What is the purpose of Ireland's parliament the Dáil? A Trinity College debate and workers on a construction site offer some views.

Do the workings of Dáil Éireann have any relevance to the lives of ordinary working people?  Labour TD Dr David Thornley and Fine Gael TD Dr Garret FitzGerald address a Trinity College debating society on the relevance of the Dáil.

‘Tangents’ reporter John O’Donoghue asks men working on a building site for their views on the Dáil.  While acknowledging that it does affect their lives, most claim not to know much about what goes on within the walls of Leinster House, 

They could talk away there for months, and I just don’t know what’s going on.

 According to Dr Garret FitzGerald, parliamentary democracy, 

Restrains tyranny and protects individual freedom.

Dr David Thornley admits that his view of Dáil Éireann has changed.  Previously he held it in high esteem, but that is currently not the case,

In the three years that I have become elected, I have become deeply disillusioned with that institution.

There is not much confidence on the building site in the members of the Irish parliament, 

It hasn’t got much relevance to the working type of man, because they make their own statutes, they look after their own wages.

This view could change though if the government supported more Irish businesses, thinks one man, 

You’ve got Jack Lynch who went over to the States to encourage industry to this country.  They’ve got industry coming in, and when they come in, they get a grant, they find it, they sell the lot, and back out of the country again.  Why can’t they finance some of the small firms in this country?

This ‘Tangents’ report was broadcast on 14 March 1973.  The reporter is John O’Donoghue.  

A miscellany of events, entertainment, opinions and personalities, 'Tangents' was first aired on Monday 25 September 1972 and ran until 1974. Tangents was presented by Cathal O'Shannon and Doireann Ní Bhriain on Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday and by John O'Donoghue each Tuesday.