James McDermott: The last thing Ireland needs is another honours system

The country already has plenty of awards to hand out so there is no need to adapt another set as proposed by five senators

Last month councillors awarded environmental activist Greta Thunberg the Freedom of the City of Dublin even though her refusal to take flights meant that she was unlikely to have accepted it in person. Picture: Getty

Ireland has always been suspicious about state honours. For example, Article 40.2 of our Constitution prohibits the state from conferring titles of nobility. In addition, no citizen can accept a similar foreign award without the prior approval of the government. But now we might be on the verge of a dramatic change following the publication of a private members’ bill, drafted by five independent senators, which proposes to honour up to 12 people a year ...