Frank Connolly

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    From Naughten to Neachtain: nothin’ worth notin’

    It is not a question of whether, but how many, more people will become embroiled in the developing row between Independent News and Media and the Office of the Director of Public Enforcement (ODCE). The battle should more accurately be described as one between the biggest shareholder in INM, Denis O’Brien, his appointed chairman to the […]

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    Ireland, Italy and the Disclosures Tribunal

    Leonardo Sciascia was an Italian political journalist, an elected radical member of parliament and the most prominent anti-mafia critic. All of this features in his famous detective novels which are in fact anti-detective novels or works of political observation. Coupled with his masterly analysis of the assassination by the Red Brigade of the Christian Democrat conciliator […]

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    Licence to deceive.

    Her Majesty’s character assassins. Cambridge Analytica is a British company which provides advice to clients involved in political campaigns. Donald Trump was one of its customers. Last month it admitted that it employed former MI5 and MI6 officers to dig up political dirt for its clients. It has also boasted of using bribes, prostitutes and […]

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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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