Séamus Martin

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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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    John Imrie, MI5’s Flasher-General

    Village has learnt that John L.L. Imrie, formerly of MI5 and the Northern Ireland Office (NIO), died last summer without a whisper of his passing reaching the ears of the press. Imrie had the unique distinction of being the only British official ever linked to the Kincora Boys’ Home sex abuse scandal by name in the […]

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    Dumb greens and unions

    One of the things historians may dwell on is how the key December 2017 and February 2018 eu drafts of the Brexit agreement came to take the forms they did. It is all the more important since the inept UK Government of Theresa May failed to produce its own draft, though it might have been expected […]

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    The dark side of the media

    The British media is aghast at revelations that a man called David Floyd was a Soviet spy. Floyd worked for the Foreign Office in the 1950s and was assigned to a string of Eastern European embassies. He confessed his treachery shortly after the defection of Guy Burgess and Donald McClean to Moscow. Rather than admit […]

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    Relegate Italy and promote Georgia

    As the 2018 Six Nations enters the final two rounds, the sense of excitement around this year’s tournament gathers pace. It has been a very successful tournament so far, with high-scoring games full of tries, and plenty of drama with the two standout moments being Sexton’s Drop Goal in Paris and the English chariot crashing in […]

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    The man from MI5 'asked us to execute' Haughey

    Last September Village described how the UK’s intelligence services conducted a near-decade-long smear campaign during the 1970s designed to undermine Charles Haughey. It failed at every turn and crashed to earth when, in December 1979, Haughey became Taoiseach. Haughey’s Fianna Fáil party lost the general election which followed, in June 1981, albeit with a healthy […]

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    Sinn feigns principle

    The Westminster oath declares: “I … swear by Almighty God that I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth, her heirs and successors, according to Law. So help me God”. British oaths have a troublesome history in Ireland they‘re never insuperable but they always generate a row and a test for the […]

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    Lone Woulfe

      The Attorney-General, Séamus Woulfe, failed to disclose a “false” and “misleading” order made by the former Manager of Wicklow County Council (WCC) when he compiled a report for the Government on the controversial compulsory purchase of lands in 2013. Woulfe, who was a senior counsel at the time and a prominent member of Fine Gael, was asked by […]

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