What's the protcol for President or Taoiseach attending funerals?

Baron von Biffo

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I'm not sure whether or not you are being deliberately obtuse here. As I thought I'd made clear, there must be a government. That means that all of the authorities associated with that must remain in place. There is no two ways about that. If a crisis struck, the country would not be served well by doubts surrounding the competency of a minister or a Taoiseach to take action. But the powers *are* constrained to an extent. In effect, the government cannot present bills or put in place legislation which requires the consent of Dáil Éireann.

I'm speaking of practice and convention. The powers of the government are constrained.

Bunreacht and any sensible constitution would always reserve the rights of a sitting government until a replacement is in place. It ensures contingency and continuity. It must be like that. However, it adapts a passive role in effect and it knows that its legislative days are behind it.
I'm being precise, not obtuse.

When I said that the Taoiseach and ministers retain all their powers until they're replaced you disagreed.

The grounds for your disagreement appear to arise from a confusion on your part about the differences between the Executive and the Legislature.

Ministers continue to hold the full power and authority of their office and can legally and constitutionally exercise all of those powers. I've given examples of that happening.

That's to do with the Executive.

Legislating can only be done via the Dail. No Dail, no legislation.

In the period between the dissolution and the first sitting of the new Dail there can be no bills presented because there's no Dail to present them to. It's a nonsense to describe that as a constraint on ministerial power.

Once the new Dail meets, outgoing ministers can present bills if they wish. Obviously in the normal course of events those bills would fall but in extremis it could pass.

Say for example we had an outbreak of corona virus and some quarantine legislation was required to curb the spread. In that circumstance it's easy to picture the Dail agreeing to pass legislation sponsored by the outgoing Minister for Health.
 


Baron von Biffo

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No. Stunningly wrong.

He could lose his seat and still be Taoiseach. When he resigns, he is still Taoiseach and the ministers are still ministers till new ones are voted on. He and ministers are still answerable to the new dail.

Convention dictates that he will consult party leaders before he does anything. And should do little.
Or as happened with Cowen in 2011, even if the outgoing Taoiseach doesn't seek re-election he remains Taoiseach until he's replaced.
 

raetsel

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They will have met her through the course of their work. That they attended is probably a reflection of the regard in which they held Ms Shanley. There are no votes in this, unlike the politicians popping in and out of funerals up and down the country.
It's not that odd I'd have thought. Politicians get to know prominent media figures pretty well, and develop friendships, in many cases.

Much more unusual in fact was the funeral of Lyra McKee, who, before her murder by a dissident republican in Derry was a largely unknown, though apparently promising young journalist, who wrote mainly for online media. Attendees at her funeral included MD Higgins, Theresa May, Leo Varadkar, Jeremy Corbyn, SoS Karen Bradley, Arlene Foster, ML McDonald and Michelle O'Neill. It's a reasonable bet that none of them had ever heard of her before her murder.
I think I know the explanation but would like to see what others think first.
 

Baron von Biffo

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Are ministers who were not re-elected as TDs allowed to speak in the Dail. If so, are
We've had ministers who were senators rather than TDs and they were allowed to speak in the Dail but not to vote. Presumably the same would apply to ministers who lost their seats if it became necessary.

Interestingly, Bunreacht says -

the members of each house of the oireachtas shall, except in case of treason as defined in this constitution, felony or breach of the peace, be privileged from arrest in going to and returning from, and while within the precincts of, either house, and shall not, in respect of any utterance in either house, be amenable to any court or any authority other than the house itself.

Does this mean that Ministers who are no longer TDs are not covered by the full protection of privilege?
I'm not a lawyer so I'm rimming it here but there is a principle of legal interpretation known as expressio unius est exclusio alterius. It means that when one or more things is explicitly mentioned, other things are excluded.

As members of each House of the Oireachtas are explicitly mentioned it seems reasonable that non members, even ministers, are excluded from the protections of those privileges.
 

ShoutingIsLeadership

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We've had ministers who were senators rather than TDs and they were allowed to speak in the Dail but not to vote. Presumably the same would apply to ministers who lost their seats if it became necessary.



I'm not a lawyer so I'm rimming it here but there is a principle of legal interpretation known as expressio unius est exclusio alterius. It means that when one or more things is explicitly mentioned, other things are excluded.

As members of each House of the Oireachtas are explicitly mentioned it seems reasonable that non members, even ministers, are excluded from the protections of those privileges.
well done on responding to a poorly edited post!

I am inclined to agree with you. I'd love to see it tested!
 

Expose the lot of them

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They will have met her through the course of their work. That they attended is probably a reflection of the regard in which they held Ms Shanley. There are no votes in this, unlike the politicians popping in and out of funerals up and down the country.
I was at a funeral a year or so ago which was attended the President, and his wife, both were personal friends of the deceased and his family.

Both had attended the funerals of other members of the same family long before he was president.
 

Gin Soaked

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It's not that odd I'd have thought. Politicians get to know prominent media figures pretty well, and develop friendships, in many cases.

Much more unusual in fact was the funeral of Lyra McKee, who, before her murder by a dissident republican in Derry was a largely unknown, though apparently promising young journalist, who wrote mainly for online media. Attendees at her funeral included MD Higgins, Theresa May, Leo Varadkar, Jeremy Corbyn, SoS Karen Bradley, Arlene Foster, ML McDonald and Michelle O'Neill. It's a reasonable bet that none of them had ever heard of her before her murder.
I think I know the explanation but would like to see what others think first.
They were sending a message that her death was utterly unacceptable and that no one wants that thuggery dragging us back to the past. It was a show of unity across both the UK and Ireland .

Don't over think it. Disso's are scum. We have a peace process. We have all signed up to democracy.
 

Gin Soaked

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Or , in his last act, he directs the actual opening (as distinct to mere refurbishment) of Stepaside Garda station, then gets pulled for drinking, refuses to give a sample, and is the first resident in the holding cell there.
 

CatullusV

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I'm being precise, not obtuse.

When I said that the Taoiseach and ministers retain all their powers until they're replaced you disagreed.

The grounds for your disagreement appear to arise from a confusion on your part about the differences between the Executive and the Legislature.

Ministers continue to hold the full power and authority of their office and can legally and constitutionally exercise all of those powers. I've given examples of that happening.

That's to do with the Executive.

Legislating can only be done via the Dail. No Dail, no legislation.

In the period between the dissolution and the first sitting of the new Dail there can be no bills presented because there's no Dail to present them to. It's a nonsense to describe that as a constraint on ministerial power.

Once the new Dail meets, outgoing ministers can present bills if they wish. Obviously in the normal course of events those bills would fall but in extremis it could pass.

Say for example we had an outbreak of corona virus and some quarantine legislation was required to curb the spread. In that circumstance it's easy to picture the Dail agreeing to pass legislation sponsored by the outgoing Minister for Health.
You know as well as I do the difference between presenting a bill and proposing one. The government has no power any longer to present bills without the express agreement of other party leaders. Whatever way you cut it, that is a curtailment on the powers they previously enjoyed. You are speaking from Bunreacht, which is of course an unimpeachable source, but the relevancy of those articles really only pertains to the theoretical - and rightly so. There needs to be someone in charge at all times.

But in real life - which is also a good source - nobody can argue against the fact that in effect the government is minding the country rather than running it. Their role has been constrained.

Loss of power is a norm which exists outside constitutional parameters. Look at the various times when US presidents became "lame duck" presidents. They lost none of their constitutional rights, yet lost their power to assert them in any meaningful way other than in administrative affairs. A couple of presidents of France - Hollande being the most recent - lost powers while in office too.

Constitutional guarantees such as you cited - and I agree entirely with your interpretation of them - are there to defend the country. They are not there to defend the office or, at least, the incumbent. Circumstances which effectively constrain the holder's behaviour are without the reach of Bunreacht.

Every Taoiseach has accepted that fact.
 

Baron von Biffo

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You know as well as I do the difference between presenting a bill and proposing one. The government has no power any longer to present bills without the express agreement of other party leaders. Whatever way you cut it, that is a curtailment on the powers they previously enjoyed. You are speaking from Bunreacht, which is of course an unimpeachable source, but the relevancy of those articles really only pertains to the theoretical - and rightly so. There needs to be someone in charge at all times.

But in real life - which is also a good source - nobody can argue against the fact that in effect the government is minding the country rather than running it. Their role has been constrained.

Loss of power is a norm which exists outside constitutional parameters. Look at the various times when US presidents became "lame duck" presidents. They lost none of their constitutional rights, yet lost their power to assert them in any meaningful way other than in administrative affairs. A couple of presidents of France - Hollande being the most recent - lost powers while in office too.

Constitutional guarantees such as you cited - and I agree entirely with your interpretation of them - are there to defend the country. They are not there to defend the office or, at least, the incumbent. Circumstances which effectively constrain the holder's behaviour are without the reach of Bunreacht.

Every Taoiseach has accepted that fact.
Fair enough.
 

Catahualpa

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RTE referred to Varadkar at the funeral as the Taoiseach.

Varadkar is no longer Taoiseach since he advised the President of the disbandment of the Dáil.

Am I correct?
No - he remains Taoiseach until his successor is appointed by the other TDs in the House.
 

Uganda

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RTE referred to Varadkar at the funeral as the Taoiseach.

Varadkar is no longer Taoiseach since he advised the President of the disbandment of the Dáil.

Am I correct?
no.

the Taoiseach remains in office until his successor gets seal of office from the president.
 

raetsel

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They were sending a message that her death was utterly unacceptable and that no one wants that thuggery dragging us back to the past. It was a show of unity across both the UK and Ireland .

Don't over think it. Disso's are scum. We have a peace process. We have all signed up to democracy.
Perhaps you are under-thinking it. :)
There have been around 100 murders in NI believed to have been conflict-related since the turn of the century. None ever attracted that level of attendance from political figures including a number of murdered individuals serving the community in the security services.
 

Gin Soaked

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Perhaps you are under-thinking it. :)
There have been around 100 murders in NI believed to have been conflict-related since the turn of the century. None ever attracted that level of attendance from political figures including a number of murdered individuals serving the community in the security services.
How many journalists?

Lyra's murder was different. And it happened at a time when SF and the DUP were showing no leadership. Nor were the UK. It jogged people into a reaction.

Arlene ended up attending a Catholic funeral and her and MLM ended up being read from the pulpit for creating the vacuum into which this arose.
 

Half Nelson

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No.

The Taoiseach and ministers remain in office until they're replaced.

If, as seems likely, Varadkar loses the vote on his nomination as Taoiseach on the first day of the new Dail he will have to resign. That resignation doesn't come into effect until he's replaced and until that happens he retains all the powers and prerogatives of the office.
So, the same shower are still responsible for the mess they claim to want to fix.
 

The OD

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I'm not one to pass up a bit of criticism of either Varadkar or Higgins but its quite possible she had had a lot of amicable (or not) dealings with the both of them over the years and built up a relationship so I'd think it is appropriate for them to attend.

Love em or hate em, RTE is still the national broadcaster so I see no issue here?

And RIP to Miss Shanley and condolences to her family, tragic to see someone so young passing.
 

CatullusV

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That was an enjoyable and well mannered exchange.
Mannerly exchanges should be the norm. Incidentally, I must take the blame as I used imprecise and ambiguous language. I wasn't sufficiently explicit, and Biffo reached for his copy of Bunreacht. A well-thumbed copy too.

He gave me chapter and verse without need to varnish it.

I explained that I was not speaking strictly of the terms in Bunreacht. He graciously accepted that.

We were both right, but he was probably more right than I was in the sense that I introduced an unnecessary impression to the topic - and it was that to which he responded .
 

raetsel

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How many journalists?

Lyra's murder was different.
You should have stopped there.
Journalists always talk up the importance of other journalists, especially when one of their number dies. Ms. McKee was by some accounts talented but was still young & her career hadn't taken her that far at the time of her death, which makes the reaction to it all the stranger. Had she been an ambulance worker, say, I doubt if you'd have seen that level of media and political attention.
I cannot think of the last time a British PM attended a funeral here. Thatcher came over after Enniskillen in 1987, but I don't think she attended any funerals even then.
 
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