As discussed here, this week the government have introduced the Criminal Law (Defence and the Dwelling) Bill 2010 which essentially aims to allow people to kill burglars on their premises.
This is just the latest in an increasingly long list of new provisions brought in by Dermot Ahern that have the effect of increasing the power of the State, or that have a 'get tough' intention behind them.
-Criminalising the 'direction' of a 'criminal gang', or engaging in certain activities as a member of a 'criminal gang', and making it easier to refuse bail.
-Increased provision for covert surveillance in criminal investigations
-The blanket ban on head shops
-The introduction of the blasphemy law.
Are there others that people can think of?
Given the paucity of political discourse in this country, there is rarely any coherent defence of libertarianism, and we have seen time and time again that anybody who dares to suggest that adults should be left alone to do what they want without the nanny state looking over their shoulder gets shouted down by the Liveline mob.
But after the comparative restraint of Brian Lenihan's period as Min for Justice, Ahern seems determined to create a reputation for himself as the hard man of Irish politics. What will be his next legislative crusade, and is there ever any hope that some opposition politicians might call for less, rather than ever more, interference in the lives of citizens?