Job of political reform can’t be left to Oireachtas Members alone

As a member of the Oireachtas Joint Committee on the Constitution, the meeting that took place at Trinity College Dublin last Tuesday was an excellent debate and it was important that the committee should go there. I compliment the Department of Political Science, TCD and the students there on the enormous contribution they made for a most stimulating evening. There is a wider issue of political reform to be addressed here.

Others have referred to the Fianna Fáil parliamentary party meeting on Tuesday, which is where most of the debate seems to be going on about all the issues of concern to the public.

This should not be the case.

When we are talking about bonuses for senior civil servants, the reform of local government or all the other issues of concern to the public, the debate should be held in the Houses of the Oireachtas and not behind closed doors so that we do not have to tune into “Morning Ireland” to find out what was happening from some poor soul who was at the meeting.

It is a pity that it would appear from the reports of the parliamentary party meeting that many members of that body seek to maintain the status quo on political reform. In particular, The Irish Times said the Senators were saying they do not really want to see real reform. It is not a job just for Members of the Oireachtas to talk about reform of the Oireachtas or local government. We cannot leave reform of the Oireachtas to the Members of the Oireachtas.