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    Immingratitude

    In December a group called ‘Identity Ireland’ made much of a do online about the relative nothing of unfurling their banner from a bridge over a motorway. The banner urged motorists to “DEFEND IRELAND”, prompting one Twitter user to quip they were “11 days too late” (referring to the Irish soccer team’s humiliating 5-1 defeat […]

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    Trump and the Road to Hell

    States, including our own, have always afforded privileges to certain groups above others through their laws. Various codes have upheld discrimination in gender, pedigree, ethnicity, and even ordained that one person is the property of another. But positive law co-exists with another ideal of a universal Rule of Law, or justice, conceived in classical antiquity […]

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    O’Brien Comium

    Trinity College’s recent Conor Cruise O’Brien centenary symposium was a largely uncritical exercise. It was especially notable that it was so as it focused on Irish politics. Invited US academics, who discussed O’Brien’s assessment of the American Revolution, appeared unaware of O’Brien’s distinctly illiberal local contribution. Reverential tones underpinned contemplation of O’Brien’s analysis of Irish […]

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    One Cheer For The Sugar Tax

    In the early 1980s the government decided to try to get children to drink more milk. I’m not sure that there had been a problem with children not drinking milk. As I recall, that’s all we drank. Yet it introduced a free milk scheme. The milk was to be distributed through schools and it was […]

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    Lowry and Sinclair

    I recently concluded a criminal case in the Crown Court in Manchester; a city I had not visited in over 20 years. Much has changed while I’ve been gone. It is a little less frenetic, with no Tony Wilson or Hacienda club, and a good deal more gentrified. Salford, the traditional working-class area, immortalised in […]

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    Referendum Practice

    The Government intends to hold seven referendums over the next two years, and the Citizens’ Convention is due to consider Ireland’s referendum practice before it winds up next spring. With a contentious abortion referendum looming up soon after that, this is a good time to consider how we run referendums. A code of good practice […]

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