Sunday, August 23, 2015

Michael Collins Revisionism

Frances Fitzgerald, Minister for Justice,
Equality and Law Reform.
Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald today addressed the annual Beal na mBláth commemoration in West Cork, a celebration of the life of Michael Collins, at the place where he was killed during the Civil War. Instead of honouring the man, or making a statement of vision, or progress, Minister Fitzgerald chose instead a thinly veiled attack on Sinn Féin and the parties of protest, in anticipation of the coming general election. It was grubby, disrespectful and low, reminiscent of the excesses of her predecessors Shatter and McDowell. What is it about the portfolio that makes its ministers so dislikeable?

Thursday, August 13, 2015

The Tort of False Imprisonment

Tánaiste Joan Burton changes cars before being evacuated
from the protests in Dublin.
Several activists are reportedly about to be charged with false imprisonment for the protest in which Tánaiste Joan Burton was trapped in her car for over two hours, including TD Paul Murphy. Mr Murphy's objections are substantially that there was an element of 'political policing' in the process - particularly in the arrests, and 'dawn raids' on the activists who had been involved. He claims that charges would have not be brought were it not for a sense that they had offended the establishment, and in the exercise of discretion, it had been decided that the application of the law would come down firmly on the accused.

Saturday, August 08, 2015

Tools for a New Ireland

The challenges Ireland faces in the modern world are new and daunting. Technology and the Internet have created conditions within which Ireland is competing with Singapore, threatened by ISIS, and selling to China.  Multi-national corporations that are based on technology and the Internet are both threats and opportunities, yet they operate at a level that is completely alien to the state administration functions that we operate today.

This is not to say that the current administrative functions are remaining idle. There are pockets of capability, projects underway, and champions of innovation across the public sector that are all attempting to bridge the gap between legacy service delivery, and the changing environment within which we operate. What we need to do is to recognise and harness those islands of capability, amplify them, and extend them across the public service.