Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Laws In Ireland

A few weeks ago I went to Dublin on a weekend getaway with some friends.  In our efforts to do as many things as we could in a short amount of time, we went two places that really got me thinking.  The first was a little street market where people were selling their crafts.  I came upon a table where two Irish women were selling the jewelry they had made.  I wanted to purchase my Mom a bracelet, so I asked what kinds of materials the bracelets were made out of.  I always do this in the United States to make sure I do not purchase any jewelry containing Nickel or Lead.  The woman said they were made out of silver and not to worry because it was illegal in Ireland to make jewelry containing harmful or irritating metals such as Nickel or Lead.  This struck me because I could not believe there was actually a law in place for something so small.  Later on, for dinner, my friends and I attended a nice little restaurant across from the theater we were attending.  In an effort to have "American" food, I ordered a Burger.  I asked for it to be cooked medium well and the server replied, "You don't have to tell us how you want it cooked because it is illegal in Ireland to serve meat undercooked.”  Here I was again, shocked at the second small law I had learned about that day.  These laws did not anger me; I actually thought they were great.  They really showed how the government in Ireland wants to protect their people.  I think the United States should adopt more laws like this.  Maybe then the problems people have in the U.S. would lessen just a little bit.  Do you think the United States would ever allow laws like this to be created or does it infringe too much on our Democratic ideals?  How do you think the media would respond to creation of such laws in the United States?


  1. That's very interesting. I'm not so sure people would like to be that micromanaged in the US, especially in the south because they are big advocated for small government. I'm sure that in the North the would be more inclined to gravitate towards something like this because they are familiar with Unions and laws related to strict worker regulation. I'm not so sure if America would take the time to do this either since we have so many other hot button issues to present to Congress. That is interesting though and it would be nice if we did the same. -Joanna

  2. Firstly, I can't foresee laws like these being put in place because of the cost associated with having to educate all the food professionals on what constitutes a proper level of cooking and the cost associated with trying to micromanage street vendors. Ireland is a pretty small country in comparison, so I think these sorts of policies are able to be implemented. That being said, I don't think the laws would go over well. Think about the New York soda law. Even if the government might be right in knowing that drinking an excess amount of soda is bad for you, as Americans we consider it our right to do something bad for us if we're aware of the risk. I think the best we can do is launch campaigns to educate the public, but I don't ever think we'll implement laws (at least not on a national scale) that deal with these sorts of issues. I'd love it if we banned nickel, though. It'd make shopping for earrings a lot easier.