Friday’s Irish Times reports that construction of a new state-of-the-art Dail chamber is to be considered as part of a major review of the Leinster House complex. This is because the chamber will not be able to accommodate an increased number of TDs, anticipated in the coming decades as the population grows.
This same Dail chamber is largely empty for the vast majority of Dail sessions, on those few days each year that the Dail is actually in session. Anyone who regularly follows the TV coverage will be aware that most debates are attended by only a handful of TDs. On those rare occasions when the chamber might be filled e.g. election of a Taoiseach, budget day etc., the new arrivals can sit on the steps or stand. The idea of wasting more public money on further cosseting our overpaid politicians is abhorrent nonsense.
The IT also reports that a decision is imminent on the construction of a two-storey underground car-park in Leinster House. This will allow the restoration of Leinster Lawn which has been used as a car-park by TDs for many years, an act of public vandalism which confirms the shameful belief in the political classes that normal rules do not apply to the lawmakers.
Politicians were outraged when Noel O’Gara sought to convert Dartmouth Square, his own property, into a public car-park. He can fairly claim that it’s a case of the kettle calling the pot black.
Politicians are supposed to lead by example. Is it any wonder that we’re becoming a “mé féin” society?
Footnote:Published as a letter in the Irish Times, the Irish Independent and the Irish Examiner.
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