The Wrong Referendum?

Interested in how we can make our parliament fit for purpose?  This public discussion on Dáil reform is open to anyone who thinks our Dáil can do more for democracy.

The debate in the run up to the Seanad referendum has not provided sufficient space for debate on wider reform of our parliamentary structures.  Regardless of the outcome of the Seanad referendum the Dáil is the key democratic organ of the state and needs reform.

The democracy group of Claiming our Future wants to promote debate on how Dáil reform can serve an Ireland based on our five core values of equality, environmental sustainability, accountability, participation and inclusion. These values were agreed by over 1,000 people at our event in October 2010. Claiming our Future aims to build support for these values and promote reforms which would make them real.

Venue: Wood Quay Venue, Dublin City Council. Access to the Wood Quay venue is at the junction of Fishamble and Essex Streets OR from Winetavern Street.


Chair: Anna Visser, Claiming our Future

Speakers: Can do better: Dáil reform for the next 100 years
Muiris MacCarthaigh, Queens University Belfast
Shane Martin, University of Leicester

Discussion: What should be the purpose of the Dáil?, Does the Dáil have sufficient power?, How would you change the Dáil to realise the five values?

Dr Muiris MacCarthaigh is Lecturer in Irish Politics at Queen’s University, Belfast.  He has long-standing academic research and teaching interests in the origins, work and reform of the Irish parliament and is author of Accountability in Irish Parliamentary Politics (2005) and co-editor of The Houses of the Oireachtas: Parliament in Ireland (2010).  He has also conducted a number of commissioned research projects for the Houses of the Oireachtas. He is a member of a number of international academic networks concerned with the study of parliaments.

Dr Shane Martin is Reader in Comparative Politics at the University of Leicester. Prior to joining Leicester, he taught at Dublin City University, the University of California, San Diego and the Pennsylvania State University and held a Government of Ireland Postdoctoral Research Fellowship at Trinity College Dublin. He is an international recognised expert on parliaments and parliamentary behaviour, with a specific focus on the relationship between electoral systems and parliamentary organisation and behaviour. Recent research by him has appeared in Legislative Studies Quarterly, Party Politics, The Journal of Legislative Studies, Political Studies, West European Politics, Irish Political Studies, PS: Political Science and Politics, and Politics and Religion. He is co-editor of the Oxford Handbook of Legislative Studies and a member of the Editorial Board of Irish Political Studies (2011-) and Legislative Studies Quarterly (2012-15). He was Director of the European Summer School on Parliaments in 2010 and 2013.

Anna Visser convenes the Democracy Group of Claiming our Future, if you are interested in finding out more about the work of the Democracy Group contact