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    Village Idiot March 2018

    His TV credits include ‘Dirty Money: The story of the Criminal Assets Bureau’ and ‘Paul Williams Investigates – ‘The Battle for the Gas Fields’ about the policing of the Corrib Gas protests. ‘Secret Love’ (1995) with Phylis Hamilton told the story of her secret 20-year love affair with Ireland’s most outspoken Catholic priest, Fr Michael […]

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    How did Republicanism lose its way in the 1960s?

    The IRA in the 1960s, led by Cathal Goulding the IRA Chief and Tomás MacGiolla who chaired Sinn Féin, initiated a reform towards radical democratic politics. This was supported by Seán Cronin, later an Irish Times correspondent, who had led the 1950s armed campaign. I know this because he contacted me in around 1959 after […]

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    Villager March 2018

    Cut off Villager is in favour of water charges so he doesn’t see why the water in the Village building was cut off for three days after the snow, even though next door is like Niagara/Poulaphouca. And why are they cutting it off anyway: it was snow not drought. Whatever, a hand hasn’t been washed […]

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    Ourland

    The return of the Irish economy is not an accident. The fact there were no riots when in collapsed in 2008 in a sea of imploded vested interests was no happenstance. The fact this country has divided power since its instigation between Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael wasn’t just luck. The repetition of the failures of […]

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    NIexit will reduce protections

    Brexit brings a threat of the North accelerating in a race to the bottom in terms of the environment and employment, cutting costs in order to get economic advantage. In the face of this, much depends on when or if Devolution is reinstated. There is a particular concern on environmental matters because the EU has had […]

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    Referee!

    On-side Rugby is religion for Limerick. The city mercifully did not inherit the class exclusivity associated with the sport. In the latter decades of the twentieth century Munster victories, usually over Leinster, sustained Limerick’s morale in the face of prejudice. In gratitude its City and County Council has granted permission for a rugby museum which […]

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    MI5 grapples with anti-nuke Corbyn

    The British Prime Minister, Theresa May, has accused Russia of meddling in elections and planting fake stories in the media in an extraordinary attack on its attempts to “weaponise information” in order to sow discord in the West, but Whitehall has been strangely quiet about past attempts by Britain’s own Intelligence Services to meddle in UK […]

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    Panoramaphosa

    On a recent drive to Cape Town International airport the ‘Rainbow Nation’ was nowhere to be seen. Instead it was like old times when I was the Irish Times Correspondent there in the 1990s. The scene carried a strong message of the work that faces the country’s new President Cyril Ramaphosa. Along the motorway known […]

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    Oxymoron

    By 2040 we expect that an additional one million people will live in Ireland, an additional two-thirds of a million people will work here. An ageing population and smaller family size mean that we will need an additional half a million homes to accommodate this growth. Project Ireland 2040 purports to address this. It consists of the National […]

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    Punker

    “Things can only get better”, went the lyrics to the hit by D:Ream which became the anthem of the incoming New Labour government in 1997, fronted by the relentlessly upbeat Tony Blair. Six years later, Blair joined the US in its illegal invasion of Iraq, a move that plunged the entire Middle East into a […]

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    Wicklow Manager bouncing Bray demolition

    Village last month reported that Wicklow County Council has agreed to sell a prime town-centre site in Bray to developer Paddy McKillen’s Navybrook Ltd for just €2.6m. The deal is contingent on Navybrook delivering a commercial development by the end of 2019. It is also a controversial sale that has raised questions about value for money. […]

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    Avoiding League Relegation

    In Ireland, North and South. In the last 50 years no pub or shop has changed its language from English to Irish. In recent years, in the last pockets of the Gaeltacht, the young people have been switching to English. Clearly, the time has come for the Gaelic League, Conradh na Gaeilge, to take its last, […]

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    The Right to have Rights

    Hannah Arendt’s famous phrase ‘the right to have rights’ was coined in her 1958 book ‘The Human Condition’. The condition of being stateless, of being a displaced person, which began its modern history in Europe with World War I, has been experienced since by untold millions who have had to listen to the claim that ‘human […]

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    Keeping up with the changing times

    Those journalists of my vintage who have seen ‘The Post’ on the big screen were struck by memories of the ‘good old days’ of journalism and for once the term ‘good old days’ actually rings true. There were great performances from Meryl Streep as Katharine Graham the paper’s owner and publisher, Tom Hanks as the […]

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    Irish is beyond weaponisation

    Some years ago, I read about an anonymous former participant of the blanket protest who recalled a visit from an RTÉ Irish language reporter. He remarked upon her “terrible elitist attitude toward the language” and, in particular, her claim that the brand of Irish which developed in the H-Blocks made her shudder. He quickly retorted, “When […]

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    Make sure of the facts

    There are two dominant interpretations of what’s come to be known as “call-out culture”. Many see it as an effective way of holding people, particularly public figures, to account for objectionable deeds and utterances that their status might otherwise have allowed them get away with. Social media has certainly played a massive role in an accelleration […]

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    Capitalisteracy

    Ireland has a dreadful, inequitable, dangerously failing healthcare system. The State’s answer is the likes of healthy Ireland, which runs a public campaign that, in essence, throws the responsibility for health on to individuals – who seemingly just need help from an initiative to ‘empower and motivate them’. February saw the launching conference – hosted by […]

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    The cost of costs

    Real justice requires access to justice, which requires effective access to courts, which requires that courts be accessible without the threat of prohibitive costs. Some 90%, or an even higher percentage, of people in Ireland have no realistic access to justice, due to the prohibitiveness of the costs associated with legal actions via the courts. The […]

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    ‘Reclaiming the State – a Progressive Vision of Sovereignty for a Post-Neoliberal World’

    ‘Reclaiming the State – a Progressive Vision of Sovereignty for a Post-Neoliberal World’ is the title of what will surely come to be seen as one of the more important social science works of our time (Pluto Press, 2017, €23). In it Australian economics professor William Mitchell and Italian political theorist Thomas Fazi reconceptualise the Nation […]

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    Some devils got him

    The Westminster terrorist attack on 22 March of last year, by lone attacker, Khalid Masood (52), who drove a car into pedestrians and fatally stabbed PC Keith Palmer, is not the first time that terrorists have selected the Palace of Westminster, and its surrounds, to perpetrate an act of violence. 39 years ago, on 30 March […]

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