James Downey: Want a true democracy? Give the Dail real power
BACK in the dim, distant days before political correctness and fancy titles, the minister for local government decided the boundaries of Dail constituencies. It was an extraordinary power to place in the hands of one person and certain to be abused.
The relevant minister did have to work within certain limits, extraordinary enough in themselves.
For reasons which have always escaped me, Eamon de Valera's Constitution laid down, and still lays down, that a deputy must represent a population between 20,000 and 30,000. The main effect of this provision has been to give us too many deputies.