Similar for the need for child protection in the constitution, the location of the national Children's Hospital will potentially affect every family in the country irrespective of where they live.
An Taoiseach Enda Kenny has admitted to the power of unelected planners over Government decisions. He is fearful of a repeat of the Board Pleanala decision which threw out the Mater site, so he has appointed John Fitzgerald ex Dublin City Manager to advise on the final location. As City Manager he was the most senior planning official in the country.
So now the vital health concerns of every family in the country narrow down to one ex planner (however distinguished)
Or do they?
An Board Pleanala ( 7 or 8 quasi civil servants ) can make any decision it likes.
Once again the power we have vested in this bureaucratic planning monster to govern, Rules OK.
This is the reality -- it would not be tolerated in any other democracy.
The Board is a quasi judicial body ( with serious legal clout ) at the top of the planning process. Theoretically it is beyond any outside influence. Only one private, unelected body with a secret membership claims to have a "unique role in the planning process" ( Charles Stanley Smith, Chairman of An Taisce Annual Report 2010/11 )
Time to cut through all this undemocratic planning sleaze and finally let the people of Ireland decide what's best for our children.
The cost of a referendum ( maybe 2 million ) is a drop in the ocean compared to the 40 or 50 already spent on design and planning and to the projected final cost of this vital national project.
Publish all the reports, give people sufficient time to study them and hold a referendum.
What a score for real democracy in Ireland this would be.
Thomas Jefferson said it all with his rhetorical question "if the people aren't fit to rule themselves, who is?"
Founder Irish Citizens Party