Would the Real Government Please Stand Up. NPHET the 'de facto decision-maker’.
Responding to a report by legal experts from Trinity College Dublin which criticised a lack of accountability and transparency in governance of the last year, Aontú Leader Peadar Tóibín TD stated:
“This is an incredibly serious situation. The government has been accused by a team of expert legal academics of outsourcing key decision making to NPHET. It comes a week after the President Michael D Higgins issues an unprecedented complaint to the government that massively important legislation is being rushed through the Oireachtas. The Irish Council of Civil Liberties as part of a coalition of Human Rights organisations issued a report to the UN Human Rights Council that stated ‘Government has rushed emergency legislation through the Dáil twice now, making a mockery of the democratic process. It has never published a human rights analysis of the proportionality of the measures it has imposed or of their impact.’ In my view the government has become more reliant on the guillotine than Robespierre as they ram through more draconian legislation without parallel in modern times”.
“Indeed regularly over the last year decisions are made by NPHET. Taoisigh then drive from Government buildings past the Dail to RTE to make the announcement. The elected reps of the people lean about the decisions from the television, they have been completely bypassed. Scrutiny and accountability have been thrown out the window. There has been an incredible transfer of power from the elected representatives to the executive and from there to NPHET. TDs have had to ask journalists to ask NPHET questions. There has been a massive hollowing out of parliamentary democracy and it has to stop. Democracy is not just for normal times. It is critically important in a time of crisis also”.