Friday 23 February 2018

So who is monitoring guardians of our rights?

The Irish Human Rights Commission has outlived its usefulness and drained the coffers, writes Eamon Delaney

LAST week, the Irish Human Rights Commission (IHRC) launched its annual report with its chief executive talking about the body's ongoing focus "on producing high-quality, credible and considered reports, observations and submissions". Also at the launch, the Greens Minister Mary White, who really should know better in this age of economic restraint, protested against any further cutbacks in this august but frankly esoteric body.

Of all the quangos set up during the wasteful years of the boom, the IHRC was surely one of the most extravagant and unnecessecary. Today it occupies an office in Jervis Street, Dublin, and at one stage employed up to 17 people, but does anyone know what it actually does? Certainly, economist Colm McCarthy is not convinced and has recommended the consolidation of the IHRC into the Equality Agency.

The remit of the Human Rights Commission is to look into 'human rights' aspects of Irish life and society, and make them accountable. But we already have an Equality Agency for this and a raft of existing legislation.

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