change in the next year or
two, but we mustnt lose our courage or capacity to
overcome these problems. Even if there is some
reversal in this progress in the coming years, we are
still in far better position than we were five or ten years
Mr Cowen advocated the revisiting of budgetary
disciplines, if Ireland is to find a sustainable way
forward. He disagreed with the idea of avoiding
cutbacks by borrowing or taxing. "Even with the
adjustments that are beginning to be implemented,
10pc of total current spend has been borrowed this
year 10pc of the cost of every teacher, nurse and
doctor is paid for from borrowing. That 4.7bn
represents 10pc of total spend. Any extra people taken
on beyond that will have to be paid for by 100pc
borrowing. We have to work within our means, control
our deficits and bring them back within the parameters
of the EU stability and growth pact."
The Taoiseach stated that the extraordinary success of
the policy of attracting foreign direct investment must
now be matched by the stimulation of business startups and the creating of thriving indigenous enterprise.
A particular priority is development which captures the
full economic benefit of the knowledge and innovation

created with the support of public investment in

education and R&D.
He estimated that Ireland will have a 70pc service-led
economy by 2025. "Services currently comprises 20pc
of total world trade, and represents an area for growth
where we have some advantages and ability to
perform and where we can concentrate in the future."
In terms of dealing with the public sector, he drew
inspiration from the success of the science and
technology sector. "What were seeing in private
industry needs to be replicated in terms of public sector
ethos and that is, we must innovate. We must agree
that there are new public service delivery mechanisms
that have to be put in place, and we have to accept that
we have to get more for less."
The Taoiseach stressed that Ireland has a strong
economic future beyond the present difficulties. "This
country has an awful lot to sell. We have to recognise
the new situation and face into it, by leading and
working together, and ensure we get across the
message of what is required in the long-term interests
of the country. A significant part of the successful
development of this Irelands economy has been the
agility and pragmatism of government and business in
taking decisive action. This keeps us ahead of the
competition and demonstrates to the international
business world that we are a place to come and do

The Taoiseach stated that Ireland is ranked highly as a

place to do business but stressed the Governments
commitment to improving on this. He said "It is
essential that we maintain an attractive environment for
overseas investment, especially in the more innovative
and higher value-added sectors of the global economy.
The 12.5pc rate of corporation tax will not be
In response to a concern raised by Paul Carroll,
managing partner at A&L Goodbody, about the
possibility of stricter regulation "weeding out the
necessary DNA in our entrepreneurial spirit", the
Taoiseach reinforced the Governments commitment to
restoring public confidence through clear and
transparent principles of accountability, which can be
achieved without becoming a negative burden on
enterprise development. "The introduction of a
regulatory system has been the right thing to do and
facilitates competition," he said.
When asked what the Government could do to stem
the fall-off in consumer spending, Mr Cowens answer
was to firmly restore confidence: "The Government will
do all it can in policy terms to assist business. One of
the things in trying to restore confidence is to get
across the full picture to people. The fact is that times
are tougher, so we need to compete harder and be
more productive. If we go about it in this way,
confidence will return because people will see that

there are no shortcuts to success. We are in a better

position than most countries to get through this. The
main issues are the publics consciousness of whats
going on and what each of us can do to get us back on
By Linda Gillett
Pictured at the First Business Roundtable discussion
are (from left) Paul Carroll, managing partner at A&L
Goodbody, Taoiseach Brian Cowen TD and Dan
OBrien, senior editor/economist at Economist
Intelligence Unit






World Socialist Web Site




All 27 EU Members are in economic crisis. Ireland is worse
than most because of the borrowing binge, housing bubble
and Bank bail-outs which were encouraged by the same
golden circle of politicians and bankers as are now
bringing us Lisbon Two.
The crisis makes Lisbons model of a deregulated,
privatised, let-it-rip EU economy quite out-of-date. Lisbons
proposal to give the Big States from 50- 100% more voting
power in the EU, while halving Irelands voting power to
0.8% would be economically disastrous for us in face of
the economic crisis, as Brussels, Frankfurt and the Big EU
States insist on savage cut-backs being imposed on the
Irish economy.
There is no question of Ireland being sidelined or pushed
out of the EU or the euro-currency if we stand by our No to
Lisbon. As Irelands EU Commissioner Charlie McCreevy
said in Hot Press last December: There is no provision in
the existing treaties to isolate anybody. There is no
provision to throw out anybody, unless unanimously all the
existing members of the club agreed to throw you out. And
I doubt, now or in the future, any Irish Government is
going to unanimously agree to throw themselves out.
Not a dot or comma of the Lisbon Treaty will be changed
for Lisbon Two. If Lisbon comes into force it will be
interpreted by the EU Court of Justice and not on the basis
of political declarations by
the EU Prime Ministers and Presidents. Germany etc. in the
form of statements These do not change anything in the
about Irelands concerns, even though
T he pro-Lisbon campaigners would have you believe that

Europe is giving us another "chance to get it right" and

that without it, Ireland will be cast out of Europe. This is a
lie, we will remain full EU members, whether we vote Yes
or No.
Therefore, it is not being thrown out of Europe we should
be concerned about, but rather being a part of an
undemocratic Europe if we vote Yes. A Europe with the
probable new EU President, Tony Blair at its helm. A
Europe where the People have signed away their right to
referendum, so the unelected Commission can pass any
law without consultation with or interference from the
People. A Europe in which Ireland has lost her status as a
sovereign state, and become a mere region, a mere
province once again. An Ireland in which the laws and
rights of the People are decided by a small group of elites
from outside of the country.
An Ireland where the People have elected politicians that
no longer have any real power, except the right to make
"suggestions" to the Commission.
This is the same treaty that was rejected by the peoples of
France and Holland, and the exact same treaty that the
Irish rejected last year. This time around, it is being
presented to us undemocratically, with so-called
"guarantees" attached. Each of these guarantees is as
good as, or more accurately as worthless as a campaign
promise from your local politician, as they are not legally
binding. They are merely words to placate us, as any
change to the Lisbon Treaty would require it to be reratified by the other 26 member states. Every statement
that the Government has made to alleviate our concerns,
is irrelevant under the new Europe. Even leaving aside the
fact that this is a self-amending treaty, and the
Commission and President can change any part of the
treaty without requiring a vote,
the Commission's laws and the EU Court of Justice's
Charter of Fundamental rights will still be legally binding
and supersede our law and "guarantees".
500 million Europeans have been denied the opportunity
to vote on the Lisbon Treaty. These same people praised
Ireland's courage to stand up to power-hungry politicians
and make her voice heard. This year, even more so, we

must reject the insult that is Lisbon Two, in favour of

freedom for the people of Europe and of Ireland.
by Alan Keenan
....Continued from Front Page
Treaty and are not legally binding as part
of EU law. Promises of changes to suit
Ireland in some future EU Treaty cannot
pull back on anything in the Lisbon Treaty
once it is in force. The EU Prime Lisbon would be a giant
step in
Ministers state that they will clarify but not change either
the content or the application of the Treaty of Lisbon,
which only the EU Court can decide on
(Irish Independent, 21-3-2009)
The Lisbon Treaty is the new legal form of the EU
Constitution which French and Dutch voters rejected in
their 2005 referendums. Irish voters rejected it in last
years referendum by 53% to 47%. All genuine democrats,
including Yes-side voters, should respect that vote as the
French and Dutch Governments did. Respecting it would
have meant Taoiseach Brian Cowen telling partners that
Ireland could not ratify Lisbon because the Irish people
had voted No to it, so there was no point in their
continuing to ratify it as EU Treaties must be unanimous.
Instead Taoiseach Cowen and Foreign Minister Martin told
the other EU Governments on the morning of last years
count to ignore their own peoples vote and to continue
with ratifying Lisbon. They persuaded their EU colleagues
that they could get the Irish people to overturn their
democratic No vote in a second referendum on exactly the
same Treaty, if they got enough support from France,
turning the EU into a supranational Federal-style State, in
which Ireland would effectively be reduced to regional or
provincial status. It would give Government Ministers and
the Big EU States huge new powers, while taking power
away from ordinary citizens across the EU, and from the
National Parliaments they elect. Because of our
Constitution, only Ireland is being allowed a vote on it.
Only we Irish can save democracy in the EU by refusing to
allow ourselves be pressurised into overturning our
rejection of Lisbon in 2008. If we vote No again in Lisbon

Two we hold the door open to our fellow countrymen and

women in Northern Ireland and give them the chance of
having a say in a UK referendum next year.
Frances President Sarkozy and EU Commissioner Charlie
McCreevy have admitted that if Lisbon were put to
referendum in other EU countries their voters would reject
it too. Although opinion polls show that people in most
Member States want to decide for themselves whether
they should be put under an EU Constitution which would
override their National Constitutions, the EU Prime
Ministers refused to allow referendums. This does not
bode well for the future of democracy in the EU.
There is now a race in time between the ratification of the
Lisbon Treaty, which would greatly increase the power of
the Big States and the Brussels Commission in the EU, and
the coming to office of a new Government in Britain by
next May. Labours Gordon Brown broke Tony Blairs
promise to give the British people a referendum. David
Camerons policy is to hold a referendum on Lisbon in the
UK and recommend a No vote to it to the British people
so long as we Irish do not change our No vote of last year
and thereby bring Lisbon and the new undemocratic EU it
would create into being for all 27 EU Member States first.
Technology Company FERFICS Secures EUR 1.7 ... An
Taoiseach Brian Cowen T ... NCB Ventures has 94 million
under management and has invested in 32 Irish businesses

The Macroeconomic Effects of Official Debt
Restructuring- Evidence from the Paris Club

Joint statement on

whaling and safety at

Media article | 19-12-2016

Governments of Australia, the

Netherlands, New Zealand and
the United States call for
responsible behaviour at sea
during whaling operations in
2016-17 in the Southern Ocean.
The Governments of Australia, the
Netherlands, New Zealand and the United
States jointly condemn any actions at sea
that may cause injury, loss of human life or
damage to property or the marine
environment during Southern Ocean whaling
operations in 2016-17.
The Southern Ocean can be a treacherous,
remote and unforgiving environment. Its
isolation and extreme conditions mean that
search and rescue capability is extremely
limited. Dangerous, reckless, or unlawful
behaviour jeopardises not only the safety of
whaling and protest vessels and their crews
but also anyone who comes to their
Incidents during previous whaling operations
have clearly demonstrated the dangers
involved. We reiterate our call to the masters
of all vessels involved to uphold their

responsibility to ensure safety at sea,

including ensuring that international collision
avoidance regulations are observed in order
to avoid the risk of loss of life or injury and
damage to property or the marine
We draw the attention of the masters of the
vessels involved to the International Maritime
Organizations 17 May 2010 resolution on
assuring safety during demonstrations,
protests or confrontations on the high seas,
and the International Whaling Commissions
2011 Resolution on Safety at Sea.
We also draw the attention of the masters of
vessels involved to their duty to render
assistance in the event of a collision and to
render assistance to persons in distress.
Providing assistance in these circumstances
is critical in the remote areas of the Southern
We respect the right to freedom of
expression, including through peaceful
protests on the high seas, when protests are
conducted lawfully and without violence.
However, we unreservedly condemn
dangerous, reckless or unlawful behaviour by
all participants on all sides, whether in the
Southern Ocean or elsewhere. We are
prepared to respond to unlawful activity in
accordance with relevant international and
domestic laws.
Our Governments remain resolutely opposed
to commercial whaling, in particular in the

Southern Ocean Sanctuary established by the

International Whaling Commission. We do not
believe Japan has sufficiently demonstrated
the need for lethal research through its
NEWREP-A program, nor given due regard to
the principles outlined in the 2014
International Court of Justice judgment.
We note with concern that Japan has issued
special permits pursuant to NEWREP-A to
continue whaling in the Southern Ocean this
austral summer. This is despite a majority of
members present at the 66th meeting of the
International Whaling Commission stating
that NEWREP-A is not for the purposes of
scientific research and requesting that Japan
cease the lethal component of the program.
The science is clear: all information
necessary for management and conservation
of whales can be obtained through non-lethal
Australia, the Netherlands, New Zealand and
the United States are committed to improving
the conservation status of whales worldwide,
maintaining the International Whaling
Commissions global moratorium on
commercial whaling, and implementing
meaningful reform of the International
Whaling Commission.

Tax Plan: further

News item | 20-09-2016 | 15:15

The tax system needs to be

simplified. The government is
therefore again taking measures
this year to make taxes less
complex for the Tax and Customs
Administration and taxpayers
'Every Tax Plan has to put forward new
proposals to make the system simpler,' said
the State Secretary for Finance, Eric Wiebes.
'Its a must. We have to make the system
more straightforward.'
The State Secretary has written to the House
of Representatives to underline the
importance of this issue, and this years Tax
Plan also includes a bill to simplify taxation.
Its proposals include ending the confusing
practice of making different kinds of payment
arrangements with people who owe money to
the Tax and Customs Administration. This
means the various arrangements for repaying
tax- and benefit-related debts will be
standardised. The Tax Plan also includes a bill
providing tax incentives to encourage
entrepreneurs to end their self-administered
pensions. The complex pension rules for
director-major shareholders place an extra
administrative burden on entrepreneurs and
create a dividend trap that prevents money
leaving their businesses.

Purchasing power
The Tax Plan again provides for a balanced
increase in purchasing power this year. The
elderly and the young, one- and two-income
households, families and single persons will
on the whole be better off in 2017.
Companies, especially small and mediumsized enterprises, will benefit from an
extension of the lowest corporation tax
bracket. A greater share of their profits will
therefore be taxed at the 20% rate.

Tax climate for businesses

Together with the Tax Plan, the State

Secretary is sending a letter on the tax
climate to the House of Representatives. It
explains how the government intends to
ensure the Netherlands remains an attractive
business location in the future. The
government will continue to vigorously tackle
tax avoidance while in the coming years
reducing corporation tax rates to a level that
is competitive with those in other European
countries. The Tax Plan sets out steps in that
direction. It contains several anti-abuse
measures to prevent tax avoidance, and the
extension of the first corporation tax bracket
will reduce the tax burden on business.
ESM/EFSF factsheet-Greece

Data sharing between Garda and insurance

companies needed urgently to tackle fraud
7th December 2016- Senator Catherine Noone

content and title

AddThis Sharing Buttons above

Fine Gael Dublin Senator, Catherine Noone, has called

for data sharing between Garda and insurance
companies to be prioritised, in light of reports that UK
motor insurance fraudsters targeting our
compensation culture.
I was horrified to hear reports that motor insurance
fraudsters are travelling from the UK to stage crashes
here and targeting our profitable and exploitable
compensation culture.
Ireland is very attractive for these fraudsters, as
awards compensation is at a significantly higher level
than in other EU countries, Awards for whiplash in
Ireland average 15,000 per case, compared with
5,000 in the UK and 3,000 in France and Spain.
We all know that rising insurance costs is a major
problem at the moment and organised crime is playing
a substantial role in spiking insurance costs for Irish
consumers. The insurance industry estimates that
fraud costs about 200 million a year, adding 50 to
individual policies.
Unfortunately insurance fraudsters are far more likely
to get away with it due to the lack of adequate datasharing.
I know that Minister Eoghan Murphy has said that a
fraud database is under consideration, which will allow
insurance companies to talk to each other and to the

Garda. I am now urging the Minister to introduce such

a system as a matter of priority, to help tackle fraud
and rising insurance costs.

Fianna Fil clinging to

their unfair taxation
policy Heydon
18th November 2016- Martin Heydon TD

content and title

AddThis Sharing Buttons above

In his attempts today to cast doubt on Government

plans to phase out the Universal Social Charge, Michel
Martin reveals the desire of Fianna Fil to cling to what
was an unfair approach to taxation, says Fine Gael
Kildare South TD, Martin Heydon.
Fianna Fil introduced the USC as an emergency
taxation measure after they presided over the
destruction of our economy. The comments of Michel
Martin today suggest they are still clinging desperately
to this unfair tax, despite the fact that the economy is
now recovering under the stewardship of Fine Gael.
The first thing Fine Gael did on coming into office was
to try redress the balance of fairness in how the
recession had impacted on people. A starting point for
us was dealing with this Fianna Fil tax. We began by
taking the lowest paid people out of the USC net, and
since then, 450,000 low and middle earners have been
exempted from USC as a result of this Governments

fair approach.
Furthermore, Fine Gaels record shows that we have
always sought to prioritise lower earners. As well as
removing low earners from the USC net when we
entered office in 2011, we also restored the minimum
wage back to what it was before it was cut by Fianna
Fil. In the recent Budget, Fianna Fil wanted to limit
the 5 increase to OAPs, whereas we managed to find a
way to include other deserving groups such as carers,
widows, lone parents and people with disabilities.
We have never suggested the immediate abolition of
the USC; that would be irresponsible and would
hamper our plans to ensure the provision of better
public services for people and communities all around
Ireland, now that the economy is recovering. The
Programme for Government commits the Partnership
Government to the continued phasing out of the USC in
a sustainable way and outlines a number of tax
reforms to help fund this policy.
The hypocrisy of Fianna Fil knows no bounds here.
They want to ride both horses as usual. While criticising
Government plans to take low and middle earners out
of USC, they neglect to mention that they actually
wanted more tax cuts that Fine Gael did prior to the
last election. Their manifesto contained 2.92 billion
worth of tax cuts, while the tax package in Fine Gaels
manifesto amounted to 2.46 billion.
Fine Gaels vision is that a job is the best way out of
poverty and so our approach to taxation has always
struck that balance between achieving fairness and
protecting jobs. Only an economy supporting people at
work can pay for the services needed to create a fair

society. Through the Governments Action Plan for Jobs,

unemployment has fallen to 7.7% from a high of 15.2%
in 2011. We are determined to use the recovering
economy to ensure that people and communities all
over Ireland can benefit from better public services and
live decent and fulfilling lives.

Heydon brings messages

from All-Island Civic
Dialogue to Europe
Heydon attends EU
Summit of EPP Chairs on
The Future of Europe
Brexit & Beyond
6th November 2016- Martin Heydon TD

content and title

AddThis Sharing Buttons above

Fine Gael Kildare South TD and Chairman of the Fine

Gael Parliamentary Party, Martin Heydon, will attend

the 24th Summit of Chairs of EPP Parliamentary Groups
in the National Parliaments of the EU and European
Parliament on Monday 7th November in Brussels.
Deputy Heydon will bring the messages of the All-Island
Civic Dialogue to the attention of his colleagues in
As Chairman of the Fine Gael Parliamentary Party, I
look forward to attending this summit and highlighting
with my colleagues in Europe, the messages that
emerged from the All-Island Civic Dialogue on Brexit
held in Dublin last Wednesday. The Dialogue was the
first of its kind on the island of Ireland and was an
important discussion on the implications for the island
of future Brexit negotiations.
As part of the discussion between EPP Chairs on
Monday I will be raising some of the main issues that
arose from the contributions of business leaders,
community groups, farming organisations and many
others both north and south of the border.
We in Fine Gael will continue to use our extensive
contacts in Europe, through the European Peoples
Party, to deliver our message of remaining at the heart
of Europe while highlighting the unique challenges that
face the island of Ireland as a result of Brexit. On
Monday I will be emphasising our four key priorities
being the economy & trade, Northern Ireland & the
peace process, the common travel area and the future
of the EU itself.

Speech by the Taoiseach,

Mr. Enda Kenny T.D. at
the First Meeting of the
All-Island Civic Dialogue
on Brexit Royal Hospital
Kilmainham, Wednesday,
2 November, 2016
2nd November 2016- An Taoiseach Enda Kenny

content and title

AddThis Sharing Buttons above

Thank you all and welcome to the Royal Hospital

Kilmainham for this initial meeting of the All-island Civic
Dialogue on Brexit.
Todays event is a response to the unique situation that
has been created on this island by the UKs vote to
leave the European Union.
Brexit is an issue that has the potential to impact
everybody on this Island North and South. It has
implications for so many aspects of our relationship. It
presents the most significant economic and social
challenge of the past 50 years.
That is why it is so important for us to have a
conversation on what this means to all of us. That is
why we have sought to have the broadest possible
attendance at todays event, from across the Island.
It is an opportunity to consider how best to deal with
the challenges that lie ahead and ensure the best
possible outcome for Ireland and for Northern Ireland.


This situation is not of our making. It is not the

outcome that we, the Irish Government, and many
others, wanted.
But we must, and do, respect the outcome of the
democratic process in the UK.
I also acknowledge that the electorate in Northern
Ireland did not vote to leave the EU.
While many uncertainties remain, the UK is now on a
course that will fundamentally change its relationship
with the European Union.
And for the first time, when the negotiations are
complete, Ireland will be an EU member and the UK will
The priorities for my Government are well set out the
economy and trade; Northern Ireland and the peace
process; the border and the Common Travel Area as
well as the future of the EU itself.
In that context, we need to understand clearly that
business in the Republic is not exempt from the
consequences of Brexit.
We have ensured that all of our EU partners
understand our unique circumstances. I have
emphasised these in my meetings with Chancellor
Merkel, President Hollande, Prime Minister May, and
the President of the European Council, Donald Tusk
and more recently with Michel Barnier, head of the EU
Commissions Brexit Taskforce.
We now have clarity on a number of issues:
Prime Minister Theresa May will trigger Article 50 by
end of March 2017;
I have agreed with the Prime Minister that there will be
no return to the borders of the past. Therefore the


retention of an open border is critical;

Neither I, nor the Prime Minister, desire to limit the
freedom of people on both sides of the Irish sea to
trade, live, work and travel freely across these islands.
Therefore we have agreed that the benefits of the
Common Travel Area be preserved.
Access to the E.U. Single Market requires acceptance of
the freedom of movement of people.
The Irish government remains fully committed to the
Good Friday Agreement, as Co-Guarantors of the
We have now put structures and resources in place to
ensure a whole-of-Government response to the Brexit
vote. A newly established Brexit Cabinet Committee
which I chair is co-ordinating this work. All Ministers will
participate in this.
The European Council which I attend will have political
charge of the Brexit negotiations at EU level so it is
vital that this work continues to be managed strongly
from my Department, because the EU Council will make
the political decisions that matter.
We are acutely aware of the potential economic
impacts of Brexit for this country and we will seek to
maximise any opportunities that arise.
I am very conscious that for some sectors, Brexit is not
a distant prospect but a present reality as the sterling
depreciation creates many challenges for Irish
exporters. We have introduced measures in our
Budget to help mitigate this particularly for agri-food.
Our ultimate objective is to ensure that the upcoming
negotiations lead to the closest possible trading
relationship between the UK and the EU something

that would be of advantage to us all.

In all of this Northern Ireland and the peace process is
front and centre of our priorities. We are working
closely with the Northern Ireland Executive and with
the UK Government to prepare to meet the challenges
I will be in Northern Ireland tomorrow to meet with
political leaders to discuss how best we can work
I am delighted to see such a broad range of
representatives of civic society here today and I
welcome the engagement of most political parties
throughout this island.
Sectoral engagement is a core part of our work. This all
Island Dialogue is part of a series of consultations by
the Government and added to this will be a further
series of sectoral discussions both north and south.
Today we want to hear about the challenges and
opportunities of Brexit from your perspective.
I ask you to be constructive in your contributions, and
to concentrate on how we can grasp the potential of
the future beyond Brexit and when the UK has left the
This is an opportunity for all of you to influence and
contribute to our thinking on how we deal with Brexit.
We have no time to waste.
As well as this mornings plenary session, you will have
the opportunity to participate in break-out discussions
this afternoon.
We are live streaming this event and we have note
takers on hand who will record your contributions. A
report of the dialogue will be compiled and published.

This is the first instalment and we will have more

plenary engagements in the coming weeks and
months. Both I and the Minister for Foreign Affairs are
also committed to further more focused events on the
all island impacts of Brexit. We are keen to hear your
views on the shape and format of these.
There will be plenty of opportunities for people to
speak here today and we want to hear from you. I
would ask you all to be respectful of each other but
also to be as succinct as possible in getting your points
As I have said previously, once the negotiations
between the UK and the EU commence, I will be one of
the 27 Heads of Government on one side of the table,
with the UK on the other.
In that context it is important that I hear what you have
to say. I am here to listen to your contributions and
I want to thank Tom Arnold for moderating for us today
and all of the panellists and contributors.
I will now hand back to Tom to kick off the first plenary
Irish Universities Resource Management and
Performance September 2010
The Comptroller and Auditor General has carried out an examination
of Resource Management and Performance in the seven Irish
universities under the auspices of the Department of Education and
Skills. The examination evaluated the amount and nature of funding
provided to universities and assessed the relationships between
auditors of universities. It also considered how technologies and

management information are used to improve outputs and the

arrangements for reviewing the quality of outputs. The
remuneration practices, including payment of allowances and other
benefits, were reviewed along with the management of external
work at two universities and the custom of awarding added years in
calculating pension entitlements of university employees was also

National Asset Management Agency Acquisition of
Bank Assets October 2010
Special Report 76 of the Comptroller and Auditor
General- National Asset Management Agency Acquisition of Bank Assets Acquisition of Bank
Assets 18 November 2010
Financial Regulator Responding to the Financial
Market Crisis 2010
The Comptroller and Auditor General has carried out a review of the
annualised hours system in the Irish Prison Service. The report
examines the impact of the annualised hours system on the total
hours required to operate the prison service

pecial Report 91 - Management of Severance Payments in Public Sector Bodies - Press

Release Published on 05 April 2016

Audited Bodies - North South Bodies (7) jointly audited with NI C&AG
Food Safety Promotion Board
Foras na Gaeilge
Foyle Carlingford and Irish Lights Commission

Special EU Programmes Body

Tourism Ireland Ltd
Trade and Business Development Body
Waterways Ireland

The Comptroller and Auditor Generals special report on an examination of the National Asset
Management Agencys sale of Project Eagle has been presented to the Houses of the
Oireachtas today, 14 September 2016.

Report of the Comptroller and Auditor General
2009 Volume 1 Central Government and Revenue
Report of the Comptroller and Auditor General
2009 Volume 2 Report of the Comptroller and
Auditor General 2009 Volume 2 Vote Management
Ireland' system of slow-motion government and the
lingering death of Anglo Irish Bank 2009



The U.S. Dairy Exporter

Blog: Market Analysis,
Research & News
8 Reasons Ireland Won't Boost Milk
Production 50% in 5 Years
By Mark O'Keefe April 9, 2015

The end of EU milk caps has lifted Irish spirits, but

USDEC research shows clouds blocking sunny
government forecasts.

Only a week has passed since Ireland celebrated the beginning of

a new dairy era with "end-of-quota" parties, ceremonial milkings
and a bold prediction by Agriculture Minister Simon Coveney that
Irish milk production will increase 50 percent in five years, leading
to 10,000 new rural jobs.
But the euphoria surrounding the long-awaited end of European
milk production caps has dimmed somewhat with the country's
largest daily newspaper running a series of skeptical articles titled
"the Milk Bubble." In addition, Ireland's largest dairy farmer (850

cows) has been prominently quoted saying he is "nervous" about

the government's predictions and seriously doubts more "white
gold" will lead to thousands of jobs on the farm.
"European Union: The Impact of the Removal of Milk Quotas in
2015," a research report by the U.S. Dairy Export Council,
provides further reasons for less exuberant Irish optimism. It did
forecast Ireland will be among the European Union's six winning
countries with the lifting of the quotas. Under the most-likely
scenario foreseen by USDEC, Irish milk production will grow at an
annual rate of 4.6 percent through the year 2020. If a 4.6 percent
annual growth rate is realized, the total growth by the year
2020 will be about 30 percent.
But an increase of 50 percent? Ross Christieson, USDEC's senior
vice president, market research and analysis, says the data doesn't
support that lofty number.
Maybe the Irish politicians are full of bluster, or maybe an increase
of 50 percent in volume is a wildly optimistic estimate of golden
times for the Irish," said Christieson. "But if milk prices stay
anywhere near where they are right now there is no way Ireland
will get to 50 percent. In the dairy industry, people sometimes view
volume as king. But if volume does not prove profitable are the
Irish farmers kings?"


The USDEC research has been condensed into an USDEC

Executive Brief, "5 Data-Based Forecasts about the end of EU Milk
Quotas," for subscribers of the U.S. Dairy Exporter blog.
The full, 334-page research report goes into greater detail than the
brief, identifiying eight likely challenges for Ireland to achieve a 50
percent increase by 2020:
Anticipated volatility in raw milk price levels post 2015, with
fluctuating supply and demand levels which are affected by
weather, fluctuating exchange rates and short term changes in
Expected increases in the cost of borrowing. With borrowing costs
currently at record lows, interest rates are likely to rise post 2015.
Access to new markets, notably China. Whereas China has a tarifffree agreement with New Zealand, it does not have one with the
A high production price relative to Oceania. It is suggested that
average Oceania raw milk production costs are about 26 for
100kg of milk, compared to around 29 in Ireland (Teagasc


Outlook 2014 Economic Prospects for Agriculture). From this, it is

deduced that the cost of production for incremental milk in Ireland
needs to fall by up to 20%.
Access to labor.
High cost of buying land. The price of rented land has increased,
as milk producers and tillage farmers compete for availability. This
could mean that Irelands competitive edge based on cheap grass
could quickly become eroded, as has happened in New Zealand.
Land availabilty. While a limited number of farmers may be able to
buy small amounts of land to increase the size of their holdings,
few will be able to buy substantial quantities. The likelihood is that
the average farm size will increase over time, as some farmers exit
production and lease land to other farmers.
Extreme weather conditions. Milk production was affected by bad
weather in 2012 and also in 2009.
While Ireland is expected to have the largest percentage increase
in the EU, Germany will have the largest volume increase, the
USDEC study noted. Because Germany is already the largest milkproducing country in the EU, a projected annual growth of 1.8
percent will keep it the leader in terms of volume.
Across the entire EU, milk production is expected to increase 11
percent by 2020 compared to 2013 levels. A large majority of the
increase76 percentwill come from just six countriesIreland,
Germany, France, Poland, Denmark and the Netherlands.
Additional dairy commodities produced by the EU will mean
increased competition with the United States and other dairyexporting nations.
"The message for U.S. dairy exporters is that in the long term
emerging markets will be strong," said Christieson. "If the
Europeans produce the milk we think they will it will not oversupply
the market. But it will be a more competitive market. We need to
keep improving."
HubSpot Call-to-Action Code

Fortune finally smiles on

rural Ireland
Editorial Twitter

Fresh milk bottles are displayed on desk during a demonstration by
Italian agricultural association Coldiretti in Rome. European Union

farmers will for the first time since 1984 have no legal restrictions
on the amount of milk they can produce as the EU abolishes milk
production quotas (REUTERS/Stefano Rellandini)

It has been a good week for rural Ireland.

The announcement of up to 1,000 jobs in
Longford yesterday came on the back of the
ending of milk quotas in the dairy sector.
There has been a feeling that rural Ireland
has in many ways lost out on the bounce in
our economic fortunes over the past 18
There is little doubt that the benefits of the recent upturn
have been centred in Dublin and other cities. In contrast,
the news from Longford and the dairy sector are very
much stories based in rural Ireland. Any day that 750
construction jobs are announced for the midlands - with
the possibility of up to 1,000 permanent positions at a
later stage - has to be a good one.
Center Parcs is an established tourist resort operator in
Britain, with a number of very successful sites mainly in
the midlands and south of England. Its entry into the Irish
market will certainly provide local holiday and weekendbreak options for Irish families.

The hidden cost of our

farmers' winning formula
Does the dairy industry have questions
to answer about its role in the infant
food market?
Suzanne Campbell

Taoiseach Enda Kenny bottlefeeds a baby at the launch of

Glanbia's new infant formula plant at Belview, Co. Kilkenny. Photo:
Jason Clarke

Earlier this week on a farm in Carlow I

watched milk splashing into jars as 80 doeeyed Holstein Freisan ladies took their turn
in the milking parlour.

The farm, in beautiful well-drained Carlow land, had been

farmed by its 69-year-old farmer, and his father before
him. This was the perfect place to talk about Irish milk and
a brighter, quota-free era.
"The quota was a kind of madness," said the farmer as we
shared bread, butter and marmalade in his kitchen after
morning milking finished. His college-going daughter,
wearing her local GAA team shirt, placed a pot of hot tea
and a two-litre plastic carton of milk on the table.
I've sat in many such kitchens of dairy farms in Ireland.
Despite the oft-heard view of the dairy farmer swimming
in money, few of these farmers want to be rich. All want to
educate their children, and work hard at a relentless 365day-a-year job.
But as I poured milk into my tea I wondered if I should ask
this man did he ever wonder about his role, however
small, in an increasingly controversial global dilemma.
More and more questions are being asked about the
nature of our dairy miracle and its dependence on milk
powder. Is this hugely successful industry, which has
helped bring Ireland out of recession, selling a product baby formula - to those who have the least money to spend
on it?
This is relevant both to developing countries and in
Ireland where, according to an ESRI report produced in
January, we have the lowest breastfeeding rate in the

Ireland makes 10pc of the infant formula fed to babies

around the globe. Our food and farming industry presents
this as a green, healthy foodstuff and in many ways it is.
Ireland is the only country where all our dairy farms are
monitored for green credentials and where waste, energy,
animal feed and every last input is measured and
accounted for.
Yet both the World Health Organisation and HSE policy is
to encourage mothers to breastfeed rather than use
formula milk in the early months. The WHO guidelines
recommend breastfeeding for the first two years.
Earlier this month, a photo emerged of Taoiseach Enda
Kenny at the opening of Glanbia's new infant formula
plant in Belview, Co Kilkenny. Kenny was feeding a baby
infant formula. Just out of the shot, EU Agriculture
Commissioner Phil Hogan and Glanbia's Jim Bergin were
doing the same.
"I was enraged when I saw this picture," says Krisia Lynch
from AIMS, the Association for Improvement in Maternity
Services. "It was outrageous. On one hand you have the
Department of Health saying breastfeeding babies is
policy, then here's the Department of Agriculture
encouraging and selling this baby formula message.
"We can guess which of the two is the stronger lobby
Glanbia's infant formula is used by parents in West Africa,
the Middle East, Asia and central America.
Their new factory is the largest single infrastructure
investment in Ireland by an Irish company since the
construction of Ardnacrusha in 1929. When I contacted
the Taoiseach's office on the photo, their comment was
that the plant is expected to contribute an estimated
400m a year to the Irish economy and provide around
1,600 jobs as a result of the extra dairy activity.
This baby formula boom is hugely valuable in the
multiplier effect of income spread in rural areas. To
suggest to these workers that what they are making is
wrong is incorrect.

But are there are questions to be asked about who we sell

formula to, and how?
"Our tiny little country manages to feed 10pc of the
children of the world with artificial milk," says Krisia
Lynch. "While on the other hand professionally here, the
message on breastmilk is being re-written.
"It's not now 'breast is best' but 'normal'. So your baby has
a normal response to immuniolgical diseases, gestational
diabetes, Crohn's disease etc, with the underlying message
that if baby is not fed human milk, it will have a suboptimal response."
In the 1970s, infant formula companies began to see their
first backlash as they began selling the product in
developing countries. To make up a baby's bottle you must
have a clean bottle, and a clean water supply.
Many companies came in for abuse and scrutiny on how
health workers and doctors were incentivised to sell baby
powder to mothers where breastfeeding was clearly the
safest option.
Children died and legislation was changed. In 1981, the
UN World Health Assembly ruled that baby formula
companies are not allowed influence health professionals
on advising mothers.
Unfortunately this doesn't always work. A recent report by
Save the Children accused Nestl in Pakistan of handing
out branded items to health workers and free samples of
formula and bottles to maternity facilities.
Ireland gives around 600m to the developing world
annually. We give aid to rural farmers and increasingly
women to form micro-businesses that will earn them
surplus cash to spend on health or sending their children
to school.
Some buy baby formula with this money, thinking it is a
better choice for their infant. Is this a double standard? Is
Ireland playing both poacher and gamekeeper?
"The debate on breastf eeding versus infant formula will
continue, but there always needs to be choice," says
Cormac Healy, of the Irish Dairy Industries Association.

"We also have to remember that in the scale of things we

produce less than 1pc of the world's milk, so
singlehandedly we're not going to change the consumption
patterns of any marketplace."
20pc of the milk produced on Ireland's 18,000 dairy farms
goes into baby formula. Irish factories produce from milk
to finished product in packaged tins, but we also export
base milk powder for blending in other countries. We are
not in control of how this product is sold to third parties or
"Were not a one-trick pony here, infant formula is an
important sector but it's not all we do," says Healy.
"It's also produced under very strict regimes and has a
very valid place in the nutrition area. In terms of the
breastfeeding debate, there is the factor of choice and a lot
of the time this is about information and support to
Closer to home, global food giant Danone has plants
manufacturing infant formula in Macroom and Wexford,
with Macroom producing over 125,000 tonnes of infant
formula annually. Danone sponsors the Irish 'First 1000
days' baby and toddler nutrition campaign. SMA, which is
owned by Pfizer, sponsors Ireland's Pregnancy and Baby
Fair, which takes place in the RDS Dublin and Cork City
Hall this April.
In Irish maternity wards, understaffing and the nice lady
with trolley of made-up baby formula bottles are also
pretty good at undermining the breast is best (or breast is
normal) message.
Hospitals pay for the formula and new mums get it for free
once they're admitted to the maternity ward.
Like most new mothers, I planned on breastfeeding my
first baby. Generally it went well but within two months I
was back working and baby was wholly bottle-fed from
then on. With my second child I ended up back in hospital
having surgery for a C-section complication. I pumped
breast milk every four hours even straight after surgery
like a demented person but eventually folded and bottle-

And the brand I chose to continue feeding to my baby once
I was discharged was the brand supplied in the hospital, in
this case Aptamil.
Women who've just given birth, especially with their first
baby, are exhausted, and if the baby doesn't latch on and
feed they will often take the option of the free formula
Some women desperately need infant formula. I needed it
myself. But the WHO's position and on wards in Ireland
the reality is that most women don't.
I found spending 15 on a box of formula really expensive
and I'm living in a rich country. Imagine how expensive
this is in real income terms in Africa or even China?
But hang on. Surely, if we don't sell this stuff to those
markets, then somebody else will? Black market baby
formula contaminated with melamine not only killed
babies in China but has been found in milk powder sold as
baby formula in East Africa. Surely Irish baby formula is
then the safest option.
But is breast milk not the safest option?
Should we be finding other routes for high-quality Irish
milk rather than baby formula? It's lucrative and valuable
to the rural economy, but it's also undoubtedly
The quality of this product is a world-beater but Ireland
could find itself the future focus of international criticism
from NGOs who work in the fields of infant and mother
Is that the price we're willing to pay for our continued
dairy-farm success?

What mums had to say:

I put the question to Twitter: How do we feel about baby
formula in Irish hospitals? As a mother or parent was it
manna from heaven or expensive road to ruin?
These were some of the replies:
Siobhan @Smdoyle76

I think its a necessary evil very little support to

establish breastfeeding in hospital and the first few days at
Elizabeth MacDonnell
Its pushed as the easy option when in fact the opposite is
true, the pressure to give a bottle/top up begins in
If they didnt give it to me my child would have suffered. I
cant produce sufficient breast milk due to a hormonal
If knowledge is power, a new Global Cheese Database,
Dairy Data Dashboard and information-rich series of
articles should increase U.S. Dairy's global

In March, we told you about 15 USDEC Hot Spots for U.S. Dairy
Exporting Info. As this year comes to an end, we thought it would

be a good time to highlight three new features on usdec.org

that empower U.S. dairy exporters with data-rich information.
An (M) designates members-only content, which means you must
have a USDEC login to access the information.
Three New Information Sources
Global Cheese Database (M). An interactive database providing
five years of production, import, export and consumption volume
for 22 cheese varieties, from 45 countries. It also includes a rolling,
five-year forecast in each category. The data is available in chart
and table format for easy analysis and download.
Global Dairy eBrief Exclusives (M). Confidential, passwordprotected articles for USDEC members only. Limiting this content
to members enables us to take a deeper dive into potentially
sensitive topics such as market research findings, trade policy
developments, global marketing opportunities and issues
Dairy Data Dashboard. Every month, generally around the
15th, USDEC aggregates domestic and global dairy data to create
10 charts displayed in a handy, one-page, printable dashboard
available for download as an attractive PDF document. Charts
include trends in milk production from the top five global suppliers,
U.S. exports and imports as a percentage of milk production, milk
prices and more. Subscribe to our blog to get monthly Dairy Data
Dashaboard updates immediately delivered to your inbox.
Bookmark these locations, too
We believe these tools will enhance usdec.org as the go-to place
for U.S. dairy exporting information. They complement established
USDEC "hot spots" worth bookmarking if you haven't done so
Home page. This is our store window. It's a good place to start.
USDEC Export Guide (M).This members-only tool is the only
comprehensive trade reference for U.S. dairy exporters. It has
practical information on market access for 90 countries, constantly
updated by USDEC staff and international offices. You must log in


with a username and password to get access.

Market data. Interactive charts, updated regularly on usdec.org,
providing historical trend lines on:
U.S. Export Data
Trade Flows
Exchange Rates
Milk Production
Top charts.Our most asked-for graphs, tables and infographics
telling the U.S. dairy export story, updated regularly.
Global Dairy Market Outlook. A monthly compilation in pdf format
of the state of global dairy trade, loaded with data and expert
Global Dairy eBrief (M). A weekly, members-only newsletter
containing information on global dairy developments that impact
U.S. dairy exports and U.S. supplier strategy.
The U.S. Dairy Exporter Blog. Market data, analysis, research and
news, delivered at least twice a week, usually on Tuesdays and
Thursdays. Key links include. Subscribe to get updates
immediately delivered to your inbox.
Research reports. This is where you can request in-depth
research, chock full of numbers, providing actionable insights for
dairy business decisions.
News Releases. Find our official statements on trade policy and
other topics.
ThinkUSAdairy. Our site for global customers. Popular features
Find a U.S. Dairy Supplier. Searchable directory of U.S. dairy
suppliers based on products and specific attributes.
Dairy Spotlight. Trade data, research and events for global
Price Finder App. Get pricing for cheddar cheese, butter, lactose,
milk powder and whey on your iPhone or Android mobile device. A
recent update provides new conversion parameters that expand

the functionality of data and charts.

Testopedia (M). Our members-only, test methods database is an
organized collection of dairy product test methods used by
importing countries. You can double-check quality-control
procedures and evaluate compliance, ultimately reducing your
International Trade Representatives (M). USDECs 10 international
offices are our eyes and ears in foreign markets, identifying
opportunities, charting the business climate and monitoring
regulatory activity.On this members-only page, get contact
information for each office. We recently added video messages
from most of our reps, explaining how they can help members.
USDEC member directory. Need to know who our 120-plus
members are? The complete list is here, with links to company
Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube. If you like getting informed through
social media, you can find USDEC on these platforms.

That's a lot of information. Our hope is that it enhances the volume

and value of U.S. dairy exports in an increasingly competitive
global market.
If you have any comments about our current content, or
suggestions for new informational tools, contact us at
mspeich@usdec.org or mokeefe@usdec.org.

Margaret Speich is senior vice president of strategic and industry

communications at the U.S. Dairy Export Council. Mark O'Keefe is
vice president of editorial services at USDEC.



Taoiseach announces 15 million investment & 35

highly skilled jobs to be created
By IDA Press Release 26/03/2009
Mar 27, 2009 - 12:30:36 PM
Taoiseach announces 15 million investment and 35 highly skilled jobs to be
created at PayPal in Dublin.
PayPal opens a new European Centre for Operational Excellence
Taoiseach Brian Cowen TD today (Thursday 26th March 2009) announced
that PayPal, the company which offers the faster, safer way to pay and get
paid online, has cemented its long term commitment to Ireland with an
investment of more than 15 million, supported by Government through IDA
Ireland under its Research, Development and Innovation programme, and the
opening of a new European Centre for Operational Excellence, which will
result in the creation of up to 35 highly-skilled jobs in Operational Excellence
and Business Analytics at its facility in Ballycoolin, Blanchardstown, Dublin.
Working closely with IDA Ireland, PayPal has designated the Dublin Centre as
PayPals first regional centre of excellence and the model for
PayPals international operations worldwide. PayPal employs around 900
people at its Dublin Centre.
An Taoiseach, performing the official opening of the new Centre for
Operational Excellence, said The opening of this Centre and the addition
of the new highly skilled jobs is a positive boost for this sector, and the Irish
Government commends PayPal for continuing to offer excellent career
opportunities to the Dublin community and for its continued dedication to the
Irish market. This investment illustrates that Ireland has the capability and the
capacity to continue to attract overseas investment during the current global
economic climate.
I would like to assure PayPal that it has my Governments and IDA
Irelands support as it grows and further embeds its operations here.
Ireland will continue to invest heavily in education to ensure a supply of
skilled, multilingual graduates in order to assist companies, such as PayPal,
to develop and grow their businesses here. For the continued success of
existing operations in Ireland it is extremely important that companies have or
put in place an agenda to constantly increase their strategic importance within
their parent company. Todays developments by PayPal demonstrate this

agenda perfectly.
Scott Thompson, president of PayPal added, Weve grown
significantly since we first opened our doors in Ireland in 2003, supporting our
growing European business and the millions of customers who live in this
region. This growth is testament to the wonderful collaboration weve
received from the Irish government and the talent of our employees here in
Ireland, both of which have been critical to our past success and our future
growth plans.
To support the new Dublin Centre, PayPal will invest more than 15 million
to train employees and optimise operations to meet the needs of PayPals
growing European customer base. Additionally, PayPal will enhance its
Dublin workforce with new business processes and regional intelligence
positions such as business analytics, product design, risk management,
information technology, operations and merchant services.
An Taoiseach concluded Ireland is becoming renowned as a location for
the most important digital media and Internet-based companies, with many of
the world leaders in the sector now located in Ireland. This additional PayPal
commitment to Ireland is an excellent further endorsement of IDA
Irelands strategy to grow and develop the digital enterprise cluster here
in Ireland.
About PayPal
PayPal is the faster, safer way to pay and get paid online. The service allows
members to send money without sharing financial information, with the
flexibility to pay using their account balances, bank accounts, credit cards or
promotional financing. With more than 70 million active accounts in 190
markets and 19 currencies around the world, PayPal enables global
ecommerce. The company headquarters are located in San Jose, California;
its European headquarters are in Luxembourg (PayPal (Europe) S..r.l et
Cie, S.C.A.); and its international headquarters (PayPal Private Ltd) are based
in Singapore.
About PayPal in Ireland
PayPal Dublin (European Operations) manages all direct customer contact for
their European Business Units. Its key functions and activities incorporate
customer services / risk management; merchant services; vendor
management; and operational excellence. The new centre in Ballycoolin
comprises three buildings, totaling 13,000 sq. metres, connected by an open
atrium, which is visible from all entrances in the complex. It has been built
with the environment in mind, with the buildings entire paneling made
from recycled materials. The building has also been designed to create a
healthier working environment for PayPals workforce with innovative
technical features, such as a chilled beam water-based building cooling
PayPal is an eBay company. More information about the company can be
found at https://www.paypal.com.


Technology industry and

academic leaders have
welcomed the
recommendations of the
Innovation Taskforce and are
urging Taoiseach Brian Cowen
TD to implement them as a
matter of urgency for the
The report of the Innovation Taskforce includes
a broad array of actions from broadband to tax
measures that would make Ireland more
entrepreneurial and attractive for investment.
They include IDA and Enterprise Ireland creating
a European accelerator that would attract the
worlds most innovative start-ups to locate here,
a greater nationwide appetite for
entrepreneurship as well as 1Gbps ubiquitous
nationwide broadband.
Acting on it is where the crunch will come to,
said Ben Hurley who heads up the National
Digital Research Centre at the Digital Hub.
They have brought a large number of
influential people together.
Whats required to instil the innovation
economy is a copper fastening of the things that
need to do. It should act as a good reference
document to promote good initiatives already in
Getting interaction between industry
multinationals and SMEs and academia is
critical in terms of bringing commercial

awareness into the transfer process.

In bringing these recommendations from a
policy viewpoint to practical action on the
ground we must be careful that were not overly
influenced by the political process but delivering
what needs to be done.
E-net the company which holds the concession
to manage, maintain and operate the States
Metropolitan Area Network (MAN) broadband
programme across 93 cities and towns,
welcomed the call by the Governments
Innovation Taskforce to make significant further
capital investment to upgrade Irelands
broadband network and have called for urgent
identification of the source of funding.
This report further strengthens the already
very strong case for prioritising significant
further investment in Irelands broadband
infrastructure, said Conall Henry, CEO of E-net.
Its also clear that this investment needs to
commence immediately the longer we leave it
the less of a competitive advantage well derive
from it.
The crucial next step is to clearly identify
where funding for these measures will come
from. There is already a consensus on a number
of investment priorities. The National
Competitiveness Council and Forfas have both
recommended that new Metropolitan Area
Networks in the five National Spatial
Strategy centres Shannon, Ennis, Mallow,
Tuam and Castlebar are built.
Developing world class, advanced broadband
networks and services is essential if we are to
support the development of a strong smart

economy in Ireland. Advanced broadband in key

regional centres is required to enable many of
our main exporting sectors (e.g. ICT, medical
technologies, financial services, tourism,
international education services) to retain the
current levels of trading and to enable them to
exploit future growth opportunities.
Maths education should be a top priority if the
117,000 jobs by 2014 outlined in the Innovation
Taskforce report are to be realistic, according to
John Power, director General of Engineers
The way maths is taught in schools is critically
important as it underpins the ability of
graduates and the workforce to perform in
science, technology and business, key facets of
the innovation template, Power said.
During Engineers Week last month, Engineers
Ireland launched its Report of Task Force on
Education of Mathematics and Science at
Second Level, which outlined several key
actions to reform how the subjects are taught in
secondary schools, including greater resourcing
of the Project Maths initiative and the
requirement for teachers to have specific
education qualifications in the area of maths
and the sciences to teach the subjects.
The Innovation Taskforce has made its
recommendations. It is paramount this is not
another report that is brushed aside. Engineers
Ireland is now determined to work with
Government to convert the actions, and the
others outlined in our maths and sciences
report, into real change and a ready supply of
graduates with the right skills in maths and the

sciences to support our innovation targets and

the smart economy framework, Power added.
Power also welcomed the reports views on
remedying the inadequacies of the broadband
infrastructure as a matter of urgency.
The American Chamber of Commerce warned
that todays global trading environment, intense
competition means we need to look to new
areas of innovation and added value to
generate and sustain our economic success.
"Ireland needs to continue to offer something
distinctive and we welcome the series of
measures identified by the Taskforce which aim
to make Ireland a global innovation hub which
continues to attract foreign direct investment,
said Mike Devane, head of the American
Chamber Research & Development group.
The American Chambers Retuning the Growth
Engine paper identified collaboration as critical
to driving the commercialization of Research in
The Chamber believes that without the
engagement of the FDI base, research activities
and programmes in Ireland will not generate
enterprise to sufficiently address the economys
employment ambitions. We very much welcome
the recommendations of the Taskforce in this
Creating a collaborative culture where
multinational companies, indigenous
companies, government and the education
sector work together to drive innovation and
create new enterprise will ultimately yield a
greater return on investment for the benefit of
our economy.

The Government is itself well positioned to be

a driver of innovation in this country, utilising
state assets and resources. As it seeks to reform
and deliver efficiencies in the public sector it
can acquire innovative processes and expertise
from companies and thereby help to create a
world class reference site for marketing this
innovation abroad.
Devane said that investing 3pc of GDP in
research and development is a minimum
requirement if Ireland is to bring the vision
outlined in the Innovation Taskforce Report to
But the outputs of this significant investment
must be measured and must be realised for the
benefit of the country of Ireland rather than for
individual universities or organisations. The
American Chamber believes the underlying
objective of this investment should be to evolve
the country into a vital global research and
commercialisation hub where innovation is our
trademark. This, together with a can do
attitude will make a real and lasting contribution
to the economy by generating value, wealth and
Most importantly, the Taskforce recognizes the
need to consolidate and retain existing
investment while seeking new mandates. In this
regard it is important to continue to attract
large capital intensive projects in manufacturing
where research and innovation are an integral
part of excellence in advance manufacturing.
Ireland must continue to address its
competitiveness issues.
For Innovation to grow whether from the

existing base of companies or from new

investment we must have an economy which
can compete on a cost basis with other
locations, Devane said.
Responding to the publication of the Innovation
Taskforce Reports recommendations the TCD
Provost, Dr John Hegarty and the UCD President,
Dr Hugh Brady, warmly welcomed the
Taskforces acknowledgement of the Innovation
Alliance and its endorsement as a model which
should be rolled out nationally.
The Report provides a clear and decisive
framework within which the goals of the
Innovation Alliance between the two universities
can be realised, they said.
The vision of Ireland as an Innovation Hub by
2020 recognises the value of human capital for
Irelands economic recovery. Knowledge is the
currency of the innovation economy and the
education system is pivotal in making
innovation happen.
We have taken significant steps to mainstream
innovation as a core element of the education
experience and evolved polices to support the
creation of new enterprise and enhance
partnerships with industry.
The Taskforces recommendation to reposition
the Strategy for Science, Technology and
Innovation at the heart of innovation policy and
to extend it to 2020 is crucial in delivering these
goals. The reports recommendations also
provide clarity of national policy for the
coordination of research funding activities.
Taken in their totality, these recommendations
provide a platform, connecting all parts of the

innovation ecosystem including education,

enterprise and government and have the
potential to change the future of this country.
Announced a year ago today, the Innovation
Alliance set out to develop an innovation
ecosystem for Ireland with higher education,
enterprise and government driving economic
recovery. The Provost of Trinity College, Dr John
Hegarty and UCD President, Dr Hugh Brady,
were subsequently both appointed as members
of the Innovation Taskforce by An Taoiseach in
July 2009.
By John Kennedy

Department of the Taoiseach

Role and Activities

Role of the Department of the Taoiseach
and Structure of the Department

Government Secretariat


European Union Affairs


International Affairs


Public Service Reform


Economic Policy Division


Social Policy Division


Northern Ireland Division


Corporate Affairs

Role of the Department of the Taoiseach
The Departments role derives from the constitutional and
ceremonial role of the Taoiseach as Head of Government.
The Departments three key functions are:

providing support services to the Taoiseach,

Government Chief Whip and Ministers of State

supporting the efficient functioning of Government

supporting Government policy direction and coordination

The core tasks of the Department include:

Supporting the Taoiseach in his role as Head of

Government (including all policy, management and
communications aspects of that role)

Supporting the Taoiseach in his constitutional and

parliamentary duties (including provision of
comprehensive briefing for Dil appearances, PQs,
Leaders Questions etc)

Supporting the Taoiseach in his North/South and

international duties (including the European Council,
North/South Ministerial Council, British-Irish Council and
leading on key bilateral relationships, eg with US, UK,
major EU countries, China, trade missions etc)

Supporting the Taoiseach in his engagements outside

government (including meetings/speeches with business,

trade unions, international delegations, the churches,
community, voluntary and other civic society groups)

Private Office of the Taoiseach

Secretariat to the Government

Office of the Government Chief Whip

Government Protocol Service

Government Press and Information Service (including

online services and media monitoring)

liaison with the President and the Houses of the


providing advice to the Taoiseach on policy matters

that are a national priority

leading and participating in cross-Departmental

initiatives, including through the Cabinet Committee
Service to the Government
The Department supports Government decision-making by
providing a comprehensive and effective service in
preparation for and following Cabinet meetings. This remit
includes effective communication with other Departments
to ensure an integrated response across the Government
agenda, and promoting the translation of policies into
consistent, coherent and appropriate service provision.
Cabinet Committees
As the range of issues considered by Government
becomes more complex the Cabinet Committee system
provides a mechanism for more efficient decision making
and more effective use of Government time. They have
become an important part of the machinery of
Government and a core part of the work of the
Essentially Cabinet Committees:
(i) allow more detailed consideration of policy options by
relevant Ministers and Ministers of State before they are
submitted to Government for final decision
(ii) co-ordinate issues which affect a range of Departments

and where direct political oversight is necessary

(iii) provide accountability for implementation of major
cross-departmental strategies through joint progress
reports by relevant officials
Generally, as the issues that Cabinet Committees consider
are cross cutting and complex, the Taoiseach and
Department are seen as the honest broker. Cabinet
Committees are usually (but not always) chaired by the
Taoiseach, and the Department of the Taoiseach provides
the secretariat to each Cabinet Committee, preparing
agendas and circulating papers etc.
In most cases, the Department also chairs a Senior
Officials Group (which includes political advisers as
appropriate) to prepare papers for the Cabinet Committee
as well as dealing with issues which don't need attention
at political level. Each Senior Officials Group includes the
Department of Finance as well as relevant line
Current Cabinet Committees include Economic Renewal,
European Affairs, Public Service Transformation, Social
Inclusion, Health and the Irish Language.
Legislative Programme & Political Reform
The Government Chief Whip plays a key role in ensuring
that the Governments legislative programme is
implemented. He chairs a Legislative Committee which
drafts the Legislative Programme for each Oireachtas
session for Government approval and monitors progress in
the drafting of the Bills listed on it. His Office also
schedules Dil time to process Government Bills. The
Government Chief Whip also plays a key role in advancing
the Governments priorities for the reform of Dil
The Taoiseach is the focal point for the articulation of
Government policy whether through major addresses,
statements and questions in the Dil or through media

engagements. The communications/media element of the

role of Taoiseach has been greatly accentuated in recent
years with the proliferation of 24/7 news outlets.
The Government Press Office located in the Department
provides a comprehensive information service to the
national and international media and to the public on
behalf of the Government, the Taoiseach and his
Department, and promotes a coordinated approach to
media matters across Government Departments.
Over the past year the Department has facilitated the
development of an enhanced web-based service to the
media and the public. Merrion Street.ie the new
Government news website went live in July 2010. All
Government press releases are accessible on the site via
RSS feed. The site uses audio, video, text, photographs
and is linked to Youtube, Flickr, Facebook and Twitter.

Northern Ireland
The Taoiseach is the pre-eminent political leader on the
island of Ireland, as well as the leading representative of
the nationalist tradition in Ireland. In recent years,
building the relationship with unionism has been an
essential part of that role.
Along with the British Prime Minister, he represents the
foundation of the relationship that brought about peace.
In practical terms, he leads for the Government at twiceyearly meetings of the North/South Ministerial Council and
of the British-Irish Council. He also leads the development
of the bilateral relationship with Britain and the US, both of
which continue to be strongly influenced by issues related
to the North, through his engagements with the Prime
Minister and President respectively.
The Taoiseach represents Ireland at the European Council,
where he frequently attends meetings with other Heads of

State and Government unaccompanied.

The European Council is playing an increasingly important
role at the centre of the political life of the European
Union. The Department ensures the most effective
participation by the Taoiseach in its meetings, including
through maintaining key contacts in Prime Ministers
offices around Europe and at high level in the European
The Department ensures a strategic and coherent whole
of government approach to EU business, bringing
together other Departments to identify and advance work
on priority concerns.
Ireland's current economic situation places a premium on
the Taoiseach's taking on a strong leadership role in the
international arena, in terms of trade and investment
promotion, improving our bilateral and multilateral
relations and working to restore and enhance our
international reputation.
The EU and International Division provides a dedicated
service to the Taoiseach to support him in discharging his
responsibilities in this area, including ensuring a whole of
Government perspective and drawing on the advice,
information and resources of other Departments and
agencies, as well as other sources.
Public Service Transformation
Comprehensive Public Service Transformation is a key
element of national recovery and the transformation
programme needs to be driven with energy and
innovation. The Department of the Taoiseach has played
an important role in the transformation programme over
many years and was centrally involved in the OECD
Review of the Public Service and the Task Force on the
Public Service, which led to the Transforming Public
Services programme. More recently, the Department has
worked closely with the Department of Finance in the
negotiations that led to the Public Service Agreement and
the implementation phase that is now underway.

The Department has responsibility for the management of

a number of significant specific elements of the Public
Service transformation programme including the Senior
Public Service, the Organisational Review Programme and
the better regulation agenda. In addition, the Department
provides the secretariat to the Cabinet Committee on
Transforming Public Services and other key groups and
manages a range of other transformation initiatives,
particularly in the communications area. Importantly, the
Taoiseach and his Department have a key role in terms of
the overall leadership, coordination and advocacy of the
Public Service transformation programme.
Department of the Taoiseach
March 2011
Philip Hamell
Assistant Secretary John Callinan
Assistant Secretary Philip Kelly
Assistant Secretary Martin Fraser
Assistant Secretary
Protocol and General
EU and
International Division
Public Service
Social Partnership (Industrial Relations)
Economic and
Social Policy
Northern Ireland Division Corporate Affairs
Support for Cabinet
Briefing and dissemination of outcome of Cabinet
National Security Committee
Dialogue with Faith Communities
Cross-govt co-ordination:
International Financial Services Industry
Marine policy

1 P.O.
Protocol to Taoiseach
State ceremonial
Liaison with and advice to President
Government Legislation Programme
Dil Reform
Taoiseachs political accountability for Law Offices
Moriarty Tribunal

1 P.O.
Supporting Taoiseach as member of European
Council through HOSG network
International organisations UN, OECD etc at Head of
Govt level
Trade missions planning and support
Organisation of bilateral visits incoming and outgoing

2 P.O.s
(1 on loan from D/Foreign Affairs) Transforming Public
Service Programme Office
supporting Cabinet Cttee
participation in Cork Park Agreement Implementation
promotion and advocacy of reform agenda (e.g.

Taoiseachs Awards)
Organisational Review Programme (assessing
Departmental capacity)
Senior Public Service (establishment and development)
Better Regulation Unit
supporting Regulatory Impact Analysis
implementation of policy on economic regulation
Annual Regulatory Forum
2 P.O.s
Continuing engagement with employers and trade
unions on pay and workplace relations
Employment regulation issues
Pensions policy

0.5 P.O.

Whole of Government co-ordination on:

economic renewal
labour market policy
climate change policy
social inclusion
national disability strategy
life-cycle perspective on social programmes

Social dialogue/social partnership

National Reform Programme under Europe 2020
Political accountability for CSO

2 P.O.s
Taoiseachs role in North South Ministerial
Council and British Irish Council
Cross-Departmental co-ordination of all-island agenda
Relations with UK and US at head of/whole of Govt levels
Programme of Commemoration, especially of 1912-22
Specific bilateral frameworks e.g. Scotland, Newfoundland

1 P.O.
Personnel and Management Services
Finance, including transparency on expenditure
IT support
Support for Private and Constituency Offices of Taoiseach
and Minister(s) of State
- staffing and


1 P.O.
Government Meetings
The primary role of the Government Secretariat is to
provide an effective service to the Government in advance
of, at, and following Government meetings. This includes
ensuring that Memoranda for Government meet the
requirements set out in the Cabinet Handbook, preparing
the agendas for and minutes of Government meetings,
compiling briefing for the Taoiseach for the meetings and
communicating Government decisions to Ministers and
Departments concerned once they are made. In 2010
there were 78 meetings of the Government, over 1,000
Memoranda were cleared for the Government agenda and

over 1,000 Government decisions were issued.

Support for Departmental Co-ordination Mechanisms
Government Secretariat also provides an ongoing service
to the Department as a whole in relation to co-ordination
of the Departments consideration of draft Memoranda for
Government and distribution of PQs addressed to the
Taoiseach. In 2010, 710 PQs (419 oral and 291 written)
were answered.
Support to Interdepartmental Co-ordination Mechanisms
Government Secretariat operates as a support to the
processes of the Government and on occasion where
required takes on tasks with a whole of Government
perspective, e.g. chairing / participating in ad hoc working
groups / interdepartmental committees established from
time to time.
The Government Secretariat is responsible for the
operation and maintenance of the eCabinet system, a
dedicated IT system for distributing Government
Memoranda (including draft Memos for Departmental
consultation), compiling the Government agenda and
minutes and distributing Government decisions.
Other Activities
Where requested, the Secretariat also provides advice on
the Code of Conduct for Office Holders under the Ethics
Acts and on the FOI Act provisions dealing with
Government records.
Priorities for 2011

Support Government meetings

Prepare agenda and circulate memoranda and

decisions to agreed timelines

Manage advices to the President

Support appointment of new Government in

accordance with Constitutional and statutory

Protocol and General Division
The Division provides a protocol service to the Taoiseach
in respect of his official engagements and plans/organises
certain major State events (such as the National Day of
Commemoration). The Division also assists the Taoiseach
in discharging his duties in relation to the President, the
Offices of the Attorney General, DPP and Chief State
Solicitor, the Law Reform Commission and Constitutional
Reform; and deals with administrative matters relating to
the Moriarty Tribunal. It also assists the Government Chief
Whip with his work in relation to Dil Reform and the
Governments Legislative Programme. The Division also
co-ordinates FOI requests received in the Department,
maintains statistics on them and ensures compliance with
certain statutory requirements under the FOI Acts.
Major State Events
In 2011, the Division will plan and organise a number of
significant events, including the Presidential Inauguration
in November, the National Day of Commemoration (NDOC)
in July and the Commemoration of the 1916 Easter Rising
(in April).
The Division (in consultation with D/Foreign Affairs) plans
and organises the elements of inwards State Visits
involving the Taoiseach (e.g. the Government lunch). The
next scheduled visit by a Head of State is Prince Albert II
of Monaco on 4-6 April (the meeting and lunch with the
Taoiseach being on Monday 4th). No other inward State
visits have been finalised as yet but a visit from the UK at
Head of State level is envisaged.
Relations with the President
The Division assists the Taoiseach in his Constitutional

duties relating to the President. The Taoiseach meets the

President (usually 5/6 times a year) to brief her on
domestic and international matters and the Division coordinates the briefing material for these meetings.
Government Legislative Programme
The Government Legislation Committee, which is chaired
by the Chief Whip, drafts the Governments legislative
programme and monitors progress towards publication of
Bills. The Division prepares a memorandum for
Government on legislative priorities for each Session and
provides regular progress reports for consideration by the
Committee during the Session.
Constitutional Reform
In addition to a Referendum on Childrens Rights, the
prospective Government partners have signalled a
comprehensive programme of Constitutional Reform in
relation to the Institutions of the State (i.e. Dil, Seanad,
President, Government and the Courts/Judiciary).
The Division assists the Taoiseach (who is the member of
the Government with overall responsibility for
Constitutional Reform) with his duties, although individual
reforms will be progressed by line Departments. This
Department in the past has been involved in setting up
bodies/fora to consider Constitutional Reform, such as the
Informal All-Party Committee on the Constitution.
Dil Reform
In addition to institutional reform, the prospective
Government partners have signalled extensive proposals
to reform the way the Dil works, including proposals
relating to the legislative process; the committee system;
enhancing the roles of TDs; and the annual Budget
process. Where the proposed reforms can be implemented
by changes to Dil procedures, the Division will assist the
Chief Whip in developing and implementing proposals as
Moriarty Tribunal
The Division deals with administrative matters pertaining

to the Tribunal, which is funded through the Departments

Vote. The focus is now on the Tribunal completing its work
and issuing the Second (Final) Part of its Report as soon as
possible, compatible with fair procedures. Following this,
the winding-up of the Tribunal (including the Sole Member
inviting and dealing with applications for third party costs)
will proceed as quickly as practicable.
Relations with the Legal Offices (i.e. Offices of the Attorney
General, Chief State Solicitor and Director Public
Prosecutions) and the Law Reform Commission
The Legal Offices come under the aegis of the
Department. The Division assists the Taoiseach in
discharging his responsibilities in relation to administrative
matters pertaining to these Offices.

Secretary Generals Office

Relations with the Office of the President
Provides support to the Office of the President in relation
Programme of visits to EU member States: Visit to
Spain on 21-23 March.

Incoming State/High-level Visits:

Prince Albert of Monaco, 4-6 April.
British State Visit
Possible US visit

Advice in relation to certain invitations,

correspondence, travel in NI and abroad, security matters
and the arrangements for meetings with the Taoiseach.
The National Security Committee
Meeting both on a regular basis and in times of special
need, the Committee reviews security assessments in the
context of domestic and international developments. It
does not have responsibility for operational matters. The
Secretary General to the Government briefs the Taoiseach
on any issues arising.
Ministerial transport and protection
Recommendations to be developed with D/Justice and
Garda Sochna to meet target that cost of Ministerial
transport to be halved
Government jet/ MATS aircraft
Recommendations to be prepared with D/Defence and the
Defence Forces for new code of practice for use of
government jet, ensuring transparent and cost effective
Structured process of Dialogue with Churches and Faith
Since the process was inaugurated in February 2007,
general and bilateral meetings have taken place between

Government and the Roman Catholic Church, the Church

of Ireland, the Presbyterian Church, the Methodist church,
the Religious Society of Friends, the Muslim, Jewish and
Bahai communities and the Humanist Association.
A dialogue at official level has also continued with the
churches, faith communities and non-confessional
UN Alliance of Civilisations
Arising from the dialogue initiative with Churches, support
is provided to the Department of Foreign Affairs in relation
to The Alliance of Civilization (AoC) under the auspices of
the United Nations.
The 4th Global Forum of the UNAOC will be hosted by
Qatar and will take place on 10-12 December 2011.
Human Rights
Irelands examination under the Universal Periodic Review
(UPR) mechanism of the United Nations Human Rights
Council will be on 6 October, 2011. The Government
report on Ireland is due to be submitted on 4 July, 2011.
Assistance will be provided to D/CEG (Chair) in preparing
this report and responding to the views coming from civil
society, NGOs and ultimately with the examination by
UNHRC on Irelands record.
Cabinet Committees:
Cabinet Committee on Irish and the Gaeltacht
A continuing Committee under successive

Centenary of the Easter Rising

Centenary of the Great War

The development in coming months of a commemorative
framework for the period to 2016, based on a preliminary
consideration by the Taoiseach and Government of the
appropriate scope and depth.
In addition to the Centenary planning arrangements

related to the Independence struggle, other anniversaries

of national and international significance will require
attention, e.g.
The City of Derry will be the inaugural UK City of Culture in
2013. The assistance of the Taoiseach was requested to
ensure that the dual heritage of the city would be strongly
Following the success of Expo2010 in Shanghai, the coordination of national preparations for Expo2015 to take
place at Milan should commence this year. Following the
planning phase, project delivery for Italy should
commence in 2013 and continue to end 2015.
Further attention is required to consolidate the
arrangements arising from Expo2010 in China, including
reproductions by Chinese Municipal authorities of the
Ireland pavilion as exhibition centres, the twinning of 3rd
level colleges in Ireland and China, the agreement of
student exchange and placement programmes and the
development of a Confucius Institute at UCD as a joint
venture supported by the Governments of Ireland and
A high level official and business delegation from the City
of Tianjin (pop 10 million) will visit Ireland from 10-17
March to progress arrangements for development of an
Irish themed amenity zone (several Dublin streets
replicated and the national pavilion from Expo. Several
Irish entrepreneurs are involved. (Tianjin is the port city
for Beijing 20mins by rail. It is developing rapidly as an
internal tourism/amenity resort.)
The continuing development of certain annual
commemorative initiatives of recent years:o
Military commemoration at GPO, Dublin at Easter (reinstated since 2006).
Daniel OConnell commemoration at Glasnevin
cemetery, Dublin (May), inaugurated 2007.
Great Famine commemoration at changing provincial

locations in Ireland (May), inaugurated 2008.

Great Famine commemoration outreach to diaspora
(May), inaugurated 2008.
National War Memorial Gardens, Islandbridge, Dublin
(July) in partnership with the Royal British Legion
(inaugurated in 2006)
Planning will continue with Glasnevin Cemetery
Management, OPW and Defence Forces re optimal timing
and content of an annual Michael Collins commemoration,
possibly on the anniversary of his death (22 August).
International Financial Services Division
Role of the Division
The Division works to ensure the continued development
and success of the international financial services industry
in Ireland, with the support of Government Departments,
agencies and the industry, by acting as a facilitator,
through the mechanism of the IFSC Clearing House Group
(CHG) and the various Working Groups which operate
under the aegis of the Department.
The Division arranges and notifies all Groups of agreed
dates for meetings throughout the year and acts as the
Secretariat to each Group. It also responds to requests
from Departments, industry and agencies for bilateral
meetings on specific items of importance.
Immediate Priorities

Preparation of a new strategy review for the future

development of the international financial services

Advancing the key recommendations of the strategy,

through the structure of the Clearing House Group (CHG)
and the other IFSC Working Groups, to ensure that the
progress outlined is achieved

Development of a Green IFSC Initiative as set out in
both the Report of the High Level Group on Green
Enterprise and the Smart Economy document

Working with IFSC Ireland to support the marketing

efforts of IDA Ireland and Enterprise Ireland in attracting
new companies to Ireland.
The IFSC Clearing House Group (CHG) provides a broadlybased forum to identify and consider issues of major
concern to the long- term development of the international
financial services industry in Ireland, including the
strategic development of new business opportunities and
the progress of relevant legislation, and it identifies the
need for responsibility to be assigned for overseeing and
reporting to the Government on any appropriate initiatives
in this area.
The Clearing House Group is chaired by the Secretary
General of the Department of the Taoiseach and its
membership includes representatives of industry
associations and of prominent figures from the
international financial services industry.
It also includes representatives from the Department of
the Taoiseach, the Department of Finance, the Department
of Enterprise, Trade and Innovation, the Central Bank, IDA
Ireland, Enterprise Ireland, the Revenue Commissioners
and the Stock Exchange.

The IFSC Banking & Treasury Working Group is concerned

with banking, asset financing and corporate treasury,
together with taxation issues which arise for all areas of
the international financial services industry in Ireland.
The IFSC Funds Working Group considers the
administration and management of investment funds and
examines the future of the funds industry in Ireland.

The IFSC Insurance Working Group considers issues of

relevance to the continued development, expansion and
competitiveness of Ireland as a reputable centre for the
provision of insurance products and services.
The IFSC Pensions Working Group is involved in the
promotion of Ireland as a prime location for the centralised
management of pension funds. The Department of the
Taoiseach, the Department of Finance, the Pensions Board,
IDA Ireland, and Financial Services Ireland (FSI) are all
members of the Pensions Group.
The IFSC Asset Management Working Group considers
issues of relevance to the development of a broader-based
institutional asset management business in Ireland. The
focus of the Working Group is to advise the IFSC Clearing
House Group on the fiscal and regulatory measures
needed to promote Ireland as a centre for international
asset management activities; to identify impediments
(fiscal, regulatory, skills or otherwise) and suggest
appropriate remedies; and to validate and support the
implementation of an appropriate marketing strategy.

European Union Affairs

The Division works to support the Taoiseach in relation to
EU matters generally and, in particular, to ensure the most
effective participation by the Taoiseach in the business of
the European Council. As Head of Government, the
Taoiseach has a crucial role in ensuring a whole-ofgovernment approach to EU business.
Entry into force of the Treaty of Lisbon has seen the
European Council (ie EU Heads of State or Government)
playing an increasingly central role in the key policy
matters facing the Union. Since the appointment of
Herman Van Rompuy as its permanent President, the
Council has met more frequently. The recent economic
crisis has also seen several ad hoc meetings of Heads of
State or Government of the euro area take place. This
increased tempo is likely to continue.
The Division provides policy advice and analysis,
facilitating coordinated whole of government policy
positions, and ensuring useful and appropriate briefing.
Central to this effort is the need to maintain high level
contacts with other Prime Ministers Offices and with
senior officials in the European Institutions, as is drawing
together intelligence gathered by our Embassies in other
Member States. There is a growing tendency for important
matters to be prepared ahead of summits by Sherpas,
representatives of the Heads of State or Government. The
Assistant Secretary in EU Division fulfils this function.
In this, we collaborate very closely with the Department of
Foreign Affairs, and other Departments as appropriate
The Division chairs and supports the work of the Senior
Officials Group on European Affairs, which aims to ensure

a strategic approach to items on the European Union

agenda, identifying key policies and objectives for Ireland,
and ensuring coordinated approaches across
Departments. This Group works not only to coordinate on
live policy matters, but also to take a more medium-long
term perspective on Irelands interests and positioning.
The Division also provides the Secretariat for the Cabinet
Committee on European Affairs.
Through the work of the Inter-Departmental Coordinating
Committee on European Union Affairs (ICCEUA), which has
been chaired by the Minister for State for European Affairs,
the Division oversees the transposition of EU law in Ireland
and related infringement cases. It maintains an online
database to facilitate this work. The Department uses its
central position and influence to press for continual
improvements in this area and, in particular, to ensure
that Ireland meets its commitment at European level to
stay below a 1% transposition deficit.
The Division works to strengthen Irelands bilateral
relations with other Member States and the EU
institutions, including in proposing and supporting
incoming and outgoing visits.
Key Priorities in the Period Ahead
Economic Issues: The Heads of State or Government
of the euro area will meet on 11 March. This meeting is
intended to reach a coordinated euro area position ahead
of the meeting of the European Council on 24/25 March,
which is expected to take decisions on a comprehensive
package of measures to address Europes economic crisis.
Some of these are of particular importance for Ireland,
including reform of the current European Financial Stability
Facility (EFSF) and creation of a permanent European
Stability Mechanism (ESM) to take its place in 2013.
Interest rates applying within these facilities arise as part
of this discussion.
On foot of German and French pressure to adopt a
Competitiveness Pact for the euro area, the European
Council is to acknowledge a decision of euro area Member
States to commit to taking further steps to achieve a new

policy of economic coordination. President Van Rompuy is

preparing this work through the Sherpa network. Each
euro area Member State has been consulted bilaterally
and a meeting at 17 has also taken place. A further
sherpa meeting is planned for 8 March. A key issue for
Ireland in this regard is corporation tax.
More broadly, managing Irelands relations with its EU
partners in the context of implementation of the EU/IMF
Programme will be an important priority in the period
Tax: not withstanding the above, the Commission is,
in any case, due to bring forward its long-awaited proposal
for a Common Consolidated Corporate Tax Base (CCCTB)
in the near future, possibly in advance of the March
European Council. Ireland has said that, while sceptical as
to any possible benefits of the proposal, it is prepared to
engage constructively in discussions.
Multi-Annual Financial Framework for the Union:
Negotiation of the new financial perspectives, or EU
budget, for the period post-2013 will begin in earnest this
year. A proposal from the Commission is expected in June.
Defending Irelands interests, especially on the CAP, will
be key.
Irelands Presidency of the European Union, JanuaryJune 2013
Though part of a longer time frame, planning is already
taking place for Irelands Presidency of the EU in the first
half of 2013. Inter alia, this is seen as an opportunity to
redress some of the recent damage to Irelands reputation
within the EU.

International Affairs
The Division's role is to support the Taoiseach in:
(a) strengthening Ireland's bilateral relations at Head of
Government level with other countries and, in particular,
in developing trade, tourism, investment and cultural links
with them;
(b) participating in key international fora such as the
United Nations and OECD and major summits between the
EU and other global regions such as ASEM (Asia), EU - LAC
(Latin America), EU - Africa, EU - Med. (Mediterannean
countries) and Eastern Partnership (Ukraine, Georgia etc.),
aimed at developing shared responses to the challenges
and opportunities arising from globalisation; and
(c) promoting Ireland's core values - such as respect for
human rights, democracy, disarmament and the peaceful
settlement of disputes - at international level.
The Division provides a dedicated service to the Taoiseach
in carrying out his responsibilities in international affairs,
whether in terms of engaging in Dail or Government
business, meeting bilaterally with other Heads of State or
Government, participating in the work of multilateral
organisations or otherwise. The day to day work involves
filtering and assessing a very considerable volume of
information and advice on a wide range of international
issues from a range of sources, including the Department
of Foreign Affairs and other Departments and reducing it
to manageable proportions for the Taoiseachs
attention/clarifying issues/mediating/adding value. The

overall objective is to ensure that the Taoiseach receives

the best possible advice and other supports in the
timeliest manner.
The particular services provided by the Division to the
Taoiseach include making the necessary organisational
and logistical arrangements for visits abroad and meetings
with visiting Heads of State or Government, liaising with
other Departments and agencies as required, providing
advice, briefing/speaking material for meetings at bilateral
and multilateral level, arranging for follow - up from such
meetings and more generally, keeping the Taoiseach
briefed on major international developments, in
consultation with the Department of Foreign Affairs as
The Division also participates in a number of relevant
groups, such as the Foreign Trade Council, the Inter Departmental Committee on Peacekeeping and the Inter Departmental Committee on Development. The objective
here is to ensure that the Taoiseach's views and a whole of - Government perspective are brought to bear on the
work of these groups.
Key Priorities in the Period Ahead
The two key priorities in international affairs in the period
ahead must be (a) the promotion of trade, tourism,
investment and Irish culture as the key to economic
recovery and (b) improving Irelands international image in
the light of recent reputational damage. A proactive role
by the Taoiseach, as Head of Government, will be critical,
whether in terms of leading bilateral/trade missions or
spearheading cross Governmental efforts on both fronts.
Proposal for an Intensified Programme of Taoiseach - led
Trade Missions: It is clear that the main way out of our
current economic difficulties is economic growth through
trade. It is proposed to develop an intensified programme
of trade missions led by the Taoiseach. This would serve as
a focus for a significantly enhanced effort to develop our
trade and investment links with other countries and could
have an important morale boosting effect domestically, by

showing the Taoiseach championing Irish companies to win

exports abroad and jobs at home - and by focusing
people's minds on the future.
Text withheld under section 24 (1) (c) - the international
affairs of the State.
Communications Along with Economic Policy Division, the
Division is a leading a process aimed at developing an
international communications strategy and campaign to
enhance Irelands international image and reputation, and
to refocus attention on to Irelands many strengths. Work
is progressing to identify key messages and approaches.
This will be brought to Government at an early date to
seek approval for the further elaboration and development
of the strategy.
Climate Change: Climate change remains one of the major
international issues of our times and features prominently
in both EU and UN frameworks. Given the cross cutting
nature of the issue, and potential impacts on a wide range
of other policy areas, discussion can from time to time
warrant involvement or decision at head of Government
Contribution to Global Peace and Development: The
Taoiseach may wish to consider (in the medium term at
least) whether there is any particular cause that he would
wish to promote in the international arena, as a personal
contribution to world peace and development. His
predecessor, Mr. Brian Cowen, T.D., launched the Irish
Government's Hunger Task Force Report in New York in
2008 in the presence of the UN Secretary General, while
Taoiseach Bertie Ahern, T.D. addressed the UN General
Asembly Special Session on HIV/AIDS in 2001 and a follow
up UN High Level Meeting in 2006.
There is a wide range of possiblilities (egs. Food
Security/Hunger, AIDS/HIV, Disarmament/Non Proliferation, Religious Tolerance, Drugs Awareness,
Literacy, Sport) but of course, a decision on any particular
one would require careful consideration. A concerted

campaign by the Taoiseach on a particular cause would

contribute to restoring Ireland's international image as
well as being of benefit in its own right.
Ireland's 2012 Chairmanship of the Organisation for
Security and Co-operation in Europe(OSCE): This could
involve demands on the Taoiseach's time, depending on
the events requiring attention during that period and
whether or not an OSCE Summit (i.e. at HoSG level) has to
be convened.

Transforming Public Services Programme Office

The Transforming Public Services (TPS) Programme Office
plays an important role in coordinating and supporting the
change agenda across the Public Service, working closely
with the Department of Finance and many other public
The Programme Office is involved in a wide range of work
and some of the current priorities are summarised below:

Contributing to the implementation of the Public

Service Transformation elements of the National Recovery
Plan (e.g. the further reduction in Public Service numbers,
reforming public bodies and service delivery,
redeployment, shared services, business process
improvement, eGovernment etc).

Contributing to the implementation of the Public

Service Agreement including through Sectoral Action
Plans, the work of the Implementation Body and the
planned review of the Agreement in the coming months,
as well as more specific issues such as the review of

Advancing other TPS related commitments in areas

such as the initiation of the Senior Public Service (other

staff lead on this work); performance and governance
frameworks for agencies; continuation of the
Organisational Review Programme (other staff lead on this
work); the next round of Strategy Statements; an
extensive communications programme of conferences,
presentations and the Taoiseachs Public Service
Excellence Awards 2011/12; and the promotion of
innovative activity across the Public Service on business
process improvement, customer service, eGovernment
The Department provides the chair and secretariat to a
range of Groups such as the Cabinet Committee on TPS,
the TPS Steering Group of Secretaries General, a wider
group of all Secretaries General, the TPS Assistant
Secretaries Group and the TPS Sectoral Centres. The
Division is represented at Assistant Secretary level on the
Public Service Agreement Implementation Body and is
represented on the Public Service Management Coordination Group. The Division is also represented on a
wide range of groups on particular transformation issues
such as data sharing in the Public Service, HR Shared
Services, the review of PMDS, the Board of the National
Procurement Service etc.
The Programme Office also take the lead on a range of
other projects / initiatives in areas such as Strategy
Statements, the Quality Customer Service Initiative, the
Taoiseachs Public Service Excellence Awards, Civil Service
Customer Satisfaction Surveys and the overall
communications programme to promote the
transformation programme (which includes a very
successful series of conferences and seminars,
presentations by staff to various fora, the OneGov
Newsletter and the OneGov website). The Office also
provides regular briefings, PQ / LQ material and policy
advice to the Taoiseach on a range of Public Service
transformation issues.
There are a number of priority issues for consideration by
the Taoiseach in the coming months including:

Deciding on the most effective structures to drive the
next phase of the transformation programme and the
manner in which they will operate across the Public
Service including the future of the Cabinet Committee, a
Public Service Board and an Office / Department for Public
Service Reform etc (having regard to the recent
independent review of the Department of Finance).

Deciding how to deal with the First Review of the

Croke Park Agreement in May and its outcome,
determining the savings attributable to the Agreement
and the formal position to be taken on the reimbursement
of pay cuts to the lower paid in light of the savings
generated. More generally and more importantly,
deciding on whether the Agreement is delivering what is
required in terms of savings, particularly in light of the
commitment in the EU / IMF Programme to look at further
options in this regard by Quarter 3 if the necessary
savings are not being delivered.

Deciding how to proceed on specific elements of the

transformation programme (e.g. in relation to how best to
secure better savings from public procurement, shared
services projects, the appointment of a CIO, eGovernment
initiatives, the role of the Organisational Review
Programme, the Taoiseachs Awards 2012 etc), and how to
proceed with legislative change to support the
transformation programme in areas such as better
information sharing, staff mobility and redeployment,
increased powers of delegation and accountability,
performance and governance of State Agencies and other
such transformation issues as may feature in the
Programme for Government.

Alongside the necessary reduction in Public Service

numbers, deciding how to get the most from the 300,000
or so staff that will remain after the current downsizing
and the need to invest in the transformation programme
in the short term for a return in the medium to long term
in areas such as eGovernment, human resources and
shared services.

Public Service Modernisation Division

Better Regulation Unit
A key function of the Better Regulation Unit is to promote
the use of Regulatory Impact Analysis, through developing
guidelines and other work tools, maintaining the Better
Regulation website and delivering training and
presentations. It also chairs the inter-Departmental RIA
Network and examines all legislative Memoranda to
Government from a RIA perspective.
The Unit provides the Secretariat to the Senior Officials
Group on Economic Regulation which is chaired by this
Department and which is responsible for driving
implementation of the Government Statement on
Economic Regulation, published in October 2009. The
Government Statement includes a range of actions aimed
at ensuring that the regulation of key economic sectors is
as efficient and as effective as possible. The Senior
Officials Group in turn meets with regulators as part of a
broader Regulatory Liaison Group (secretariat also
provided by the Unit).
The Unit represents Ireland at EU, OECD and other
relevant international official-level fora and also
participates in groups and structures chaired by
D/Enterprise, Trade & Innovation which has overall
responsibility for the Governments administrative burden
measurement and reduction programme.
Priority Issues/Questions for the Immediate Term
Finalise the Stress-Testing of Regulatory Frameworks
A key commitment in the Government Statement on
Economic Regulation is that Departments would undertake
stress-testing exercises of economic regulatory
frameworks to ensure they are fully capable of responding
to any shocks which may occur in the sector or in the
wider economy. Stress-tests are expected from the
relevant Departments, signed off at Ministerial level. Work
on the stress-tests is at an advanced stage and once
completed a report will be drafted and submitted to

Government highlighting the key conclusions, findings and

areas for action arising from the exercise.
Decision on 2011 Annual Regulatory Forum
The Annual Regulatory Forum was established as a formal
interface between central Cabinet Ministers and regulators
charged with monitoring progress on the implementation
of the Government Statement by both Government
Departments and regulators. The Forum met for the first
time in February 2010 and consideration will need to be
given to whether/when the Forum should meet in 2011.
Develop response to the 2010 OECD/EU Commission
Review of Better Regulation in Ireland
This Review was published by the OECD last November as
part of its programme of reviews, funded by the EU
Commission, covering each of the original EU-15. The
Reviews have focused on systems and process issues such
as Regulatory Impact Analysis (RIA), administrative burden
reduction (which is the responsibility of D/ETI) and other
Law Reform projects including sectoral consolidation;
Statute Law Revision and Restatement. The Government
agreed in October 2010 that the Senior Officials Group on
Economic Regulation would have responsibility for
developing an appropriate response to the
recommendations contained in the Report and this work is
set to be progressed in the immediate months ahead.
Regulatory Impact Analysis (RIA)
An issue for early consideration by the new Government is
whether and how existing RIA arrangements should be
strengthened (e.g. through the introduction of a statutory
requirement to undertake a RIA, a requirement to publish
RIAs before Government Decisions are taken etc).
Issues for Medium-term consideration
Initiate preparations for managing the Better
Regulation agenda in during the next Irish Presidency of
the EU which commences in January 2013.
Evaluate the certified professional (post-graduate)
Diploma in Regulatory Governance course which is being

delivered by UCD and the IPA during 2011 and is aimed at

boosting regulatory capacity across Government
Departments and key sectoral regulators. Subject to such
an evaluation and availability of resources, consider recommissioning the course to run in 2012.

Social Partnership (IR & Workplace Change) Division

Social Partnership (IR & Workplace Change) Division is
tasked with driving economic and social progress through
the mechanism of social dialogue and maximising
industrial relations peace and stability. The work of the

Division currently includes:

Maintaining ongoing contacts with employer and

trade union representatives in the context of economic
renewal measures and industrial relations matters.

Liaising closely with D/Finance and D/Enterprise,

Trade and Innovation in relation to the independent review
of statutory wage-setting mechanisms.

Monitoring pay trends and developments and

industrial disputes in the private sector and providing
regular detailed briefing.

Working with Government Departments in relation to

the outstanding commitments contained in the Towards
2016 Review and Transitional Agreement 2008 2009,
including in the areas of employment rights legislation,
public procurement and employee representation.

Participation in groups chaired by the D/Social

Protection to progress implementation of the National
Pensions Framework.
Priority Issues/Questions for the Immediate Term
Manage implementation of the Independent Review
of statutory wage-setting mechanisms
The National Recovery Plan 2011 2014 (Section 2.3.1)
and the joint EU-IMF Programme for Ireland committed to
the establishment of an independent review of REA
(Registered Employment Agreement) and ERO
(Employment Regulation Order) arrangements. The
Review, was announced on 9th February last and is being
conducted jointly by Kevin Duffy, Chairman of the Labour
Court and by Dr. Frank Walsh, Lecturer in Economics, UCD.
A key priority in the immediate period ahead will be to
manage the implementation of the recommendations
arising from this review which is expected to be completed
by early April.
Clarify approach to Employee Representation and
The Towards 2016 Review and Transitional Agreement
2008 2009 (Section 9.1 9.3) provides for the
establishment of a review process to consider the legal
and other steps necessary to enable the employee
representation mechanisms that had been established

under previous national pay agreements and in

legislation to operate as they had been intended. The
Agreement also includes a commitment on legislative
proposals to prohibit the victimisation of trade union
members and to prohibit the incentivisation of persons not
to be members of a trade union. A key issue to be
addressed in the immediate period ahead will be
whether/how these commitments should be advanced.
Clarify status of the Employment Protection
Legislative Programme
The Transitional Agreement also includes a number of
legislative commitments in the employment protection
area. These include the Employment Law Compliance Bill;
the Employment Agency Regulation Bill; transposition of
the Temporary Agency Workers Directive; the Industrial
Relations (Amendment) Bill and legislation to give effect to
the commitments in the Agreement on transposing the
optional pensions provisions of the Transfer of
Undertakings Directive and on providing an exemption for
certain categories of vulnerable workers from competition
law (via the Consumer and Competition Bill). This
legislation is at various stages of development and clarity
will now be needed on which elements of this programme
will proceed and over what timeframe.
Consider re-branding of social partnership as
social dialogue
More generally, a possible issue for early consideration
relates to the re-branding of social partnership as social
dialogue and decisions regarding the appropriate
institutional arrangements required to support the model
into the future.
Implementation of the National Pensions Framework
The Division participates in the Implementation Steering
Group chaired by D/Social Protection which will be
addressing the following key issues over the next 2-3

Development of a new defined benefit model and

reform of the Funding Standard in a response to the

considerable difficulties currently facing defined benefit

pension schemes and in order to ensure the long-term
sustainability of this model of pension provision.

Consideration of the implications for the proposed

auto-enrolment scheme of the changes to tax and
PRSI/Health Levy relief on pensions contributions
envisaged in the National Recovery Plan 2011-2014.
This Division will work to ensure that there is full
consultation with trade union and employer
representatives as these important proposals develop.

Senior Public Service

The Senior Public Service (SPS) is currently in the process
of being established. Its purpose is to promote a more
integrated public service and to strengthen the senior
management and leadership capacity of the public
service. It will do this by breaking down barriers to
mobility at senior levels across the public service,
commencing within the civil service at Assistant Secretary

level and above. This will enable the Government to draw

on a single talent pool to lead the implementation of
priorities, as well as providing opportunities for individuals
to broaden their skills and experience. The SPS will
support networking across senior levels of the public
service to encourage the informal sharing of information
and experience on common issues. It will put in place a
more targeted approach to training, mentoring and other
development opportunities to ensure that the
competencies and expertise of SPS members correspond
to the future leadership requirements of the public service.
Immediate Priorities
Development of a website to establish an identity for the
SPS, provide information to the public and put in place a
secure and confidential communication channel with
members through which they can upload personal and
career details (March 2011);
Establish a database of skills, experience and
development needs at Deputy/Assistant Secretary level in
the civil service, which will feed into a development needs
analysis and development strategy; (April 2011).
Develop a protocol, for approval by Government, for the
operation of the SPS and the timescale for its extension to
the wider public service (April/May 2011)
Put in place first moves at Assistant Secretary level within
the civil service (May 2011 onwards)
Medium Term Priorities
Put in place a programme of training and networking
events, and a mentoring/coaching service;
Extend SPS to wider public service on a phased basis.

Economic Policy
Role of section
Supporting and advising the Taoiseach on economic policy.
This includes briefing on memoranda for Government,
briefs for meeting delegations, speeches and speaking
points, replies to parliamentary questions etc.
Ensuring a coherent approach across Departments and
Agencies to job creation, enterprise and competitiveness
This is mainly achieved through the Cabinet Committee on
Economic Renewal and Jobs, and associated Senior
Officials Group, which co-ordinate development and
implementation of relevant policies.
Co-ordinating response across Departments and Agencies
to unemployment and other labour market issues.
The Senior Officials Group on Labour Market Issues coordinates policy between relevant Departments and
Agencies, reporting to the Cabinet Committee on
Economic Renewal and Jobs.
Preparing and implementing Irelands National Reform
Programme (NRP) under the Europe 2020 initiative.
The NRP, which must be prepared in consultation with
domestic stakeholders, involves national targets in relation
to employment, education, R&D, climate change and
Ensuring a joined-up approach to Climate Change policy.

The Cabinet Committee and Senior Officials Group on

Climate Change and Energy Security oversee international
negotiations and domestic policy action.
Leading specific initiatives\projects which cut across
multiple departments\agencies.
Examples include follow-up to the Innovation Taskforce
and implementation of Innovation Fund Ireland, and
development of an international communications strategy
in response to reputational damage suffered by Ireland.
Liaison with CSO and monitoring of economic indicators
The Taoiseach has political responsibility for the CSO
(normally delegated to a Minister of State) while regular
briefing is prepared on latest economic indicators and
Immediate Priorities
Suggested priorities for incoming Taoiseach:

define and communicate economic strategy of new

Government, including approach to further negotiations
with IMF\EU and banking crisis

establish process (possibly via Cabinet Committee) to

ensure early and co-ordinated implementation of
enterprise, competitiveness and jobs priorities in new
Programme for Government

pending any renegotiation, ensure delivery of key

IMF\EU programme commitments (including 2011
expenditure savings)

put in place effective cross-departmental process for

fiscal adjustment required in 2012-2014 Budgets (via
comprehensive spending review)

finalise and submit Ireland's National Reform

Programme under Europe 2020 (due end-April 2011)

implement international communications strategy to

address reputational damage suffered by Ireland

development of action plan with measures to allow
Ireland meet 2020 climate change targets.

Social Policy
Overall Goal: To promote sustainable and inclusive
development of Irelands economy and society.
The Social Policy section provides briefing and policy
advice to the Taoiseach on social policy issues, for
example for proposals on the agenda for Government
meetings, in advance of meetings, correspondence, as
well as information notes as required. Through the whole
of government approach the Divisions seeks to add value
to social policy considerations and actions by promoting
coordination and cohesion across sectoral policies and
The Division supports the Cabinet Committees on Social
Inclusion, Children and Integration, which aims to bring a
coherent and integrated approach to social policy issues;
and the Cabinet Committee on Health, which oversees the
health service reform programme and drives
improvements in selected priority service delivery areas.
Through its role as chair of the Senior Officials Groups that
work to implement Committees priorities, the Division
ensures that cross departmental/agency view is brought to
tackling issues or exploring options to address complex
problems. Depending on the particular issues the role can
be to ensure coordination and cohesion across policies or
programmes or to broker agreement and find ways
forward. The Department does not have functional or
programme responsibilities in these areas and the
neutral approach frequently enables progress in
contested areas.
The whole of government approach is carried through in
the Divisions involvement in a range of groups and

structures such as those to address poverty and social

exclusion, drugs misuse, coordinating and developing
policies in relation to equality, Travellers, children and
older people. The Division has been instrumental in
developing and progressing the National Disability
Strategy and ensuring the continued collaboration and
engagement with disability stakeholders.
The Division works to ensure that the Cabinet Committee
on Health can operate effectively as a forum for regular
exchange between Government and top level HSE on
issues of major importance in the health services.
Need to ensure continued attention on at risk and
emerging vulnerable groups.
Finalising poverty targets for inclusion in the National
Reform Programme and coherence and linkages with the
education and employment targets.
Priority health service delivery areas: A&E, waiting
times, care in the community and the challenges identified
around eligibility and resource allocation.
Advancing implementation of the National Disability
Strategy over the next few years.
Developing specific strategies i.e., combined
substance misuse; positive ageing.
Northern Ireland & International Division
Context of the Divisions Operation
The elections in Northern Ireland in May will mark the
longest period of devolved government there since the
Good Friday Agreement. While this is one of a number of
historic achievements of the Peace Process it should be
borne in mind that the process nearly collapsed just over a
year ago requiring the direct engagement of the Taoiseach
and British PM, which led to agreement on the devolution
of policing and justice in the Spring of 2010.

The efforts of successive Irish governments working with

British governments, US administrations and the EU and
international community have transformed relations on
this island between nationalism and unionism, between
North and South and between Ireland and Britain.
Threats to the process remain. Sectarianism and dissident
activity continue to threaten the process. Securing peace
and stability in Northern Ireland must remain a priority for
the Irish Government and continue to be a priority agenda
item in our relations with Britain and the United States.
The role of the Taoiseach has been central to ensuring a
positive dynamic in North South and East West relations,
including the advancement of North/South related matters
in the formulation of national policies. The issues involved
are multi-faceted and cover all aspects of North South
relations and involve a range of contacts with interlocutors
in the public and private sectors and the community and
voluntary sector.
Key Role of Division
In its close working relationships with government
departments, particularly the Department of Foreign
Affairs, the Northern Ireland & International Division
operates specifically on behalf of the Taoiseach to:
- ensure primacy of his priorities as Head of Government,
- chair of the North South Ministerial Council and member
of the British Irish Council;
- relations with PM and President;
- provide a whole-of-government viewpoint
complementing the comprehensive
gathering and commentary provided by the Department of
Foreign Affairs;
- maintains direct contacts with key political and
community leaders in Northern Ireland;
- ensures that information is available to the Taoiseach in a
timely and relevant manner.
Central to achieving the priority objective of securing
peace and stability on this island is the continued

successful implementation of the Good Friday and St.

Andrews Agreements. The principal institution in this
regard is the North South Ministerial Council (NSMC)
established to facilitate consultation, co-operation and
action within the island of Ireland, including on an allisland and cross-border basis.
Other Activities
- Within the context of North/South and East/West
relations, the Division is involved in the development of a
programme to commemorate the period 1912 -1922;
- promotes bilateral engagement with Scotland in terms of
increased cooperation;
- examines the Departments files on Northern Ireland for
release to the national Archives; and
- supports the work of the Ireland Newfoundland
Partnership Advisory Council.
Medium to Long Term Objectives
The medium to long-term objectives of the Division are to
assist the Taoiseach in:
ensuring the comprehensive implementation of the
Good Friday and St. Andrews agreements, particularly
through NSMC plenary meetings and BIC summits;
advancing North/South relations and the
development of North/South cooperation, including as a
key component of mainstream national policy frameworks;
building on the historically good relations between
Ireland and Britain both in our joint approach to Northern
Ireland but also on the basis of a new strategic p