Trinity College Dublin (Jnr Sophister) Essay 14/12/2002 by Michelle Clarke. Title: Should Reform of the Constitution be more Fundamental than the Constitution Review Group suggested…..?



Bertrand Russell (Russell, 1928, pp 21) via these Skeptical Essays saw his prime role – to challenge, to question and to debate.  The opening quote:

‘Into every tidy scheme for arranging the pattern of human life, it is necessary to inject a certain dose of anarchism – enough to prevent immobility leading to decay, but not enough to bring about disruption’

I view this as a sensible approach.  A Constitution is an indication of nationhood.  It is about saying we are the Republic of Ireland, a distinct entity, member and contributor to the EU and other world organizations. For this reason, I will focus on the evolution of political culture that produced the 1937 Constitution. I will review the structure and the Rights of citizens.  I have taken account of the Irish position of neutrality at the time of the 2nd World War and yet being competent to recognize the advantages of membership of the EU.  I have looked at methods of changing articles in the Constitution as it stands, the power of the Judiciary through interpretation, the power of the President, the power of judicial review.  The Separation of Powers and its significance will be reviewed.  I want to review the concept of Denial and the present manifestation of scandals and the correlation, if any.  I will mainly refer to De Valera, T.K. Whitaker, Sean Lemass and profile them.  Then I will refer to the impact of the Church which in the 1930’s was synonymous with Archbishop McQuaid.  Also, I give my views about the Preamble to the Constitution.

Constitutional Review Group May 1996:

‘On 28th March 1995, the Government of Ireland appointed Dr. Thomas Kenneth Whitaker to be Chairman of the Review Group and established a selection committee consisting of representatives of the Taoiseach, the Tanaiste and Minister for Social Welfare…’ (Constitutional Review, 1995).  It is important to note that the Constitutional Review Group’s commission was to review the 1937 Constitution, not to replace it or to rewrite it.  The Review Group thought it more appropriate that the Constitution avoid moral prescriptions.  This would be consistent with the move towards a secular society incorporating the legal implications and conscience.


‘Constitutions play an important part in determining the nature of politics in liberal democracies.  They lay down the ground rules about how political power is attained and how it can be exercised, about what Governments can do and what they cannot.  They also set out the rights of citizens and, in addition, often specify certain values, held to be central to the country’s political culture, and deem it the duty of state to promote or defend them’ (Gallagher, 1999 pp 71).  Bunreacht na hEireann (The Constitution of Ireland) ‘did when it was enacted in 1937, and to a great extent still does, reflect the values of the great majority of the people in the State’ (Chubb, B, 1971 pp 38).

Evolving Constitution:

The origins of the UK Constitution and the Irish Constitution realistically are a shared origin.  The State is made up of individuals who are not necessarily kept together by family ties or mutual interests. Laws must be absolute and their authority is unquestionable.  Law can be seen as a command of a Sovereign (any person, body of people who within the state has the power to exact obedience from all others.  The Rule of Law is a whole process of tradition of government according to the ordinary law of the land.

 Organs of Government – Separation of Powers:

Sources of authoritative and historical laws would include Anglo Saxon customs v. Norman feudal system (land law).  The essential power of Government is to make laws – to put them into effect and then enforce them.  In a democratic state, each of these powers should be in the hands of a separate organ within the state. The British Govt. does not adhere to a strict Separation of Powers.  Power should be exercised by different organs of Government.  The same official should not be connected to more than one organ and an organ is not allowed to interfere or carry out the work of others.  Sovereignty is about power to do things

Constitution codifies a Political Culture:

Hence: the assumption that a Constitution evolves (Dail Eireann 1919; Constitution of the Irish Free State 1922 and Bunreacht na hEireann 1937).

‘The general desire of the people was for peace and the support for it had come from the Church, the new regime had a further vital asset in the quality of the Civil Service.  The Free State was able to take over intact the British administration in Ireland, and from the start its civil service was modeled on British lines’ (Whitaker T.K., 1983).  Very few civil servants left at the time of change-over.

Dimension of the Irish Constitution that takes account of a newly formed Nation.  Bunreacht na hEireann – the 1937 Constitution was an adaptation of two earlier Constitutions – the Constitution of Dail Eireann 1919.  1919 was the outcome of those engaged in active struggle for independence and the Constitution of the Irish Free State in (Chubb, 1972).

Identity Formation:

‘On August 10th 1927 De Valera and the Fianna Fail deputies took their seats in the Free State Dail.  Speaking in Irish, De Valera declared to the clerk of the chamber: ‘I am not prepared to take an oath.  I am prepared to put my name down in this book in order to getpermission to go into the Dail, but it has no other significance.’ (Coogan, 1966).  This identity formation was in line with the Sinn Fein Philosophy that brought about the 1916 Rising. De Valera, similar to Parnell is described as a conservative constitutionalist, who was the leader of a Revolutionary movement. ‘The Cumann na nGaedheal governments of the first decade had carried through a programme of legislation reflecting an austere Catholic outlook.  The 1937 Constitution confirmed the acceptance of Catholic principles as guidelines for the country’s political life and institutions and for its social policies’ (Chubb, 1971 pp45)

Cumann na nGaedheal in power 1922-32:

‘The continuing high level of emigration gave rise to a high dependency ratio.  Industrialisation was clearly desirable but unlikely to develop quickly in such an agriculturally oriented state with little manufacturing tradition and not many skilled workers. Private enterprise would be slow to set up industry in the state without special incentives because of the small market size, the falling population, the assumed absence of mineral resources and deficiencies of infrastructure…..It was also the inheritor and sponsor of a Sinn Fein Philosophy which might have been expected to result in an active policy of protection of infant industries…….also there was the civil war impact (Whitaker, 1960)

The New Constitution 1937 – Evolutionary Leap Forward:

De Valera and others looked to the 1937 Constitution which they deemed Unionist in tone.  He succeeded in abolishing the Senate and avoiding a referendum.  Apart from an interlude in Government, De Valera had almost 20 years to consolidate his plan and make the necessary linkages to construct a state, with an objective of Unity.  An educated man, a strategy person by virtue of his position in the 1916 Rising and that sense of mission ensured a planned strategy for Ireland’s new positioning.  This involved a linking up with the Roman Catholic Church and Archbishop McQuaid.

Positioning for Identity – Economic War – Land Annuities:

It started in July 1932 with the defaulting on the annuities due on July 1st.  The British retaliated by passing a law allowing them to recoup via taxation on imports from Ireland.  The Irish initiated similar legislation.  The land annuity problem related to the land question that resulted from the Land Acts of 1891 to 1909.  Landowners were bought out by State – government loans were used – the former property was distributed amongst the ‘peasantry’ and landowners were given Government Stock.  The rent paid to the landowners was known as a land annuity.  This was much criticized for the hardships in Ireland but perhaps with hindsight, the advantages can be seen.  The property technically in an inter-war Europe would have been nominal in value, it would have continued to lose value and most probably like an ordinary house loan today, the asset value was paid back – the default is about interest.

The Land Commission divided the land.  Many people today who have made it through to professions, tax-paid employment and involved in the successful consumer led economy continue to make a significant contribution, came from these Land Commission farms of 40 acres, moving from the West of Ireland to the East.  The Government  position is clear; it was a risk.  It merited much criticism but in hindsight maybe it endorsed the formation of an independent Nation.  1929 was the time of the Stock Market Crash and the 1930’s was about Depression and unemployment.  The Second World War caused scarcities and postponed any widening of the Irish Industrial base.  Tariffs were largely suspended during the war, industrial output fell and net output in agriculture rose.  Smuggling between Ireland and the UK produced a significant revenue.  In the context of the 2nd  World War, the decision to cease annuities in retrospect would indicate a shrewd economic and consolidation move.  On a social basis, Ireland was a major beneficiary at this time from alliances with those who emigrated and continued to remit funds to Ireland and provide strong linkages for further emigration.  Presently, what is being marketed is Irish culture.

Further endorsement of the new Nation can be identified in the variations that applied to the Irish constitution.  The non British aspects include the aim to diffuse power as distinct from the centralized approach in Britain.  Other specific devices include the electoral system PR-STV, referenda i.e. more power to the people re. government. and parliament.  Judicial review – laws can be struck down.

Alliances and Consolitation of a new Nation

John Charles McQuaid – Archbishop of Dublin – Roman Catholic Church

The 1930’s appeared to have been a critical time for forming the political outlook in Dr. McQuaid.  He was also for a time a follower of the journal An Rioghactíoghacht edited by Fr. Cahill SJ.  This believed that Catholicism should play a much greater part in ordering the state in recognition of the Kingship of Christ.

 John McQuaid was ‘shy rather than aloof’ and a quite meticulous scholar rather than a brilliantly original one, a recorder and compiler rather than an innovatory thinker.  De Valera and McQuaid were closely aligned and close friends. They had connections through Blackrock College.  Archbishop McQuaid acted as adviser on a number of areas regarding the Constitution, particularly the election and composition of the Senate (Feeney, 1974).  Enmeshed in Arcbishop McQuaid’s approach is the concept of the Church in terms of the existential philosophers, communism and atomic nihilism.  This we appear to have realistically become numbed to in the present world situation apart from the main actors (and we don’t know how reliable their reactions are).  Media filtering and psychology lets us intake daily but put into the delete box.

‘The Cumann na nGaedheal governments of the first decade had carried through a programme of legislation reflecting an austere Catholic outlook.  The 1937 Constitution confirmed the acceptance of Catholic principles as guidelines for the country’s political life and institutions and for its social policies’ (Chubb, 1991 pp 70).

Later, de Valera introduced a new Constitution ‘deemed a most enduring achievement that owed much to the social code: a compendium of Catholic Social Principles compiled by the Malines International Union of Social Studies set up by Cardinal Mercier in 1922.

WHY A CONSTITUTION?  Has the time arrived to make the next Quantum Leap?

Personally, I don’t think so.  More tribunals are required to deal with what determined journalists are revealing.  Ministers reputations are sullied and the problem is it seems to be by discoveries that indicate they have no morality, no ethics.   From C. J. Haughey, to John Redmond in planning – the country was awash with lucrative land deals and guaranteed commercial planning permissions.  The ability to arrest, charge and gain significant deterrent sentences for those who basically defrauded the state or to assign them to community service to see if they can develop a social conscience just does not exist yet.  They may have something to offer even money – experience and hope to people who need what it is ‘they may have to offer’ i.e. under supervision.

The Constitution defines and limits the power of public authorities.  It imposes legal controls on government powers.  It is about parameters similar to a ‘swiss cheese’ contract in the Banking world, the holes in the swiss cheese match the silences in the Constitution i.e. we are talking about leverage.  The effective tool is in the interpretation by the Judiciary.  Most rights in the Constitution are qualified rather than absolute.  The identity forged becomes part of the World Order.  Our decision to enter United Nations, the European Union, remain outside the parameters of the Constitution.  Ireland has been constant to Neutrality and in a way, similar to the Judiciary, it leaves matters open for interpretation.  We saw this when the Nation by referendum voted against the Nice Treaty.  I have given a comprehensive outline of the Common Law concept of a Constitution, the history and short period of time available to a nation who gained power through revolution and succeeded to establish its own identity.  Ireland stands now as a member in the EU, as a distinct identity – the Republic of Ireland.  In the 1950’s the first applications were made and by 1973 Ireland joined the EU.  Sean Lemass responded  to the growth and benefits of the European Union .  Sean  Lemass – Irish Taoiseach  said.

‘My government fully share the ideas which inspired the parties to the Treaty and accept the aims of the community as set out therein, as well as the action proposed to achieve those aims’.  (EU Publication) 2002

This period of Government involved changes in economic approach for which DK Whitaker and Seam Lemass receive acclaim.  It was the introduction of Ireland to the market economy and move away from its nurtured Republican, agrarian base and involvement with the European markets and world markets.  In 1979 – the link with sterling was broken.  Ireland’s  currency was independently floated between 1979 and 2002 when we joined changed over to Euro.  American links in business had become well intertwined.  1reland took full part in the process of European integration (1972, 1992 and 1998).  The emigration factor merits mention here.  As the Irish became more entrenched and moved up the ‘ladder’, their connections business wise as well as tourism played a significant part in Ireland’s development.

The Tiger or the Tortoise – Do we really know?

Capitalism triumphs but that cannot be said of democracy.  There is a serious mismatch of economic and political conditions.  We have a global economy but the realities are that the sovereignty of the state stands firm.  Capitalism and democracy have no correlation.  Capitalism can secure you wealth, but not freedom, democracy and the rule of law.  (Soros, 2001).  This creates a vulnerability.

Denial (Bible – Psychology – Common Practice)

‘This does not only apply to families.  Government bureaucracies, political parties, professional associations, religions, armies and police all have their own forms of cover-up and lying.  Such collective denial results from professional ethics, traditions of loyalty and secrecy, mutual reciprocity of codes of silence.  Myths are maintained that prevent outsiders knowing about discreditable information; there are arrangements for concerted strategic ignorance.  It may be convenient not to know exactly what your superiors or subordinates are doing’.  Ireland is in a period of revelation presently – to the degree that there are a lot of duality people making a direct impact on the vulnerability of others.

The 1937 Constitution is not cast in stone, albeit it is a rigid constitution, in that it is not so easy to amend.  The constitution was amenable to change by parliament for a short period, but this changed and any amendment has required the consent of people (Gallagher, 1999).  The Supreme Court have power to act – a significant example would be the Emergency Powers Bill which was deemed Constitutional by the Court.  The Court went on to rule that it would decide at a future date when the Oireachtas would be free to deem a similar Emergency Powers Bill existed.  Both Review Groups have put forward a limit of three years on a declaration of Emergency, then they suggest the formation of a committee.   This would not be suffice to merit altering the Constitution at present, there is sufficient procedure in place.

Amendment by the people.  Referenda:

Ireland is one of the few countries where every constitutional amendment requires the consent of the people (only other 2 countries in Western Europe are Switzerland and Denmark).  Article 46:  a proposal to amend the constitution must be passed by the Houses of Oireachtas and then put to a referendum.  By 1999, there were 22 proposed amendments put to the people.

1992 X case.    Article 40.3.3 no longer limits freedom to travel:

A 14 year old became pregnant.  The decision was to take her to England for an abortion.  The Attorney General became aware of the situation and applied for an injunction to prevent her traveling on the ground that she intended to terminate the life of her unborn child.  Article 40.3.3 was entered into the Constitution ie known as the Pro-Life amendment.  This gave rise in line with the Bertrand Russell introductory quote to Reaction in Ireland.  In March 1992, the Supreme Court overturned the injunction.  It declared that Article 40.3.3 did permit an abortion to a woman if the continuation of the pregnancy caused health problems to the mother by continuing.  They included the circumstances where an expectant mother would be suicidal.  Pro-Abortion groups were pleased with this decision.

Article 46 is a powerful check on governments to attend to matters that are not high on the political agenda. Referenda have minus considerations.  They are expensive.  This places a query over making incidental changes.   Government use of public funds to promote their own case was declared by Mr. Justice McKenna as unconstitutional.   Referenda are a ‘double edged sword’ in that they provide benchmarks/references in time, to focus the public on just what is happening.  The Nice Referendum is a good example about what had to happen when Government did not get the ‘message’ across the first time.

Article 2 defining Ireland as ‘national territory’ and Article 3 (referring to the whole  island of Ireland, its islands and territorial seas’……  Changes to these articles were demanded by the Northern Ireland Unionists as part of the 1998 Northern Ireland Agreement. A referendum the same year, resulted in an overwhelmingly majority for the articles to be replaced and suitable wording used.  “Implementation of these constitutional changes was made conditional on a declaration by the Irish Government that the 1998 Good Friday agreement had come into effect, until then, the changes to Article 2 and 3 would remain in suspension.  The State was described as sovereign, independent and democratic (Gallagher, 1999).

Other Articles worth mentioning:

Article 4, the Name of the State, Eire or Ireland – the cosmetics – emigrants high regard.  Eire is of significance to define our Nation as distinct from prior to Independence.  Regarding Article 6 concerning the Powers of the Government – the use of the words ‘under God’ are not sufficient to merit change.  A constitution evolves – presently our tradition has become secular – but it may change again.  The concept of God presently is understood by the people Ireland – in effect we are talking about analogy so why change.

Article 8 – Language

Again, I would not agree with change.  Political culture evolves.  It is interesting in retrospect to review these three opinions about the Irish Language.  The report of the Commission on the Irish Language was published in 1964 suggested that to spread the use of Irish as a spoken language is a less extreme aim than to substitute it for English as the everyday speech of the Irish people.[1]

Thomas Davis – United Irishman Article the Irish Nation 1890

‘It is not to banish English – that would be, first of all, impossible, and almost absurd’.  He acknowledged the universal prevalence of English as a language.   Thomas Davis then said ‘But the prevalence of English is something very different from the exclusive dominance of it.  We wish for every child to speak English.(T.K. Whitaker, 1966)

  • Sean Lemass in the 1960’s acknowledged Irish in Education but clarified it by saying that he never saw Irish as being the language of everyday communication.
  • T.K  Whitaker in the 1960’s spoke of an awareness of, and pride in, Ireland’s individuality was sustained by a general education in Irish civilization.  Dancing was a favourite Medieval import into Ireland.  The blind Carolan was acquainted with the music of Vivaldi and Corelli.

I don’t think any changes need to be made.

Article 9 – Nationality and Citizenship

Yes I would agree with the Review Commission – legislation is the more suitable option.

Articles 12, 13 The President

Why should we change the title Head of State – Queen is the Queen.  We chose President.  In the world of commerce, changing titles is ‘marketable’.  The Constitution must be above change for the sake of change.

Housekeeping is a term I would use to describe other changes.  To me, there is an overuse of semantics.  If the system works, do not change it.  Difference in min. age – how serious is this really?   On that matter which language is used first or last – more like pedantics.  The gender issue.  Feminism did not appear until the 1970’s and the presumption was to use He (possibly with a note that it referred to women as ref).  Again this is about interpretation.  Frankly gender changes in the Constitution are not sufficiently vital in my estimation.

To extend the powers of the President to allow him or her to act in the area of the executive, it is clear that this would be in contravention of the Separation of Powers that forms the basis of democracy.  The President after all can refer legislation to the Supreme Court.  The President is now not answerable to Houses of Oireachtas.Yes, I agree with their decision for no change.   It is determined by law. The Review Groups (both) state that the executive functions of the government should be carried out by or on the authority of the Government, the democratically elected body whose actions are subject to continuous public review (and need to be).

No confidence vote to the President in the formation of Government suggestion:

The President’s address to the Nation – must at all times be consistent and involve no intrusion on the executive functions which the Constitution reserves to the Government.  An ‘Above Politics’ Concept and where the Review Commission deems it has been observed and therefore needs no amendment to the constitution.

I agree.

The Senate  does ‘not appear to satisfy the criteria of a relevant, effective and representative second house.  There are fundamental political problems to be answered before a solution can be prescribed for the problem presented by the Senate.  It is part of the checks and balances process.  It also introduces work to Government having been discussed and researched.

Article 29 – there is Majority support from the Review Commission to add an Article concerning Ireland’s membership of the United Nations with its confirmation to comply with its obligations under the Charter.  This needs attention as does Membership of the European Community.

The option of a Constitutional Court – Article 34-39.  Irish Law is common law based on Magna Carta in circa 1200 and its evolution.  Prior to that Brehon Law existed.  Roman Law tends to form the European foundation to their legal system.  They operate Constitutional Courts and your training is to be a Constitutional lawyer.  This type of change needs serious consideration.  It is like it will become an EU consideration.

The Separation of Powers is about the separation of each of the organs.  The Supreme Court monitors the powers of the Executive – the Legislature has its corresponding position.   At a practical level, there is rivalry, each endorsing their position.  The Executive would be concerned about the powers of the Supreme Court.  These judges are not elected representatives, and the criteria for legal training means to qualify to become a member of the Judiciary it is necessary to be a Barrister for 12 years before being elected to office.  An intellectual ‘snobbery’ exists.  Ireland’s legal tradition rests with that  English Common Law and as I have stated elsewhere this has hundreds of years endorsement of the Judiciary having a distinguished role in society.   In Europe you study to become a constitutional lawyer, and the Constitutional Law Court is a separate court and system.  The importance of Judicial Review in Ireland marks the countries departure from the British Common Law.  Common Law applies to America also.  Common law relies on case history.

Judicial Review can be defined as the power of a court to declare any law, any official based action based on a law, or any other action by a public official, to be in conflict with the constitution and hence invalid (in Gallagher, Abraham 1996, p 70).  Justice McCarthy said in 1985 – it is basically the Courts that interpret meaning of the Constitution.

In Ireland – Judicial Review has been the main approach to developing the Constitution.  A constitutional case must have a locus standi.  De Valera – did not anticipate the scope of Judicial Review but then it would be the legal people who drafted it in line with the concept of Separation of Powers who may have had more understanding of its nature. It is power to the Judiciary who are not elected.  Safe middle of the road opinions is the label assigned but one must also take account of those who availed of the British Civil Service, to gain an education, often coming from impoverished circumstances, gaining a scholarship, or perhaps winning the Victoria prize.  Perhaps there is too much emphasis on stereotype.

Presidential Referrals:

The President normally signs the bills into law in Ireland.  However, Article 26, permits the President to refer a Bill to the Supreme Court.  If it is decided that the bill is repugnant to the Constitution, the president may not sign it into law.  NB:  Once this procedure is taken, the bill can never be re-introduced again.  The Commission Review Group recommends that this is removed.  It is not imperative and until the results of tribunals and morality/ethics base of Government and Business is restored, I would not be keen to see time spent on the re-drafting of a Constitution.

Introduction to Fundamental Rights

‘Having regard to provision 40, The Review Group does not favour the replacement of the fundamental rights provisions of the Constitution by the European Convention on Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms.  It is considered preferable to draw on the ECHR (and other international human rights conventions) where the right is not expressly protected by the Constitution’.  This to me, makes a statement.  It recognizes the ECHR, it inserts a list of freedoms to be included in a Constitution, yet it is clearly saying that the convention that exists, is the best route to take.

Articles 44-45:

There are implications of the State’s voluntary membership to the European Union, the Council of Europe and the United Nations in terms of the Constitution.  Membership of the European Union means that Union laws are precedent in the State.  The Supreme Court’s decision in the Crotty case is reviewed in the report.

 Human Rights:

‘A majority of the Review Group considers that a Human Rights Commission should be established to maintain an overview of the extent to which human rights are protected at both the constitutional and legal levels, to assess the adequacy of this protection and to make recommendations to Government for the better protection of these rights as appropriate’.  The recommendation is that there should be legislative status as distinct from constitutional status.

The Review Commission state that recognition in principle of local government ought to be put into the Constitution. I think particularly given it was 1996, this is absolutely optimistic. The Environment will be dealt with from the European Union so therefore this would not be a suggestion.


The real test is now.  We have established a view of the history of this Independent State and there has been progression but also certain social areas are in crisis.  The housing lists are shameful, the homeless, the mentally ill situation, the lack of advocacy for groups of people who may be near illiterate and cannot make it up onto the first step in the ‘ladder’ (social mobility) is a shameful price to pay for the decadence of others particularly if they represent our Government or local Government or Business community.  There is a lack of purpose, there is a greater need for a Mission other than capitalism can provide so I end with the Preamble of forthright words, that make one ‘stand to attention’.  We need to have the foundations of our society reviewed.  When this happens – then we can amend the Constitution.

The Preamble

Words of Fortitude, Inspiration, nationalistic chosen for their strength of meaning.

‘People of Eire; Divine Lord; Through centuries of trial; Unremitting struggle; Common Good; Prudence Justice and Charity; individual; social order; unity of our country restored; and concord established with other nations’

Fundamental:  By definition ‘The natural vibration of the lowest frequency’.  I conclude with this it says a lot for the formation of the Irish Nation

Michelle Clarke

30th November 2002 (Submission date 18th November 2002)

Junior Sophister Politics (Professor Michael Gallagher)

Trinity College Dublin, Business Economics and Social Studies “BESS”

Please note not yet registered re. fees issue (hence no access to Library)



An overview of European Integration since 1945 from European Union Office

Report of the Constitution Review Group May 1996, Government Publications Office.


Chubb, B., 1982.  The Government and Politics of Ireland.  UK.  Longman Group.

Cohen, Stanley, 2000.  States of Denial Knowing about Atrocities and Suffering.  Cambridge, Blackwell

Coakley and Gallagher, 1999. Politics and the Republic of Ireland.  London.  Routledge in association with PSAI

Coogan, T.P, 1966.   Ireland Since the 1916 Rising, London.  Pall Mall Publications,

Feeney, J 1974. John Charles McQuaid – The Man or the Mask.  Mercier Press Dublin

Russell, B, 1928, Skeptical Essays  London.  Unwin, England

Soros, G, 2000. Open Society – Reforming Global Capitalism 2000 .  Great Britain

Brown and Co.

Whitaker, T.K 1983   Interests.  Dublin.  Institute of Public Administration


April 7th 2016

Below is highly personal but it is contextual.  Traumatic brain injury, manic depression, anxiety and having reached the final year of my BESS degree, I did complete this essay but health may mean I did not submit or submitted this essay too late.  Below you will find the notes written by me and they indicate, with the benefit of hindsight, that I was troubled and even ‘rambling’ in other words possibly in a manic ‘High’.

This essay was due for submission 18th November 2002.   Confusion the normal aftermath of a few bouts of Bipolar (14 months this time) resulted in me not making the date.  The doctor acknowledged I was exhausted before I started it, gave me a certificate, Orlaith in disabilities interceded on my behalf.  I still was too late. I felt driven and said hell and sent one of my forthright factual emails to Professor Michael Gallagher.  I told him the diagnosis – that I did not want pity just to learn…….  He gave a most authoritative lecture but when I appeared and said did you get my email……he reminded me of JJ who so seldom got confused…….He took the essay.  I having been told that once he had handed back essays – there was no way !!!!  Outcome exhaustion, staggering, blurred vision and bed.  Took the tablets.  One hour later up.

Removed from original personal details which clearly indicate my level of distress.



About michelleclarke2015

Life event that changes all: Horse riding accident in Zimbabwe in 1993, a fractured skull et al including bipolar anxiety, chronic fatigue …. co-morbidities (Nietzche 'He who has the reason why can deal with any how' details my health history from 1993 to date). 17th 2017 August operation for breast cancer (no indications just an appointment came from BreastCheck through the Post). Trinity College Dublin Business Economics and Social Studies (but no degree) 1997-2003; UCD 1997/1998 night classes) essays, projects, writings. Trinity Horizon Programme 1997/98 (Centre for Women Studies Trinity College Dublin/St. Patrick's Foundation (Professor McKeon) EU Horizon funded: research study of 15 women (I was one of this group and it became the cornerstone of my journey to now 2017) over 9 mth period diagnosed with depression and their reintegration into society, with special emphasis on work, arts, further education; Notes from time at Trinity Horizon Project 1997/98; Articles written for 2003/2004; St Patricks Foundation monthly lecture notes for a specific period in time; Selection of Poetry including poems written by people I know; Quotations 1998-2017; other writings mainly with theme of social justice under the heading Citizen Journalism Ireland. Letters written to friends about life in Zimbabwe; Family history including Michael Comyn KC, my grandfather, my grandmother's family, the O'Donnellan ffrench Blake-Forsters; Moral wrong: An acrimonious divorce but the real injustice was the Catholic Church granting an annulment – you can read it and make your own judgment, I have mine. Topics I have written about include annual Brain Awareness week, Mashonaland Irish Associataion in Zimbabwe, Suicide (a life sentence to those left behind); Nostalgia: Tara Hill, Co. Meath.
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1 Response to Trinity College Dublin (Jnr Sophister) Essay 14/12/2002 by Michelle Clarke. Title: Should Reform of the Constitution be more Fundamental than the Constitution Review Group suggested…..?

  1. Pingback: Trinity College Dublin (Jnr Sophister) Essay 14/12/2002 by Michelle Clarke. Title: Should Reform of the Constitution be more Fundamental than the Constitution Review Group suggested…..? | canisgallicus

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