Tuesday 24 October 2017

James Downey: Little has been learned from troika's visit, and there is still lots to do

European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso addresses a news conference during a European Union leaders summit in Brussels on Thursday. Photo: Reuters
European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso addresses a news conference during a European Union leaders summit in Brussels on Thursday. Photo: Reuters
James Downey

James Downey

Hardly had the troika proclaimed "mission accomplished" and left the country than the Government supplied us with an example of how little it had learned from the harsh experiences of the last three years.

I don't mean any of the extraordinary incidents of the last few weeks, like the Central Remedial Clinic (CRC) affair. I'll come to them in a moment. I mean this week's guillotining of the Water Services Bill, which prompted a mass walkout from the Dail chamber by opposition parties and Independents.

Cutting off debates is a practice so common and so long in operation that it usually passes with little or no protest. But it shouldn't. It is profoundly anti-democratic. It deprives the Dail of its fundamental right to scrutinise legislation.

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