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Family day at the Dail

There is no excuse for a grown adult to contemplate going to Dail Eireann during family day, or worse still, going there.

To do so is to play the fool.

The Dail is firmly under the thumb of the Government, whereas our Constitution envisages that it should be the reverse. The principle purpose of a Constitution is to rein in the Executive.

Representative democracy and the separate of powers are designed for, inter alia, the same purpose.

To be offered a tour of the Dail building when the functions of the Dail have been fully drained away, in substance, is to be treated like a fool. To take it is to endorse the situation, to clothe a scandal with validity.

No effort is afoot to change this situation of loss of power and function by Dail Eireann.

Not only does the Dail have little real control over the Bills and Acts passing through and emerging from the legislative process, it has next to no control over secondary legislation (Statutory Instruments) implementing the Acts. As the Ombudsman noted;

A particular area of concern is the huge amount of secondary legislation arising directly at national level or as a result of European Union membership. Most of this legislation is not subject to any parliamentary scrutiny and can give rise to the so-called democratic deficit. The Ombudsman could perhaps be of service to the Oireachtas in drawing attention to the not infrequent instances where delegated legislation seems to go further than intended by the primary legislation. In this context, I have noted the recommendation of the Constitution Review Group that consideration should be given to an amendment to Article 15.2.1 of the Constitution so that the Oireachtas should have the power to authorise by law the delegation of power to either the Government or a Minister to legislate using the mechanism of a statutory instrument. I have suggested to the All Party Oireachtas Committee on the Constitution that the Ombudsman should be granted specific powers in cases where delegated legislation could have an adverse effect.”

What the Ombudsman was warning against is that law was being made in “not infrequent instancesâ€?, which had not emanated from the Dail at all.

That’s why no one should go to the Family days.