various bodies arising out of the White Paper on Local Government-most notably, the Report by the Institute of Public Administration’s Study Group entitled “More Local Government: A Programme for Development,” but also the recommendations published by the Local Government and Public Services Union, the ICTU. Muintir na Tire, the Community Consultative Council, ACRA and the short-lived Council for Local Government Reform (Dublin); unpublished lectures by Prof. Ivor Browne, Dept. of Psychiatry, St. James’s Hospital, Dublin, on “Man, His Environment and Human Development,” “Towns and Villages: Needs for Survival,” “Environment and Mental Health” and “ Draft Outline for a Living Centre and Human Development in a Municipal Housing Estate;” and my own pamphlets, Build the Third Republic, Take the Faroes for Example and A New Nationalism for the New Ireland. A plan for Gaeltacht self-government has been published by Gluaiseacht Chearta Sibhialta na Gaeltachta, and a scheme for new structures of government in Connacht by Comhairle Chonnacht. Representative bodies in Ballyfermot, Finglas and the Dublin Liberties have been calling for self-government for their districts. Finally, in the more strictly political field, regional governments have been advocated · by the Christian Democratic Party and supported in principle by the Labour Party, while the Provisional Republican Movement has made the complete re-structuring and decentralisation of government the basic plank in its political programme.
3. A more precise way of putting it is that the new thinking on government wishes to change the direction in which change in our governmental structures has been moving. Thus, instead of the uncoordinated proliferation of separate governmental agencies (Departments, Departmental offshoots, semi-state boards, county development teams; county and urban councils, county committees of agriculture and vocational education, regional health boards, etc.), the gradual coordination of all governmental and semi-state services in a hierarchy of agreed local centres; instead of the progressive concentration of powers at the centre of government, the decentralisation of powers throughout the land; instead of government trying to cater, in a fragmentary fashion, for an increasing number of fragmentary needs of individual citizens, government increasingly exercised on behalf of communities for the overall needs of each community and of its constituent families and persons; instead of government becoming more incomprehensible and irrational, government becoming more intelligible and rational; in short, instead of government rendering itself structurally more inhuman, government being rendered structurally more humane-more like a work of rational, feeling, caring, social man.
By Desmond Fennell, http://desmondfennell.com.