THE Republic has failed “so dismally that we need to start again”, academic and author Peadar Kirby told the Claiming Our Future Citizens’ Forum on Local Government in Nenagh Art Centre last weekend.
Cloughjordan native Dr Kirby of UL, whose book, Towards the Second Republic – Politics After the Celtic Tiger, will be published later this year, said that while there was a need to reform the Dail and Seanad, he was not in favour of abolishing the Seanad, which could become a citizens’ forum.
He said that some of the key institutes of society, such as the HSE, had been given huge power over our lives.
Dr Kirby said that in any new republic income equality would be important, “because your voice is as important as Denis O’Brien’s or Dermot Desmond’s”.
He said that the gap that had developed between the rich and poor during the economic boom was a scandal.
“We had the highest growth rate in the world, yet we managed to combine that with the highest rate of poverty throughout the EU,” he told the audience. “Most of the resources we created went to a core elite.”
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