Opinion Analysis

Friday 24 November 2017

Yes vote will help us get to bottom of banking crash

The two referendums this week are of vital importance and should be passed, says Colm McCarthy

NOTHING will come, yet again, from today's Brussels summit, so it is best to focus on things that fall to be decided here in Ireland. There are two important referendums down for decision on Thursday, both likely to be carried according to opinion polls, and both arising from the economic and financial crisis.

The first concerns the restoration of powers of inquiry to committees of the Oireachtas. These powers have been in limbo as a result of court judgements in the Abbeylara case. A previous Oireachtas inquiry into the fatal shooting by gardai of John Carthy during a siege at Abbeylara, Co Longford, in April 2000, came unstuck when the courts ruled that such inquiries may not make findings or express opinions adverse to the good name or reputation of citizens.

As a result, the Oireachtas has been unable to conduct a proper inquiry into the banking collapse and into other matters, including failures in the Health Service Executive. Should this referendum be carried, powers which the Oireachtas had (prior to Abbeylara) been assumed to possess will be explicitly provided for in the Constitution.

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