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Shove it up your Àras

With Ireland on its knees and seemingly no way out of the economic depression we are currently enslaved to, few have pondered to question the necessity of one our highest positions, that of president. 

Once a proud nation thriving under the era of the Celtic Tiger, we are now a nation besotted by economic hardship owing to the criminality and greediness of wanker bankers and unqualified politicians. The ordinary people have suffered the burden yet these fat cats walk free, our problems having no effect on their luxurious lifestyles. 

By the end of 2011 half a million people will be claiming the dole and the future of the country will have abandoned ship, forced away by emigration, some never to return. 

The least of our problems at present is to elect a new president, with the country set to go to the polls in October. The role of the president of Ireland is unique in many ways, it is more symbolic than influential. Serious consideration is needed in all quarters as to the future of the Irish presidency? Should we scrap it temporarily or should we have a part time president, one who doesn’t require a full time residence, full time entourage and full time staff. 

Mary McAleese has done a tremendous job in her role as president since 1997 and although the end of second term is nigh, few would question her taking the role for a third spell. Might McAleese do so on different terms? Surely cutbacks in this department can be made and no doubt the Belfast native would agree.

 We live in a country where every Euro counts, savings is our motto. Cutbacks, tax hikes, you name it we have tried it. Yet few cutbacks have been made at Àras an Uachtaràin. 

McAleese gave our country fierce credibility in the face of the recession. He role symbolised everything it should unlike her predecessor Mary Robinson, who was a great custodian yet who dipped her feet into the murky world of Irish politics during her reign. 

Ireland are not the only country to have fallen onto hard times yet there is something enshrined within us that causes us not to protest, unlike our counterparts in Greece and beyond. 

The Irish constitution of 1937, known as Bunreacht na hÈireann cites the role of president as the directly elected head of state who’s powers are largely ceremonial. Concluding that he or she acts on the advice of the government.

This particular element of our constitution must be amended as we simply cant afford to allow the position of the president to laden us with such a burden of debt. Roughly €3 Million could be saved if the “intellects”, a term I hold loosely, running this country realise that this valuable money could be reinvested into our ailing healthcare system or elsewhere.

We as a nation must unite for a common good and help each other so as the country can get on the road to recovery. A part time president can be very beneficial and there is nothing to state a part timer would do anything differently. Otherwise, there are also conflicting arguments which would show the position of president can be suspended temporarily.

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