Irish society is suffering from serious failures on the executive side.
The Law Reform Commission, by contrast, is an Irish institution that is functioning well.
I have referred HERE to its proposal that Ireland implement a system for accommodating “class actions”.
An executive failure (whether in the executive proper or in the administration of the Courts) is all the less forgivable when a good workable proposal is advanced by the Commission and then ignored.
Undoubtedly the failure to have such a system caused considerable loss to the State in the “Army Deafness” cases.
The continuation of that failure is not, therefore, simply a hard-nosed conservative attitude of denial to personal injury claims (which it is), it is a fundamental failure of imagination, and ultimately, of management.
I do not intend to imply that class actions will arise solely in relation to personal injury claims. They will appear there; the pollution of the Galway drinking water supply is a case in point. With a system for making multi-party claims, the injured people of Galway would undoubtedly have made claims for those injuries. They could have done so individually; the fact that they appear not to have done so is some evidence that Ireland is not a litigious society.
Class actions will arise in consumer law cases. It would be wrong, to paraphrase Calvin Coolidge, to conclude that “the business of Ireland is business” and, as a non-sequitur, conclude that the interests of business are paramount over those of the Irish consumer.