How a mere eight TDs raised a glass to cafe bars
To sidestep rigid, vested interests, local authorities need to be able to sanction alternatives to pubs, writes Michael McDowell
ONE of the strangest things I saw in my ministerial days was the total disconnect between opinion in Leinster House and the views of the people of Ireland represented by the strange fate of my cafe bars proposal.
It was a classic example of the clash between rigid-thinking and vested interests on the one hand and a "why not", reformist mindset on the other.
The outcome says an awful lot about the "real Ireland" as distinguished from the "imagined, aspirational Ireland" that might have happened and indeed might still happen.