Decentralisation is properly defined as ‘when a relatively large number of decisions are taken lower down the organisation in particular operating units’. So had Charlie McCreevy actually announced a decentralisation plan, the government would be in the process of transferring a part of state power to the power of local authorities. This is not happening. It would truly have been a change in policy of note if the government had decided to decentralise power to local government. The struggle for increased powers at local authority level reaches right back to the foundations of the state. Lets skip quickly over that potential for vision on their part.
The fact is that decision making will remain with the same central Government department and whatever rearrangement of staff moves to the new buildings. Nothing more than a physical change is happening, a transfer of functions, which is properly termed deconcentration. Of course it would have made much more sense if the government had instead sought to overhaul enterprise and employment policy so that there are incentives for industry and job hunters to set up in locations other than Dublin, but instead they gave their time over to an inaccurately named and inevitably badly received housekeeping job, the only likely outcome of which will probably be badly co-ordinated government. So there is plenty to criticise but at least in our conversations, posting and ranting lets call it by its proper name, deconcentration.