Special powers and oversight


Sir, – I am somewhat surprised that the call first made by Liam Herrick of the Irish Council of Civil Liberties and later supported by the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission for some form of parliamentary oversight of the very wide new emergency powers has not been acted upon.

There is no evidence that I am aware of that these powers have been abused or of any intention to do so but past experience tells us that the passage of time can change this and even if it is a cliché that the price of liberty is eternal vigilance, it is still true.

The proposal made of an ad hoc all-party committee makes sense to me and could be effected quickly and without cost. But this is not a matter for an already overburdened Government but for the Oireachtas itself. Nobody is stopping the members of that body from taking this simple initiative. – Yours, etc,


Dublin 4.