Centralising impulse bad for country


Sir, – Pat Leahy (“Dublin inner city project punches above its weight”, Opinion & Analysis, December 26th) commends the operation of the North East Inner City Implementation Board and rightly praises the ability of the secretary general of the Department of the Taoiseach for “his ability to cut through the administrative inertia and the bureaucratic blockages”.

Why does The Irish Times not take that observation to its logical conclusion? Why do we have such “bureaucratic blockages ?” Why was the simplicity of the Community Employment scheme almost destroyed by the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection? Why is housing provision delayed by “bureaucratic blockages” and nonsensical procurement rules? Why are local government actions normal in other countries delayed and blocked by mandarins in the Custom House? Why do we have 63 different agencies and quangos all with a role in Dublin traffic?

The simple answer is that the desire to control, from the centre by the centre, is at the heart of most of Ireland’s problems.

Let 2021 be the year when the “administrative inertia and the bureaucratic blockages” are finally broken and the energy, drive, willingness, imagination, commitment, dedication of “Local Ireland”, from the youth, community and voluntary sector generally, to the deliberately enfeebled local government system specifically, are freed to do the things they can do far better than is presently allowed. That is how the lessons from the NEIB can be learned and implemented. – Yours, etc,



Dublin 4.