, at OireachtasCommittees or even in the courts, of absolutely crucial importance is how these different strands are mediated by the press and on the airwaves. These opinion-shapers exist in a hierarchy, with radio and television probably exerting greater influence on public opinion than print media. Throughout the M3 campaign there was a palpable sense that, dealing in the currency of sound-bites, many national broadcasters were paralysed when faced with the apparent complexity of archaeological and historical arguments against the route of the motorway. Even more
requests. In 1999, the FOI Civil Service Users’ Network submitted a report to the Joint OireachtasCommittee on Finance and the Public
Service reviewing some 7,000 FOI requests made to central government, and
more than 3,000 FOI requests to regional health boards and local authorities
(Zimmerman, 2008: 27). The network made twenty-four recommendations,
including: proposals to charge full costs of information provision to business
requesters; refuse multiple requests in order to prevent ‘abuses’ of the Act; and
review a number of issues in relation to third
when he appeared before an Oireachtascommittee examining the controversy
surrounding the issue of gardaí removing penalty points from speeding motorists, an issue that cost the Irish taxpayer millions of euro (O’Toole, 2014). The
matter came to prominence after two garda whistle-blowers released information to members of the Oireachtas. The controversy centred on whether cancelling penalty points for speeding motorists was done for legitimate reasons or
Freedom of information and policing
not. However, the main issue for then Garda Commissioner
In that way the small organisations operated as a catalyst, even before they got
into social partnership, for new policy departures. This led to the formation of
the Joint OireachtasCommittee on Employment and the National Economic
and Social Forum in 1992-93. These operated as stepping stones to involvement in social partnership in 1996.
Another front was opened by the CWC in becoming knowledge holders in
the area of Structural Funds for local development and social inclusion. This
intervention had a more direct influence on the official level of the
amplification of neoliberal ideology, during the 1980s which resulted
in a rollback in state intervention in different contexts, revealing how shifts in
global capitalism impacted on decision-making and policy formation within a
specific nation state.
Limitations placed on the INPC had lasting consequences and a Joint
OireachtasCommittee review found that a legacy of restrictions on the INPC’s
activities was its ‘underdevelopment … [which] meant Irish expertise in the
petroleum industry was never sufficiently developed’ (JCCNRA, 2012a, p. 33).
Occurrences at micro and meso
members nor the secretariat of
the committee had the legal or technical expertise to examine many of the
complex issues involved in EC law and policies; the many time pressures
on Irish politicians do not allow them to develop the kind of expertise
required for a thorough examination of EU policies.
In response to these difficulties the FF–LAB government established a
new Joint OireachtasCommittee on Foreign Affairs in the spring of 1993.
This subsumed the work of the previous Committee on Secondary
Legislation, and also covered a much broader agenda encompassing the
this Space, p. 1.
92 CRC presentation to the Joint OireachtasCommittee on Implementation of the Good
Friday Agreement, Dublin, 9 Oct 2014. Available at www.community-relations.
org.uk/2014/10/delivery-reconciliation-northern-ireland/ (accessed 31 August
93 T. Farrell and O. Schmitt, The Causes, Character and Conduct of Armed Conflict,
and the Effects on Civilian Populations 1990–2010 (Geneva: UNHCR, Division of
International Protection, July 2014), p. 31.
deliberations of the various EU-related
Oireachtascommittees which existed at different times since Ireland’s accession
in 1973 (see chapter 4). The EU’s championing of the regional dimension has
contributed to the greater aspirational attention to regional development in
government strategies published since the 1990s such as the NDP 2000–06,
NDP 2007–13, the National Spatial Strategy and the Regional Planning
guidelines. Thus, the rhetoric of regional recognition has become ingrained
but significant lacunae remain with regard to implementation.
Since the creation of the
Actors, institutional adaptation and implementation
on Article 10 (duty of cooperation) (repealed and replaced in substance by Article 4 as amended by the Treaty of Lisbon).
The 2006 guidelines for transposition advocate that preparation for the drafting of legislation commence at least as soon as the directive is published in the Official Journal of the EU. It prescribes early consultation with the Attorney General's Office and that views expressed by OireachtasCommittees in the scrutiny of the draft directive and/or consultation processes during the RIA are taken into consideration
sometimes assumed. The nature of the Irish electoral system, however, promotes the mobilisation of partisan veto players and can even pit members of a political party against each other. Arguably, the socialisation of locally elected councillors in EU matters is also less developed than ministers who run a department or TDs who participate in Oireachtascommittees. Additionally, given the dominant features of localism and brokerage in the political system, they are less likely to accept the premise of the superior order of EU law within their own constituencies. Stalemate