Michael Smith

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    2008 not 2000-1

    David McWilliams is a talented analytical polymath but he is egocentric and predictions of both boom and bust for Ireland have nearly all been wrong.

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    How the Anglo-Irish Vice Ring Operated

    In 2017 Village published a series of articles highlighting allegations of British Establishment complicity in child abuse in Ireland, particularly the crucially flawed Hart Report which was published in Northern Ireland (NI) a year ago. Judge Hart was tripped up by false evidence fed to him by MI5, MI6 and others for their own devious […]

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    Profile: The Men who tried to Murder Haughey

    Last month a letter purporting to have been written by the UVF emerged out of the blue from the National Archives. It contained a warning to the former Taoiseach Charles Haughey that MI5 had plotted to murder him in 1985. The letter sparked a short-lived debate about its authenticity. The document may or may not […]

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    Don’t soft-soap Suds

    One does not wish to speak ill of the recently dead but one cannot help seeing the death of Peter Sutherland as symbolic of a change of mood globally about globalisation. Globalisation, which as an ideology means essentially uncontrolled free movement of capital, has gone too far. It is now a major threat to State […]

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    It's different up here

    Justice is not a motif found emblazoned around Donegal. Its outing accounts for much in my home town of Bundoran and elsewhere in the county. In particular the power the late sean McEniff had over local governance is very unsettling – through politics and wealth. He was Fianna Fáil’s longest-serving councillor and perhaps its richest […]

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    Seeking Justice for the Force

    Some books have their genesis in the craziest places, but the origin of ‘A Force For Justice’ is pretty mundane. I was at home one May evening in 2013, minding the kids when I got a call from a number I didn’t recognise. Answering these kind of calls is always a gamble. It could be […]

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    Funny Man

    Sinn Féin’s disowning of West Tyrone MP Barry McElduff was unprecedented. The party has always previously defended erring members in public, then quietly dropped them. I must declare an interest: I know McElduff. When my late mother was ill, his constituency office was very helpful. He ran an excellent constituency service, for people across the […]

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    Time to redefine collusion

    Judge McCloskey steps aside, in the end Last year Mr Justice Bernard McCloskey, in the High Court, ruled the part of the Northern Ireland Ombudsman’s report that found there had been police collusion in sectarian murders at Loughinisland was unlawul. He then ruled in late January that allegations he had acted as a lawyer for […]

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    Donegal courts fail to deal with illegal slot machines

    Justice is not a motif found emblazoned around Donegal. Its flouting accounts for much in my home town of Bundoran and elsewhere in the county. In particular the power the late Sean McEniff had over local governance is very unsettling – through politics and wealth. He was Fianna Fáil’s longest-serving councillor and perhaps its richest […]

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    Coping with transphobia in Dublin’s Silicon Docks

    Dublin seemed like a logical destination when tech entrepreneur Maja Stanislawska decided to leave her native Poland in 2013 to start again as a woman. Trying to transition at home in conservative Poland would have been difficult so Maja did her research about where would be best to relocate to live and work in peace. […]

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    Geese to the Rescue

    Clontarf/Raheny faces the loss of a big tranche of green space as a large residential development on lands currently used as sports facilities goes before An Bord Pleanála. What has been missed, in the turmoil of local antagonism, is that the development is illegal under Irish and European law as it threatens a famous, cherished […]

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    Maddie: Did the BBC bend the truth?

    On a cold May night in 2007, Martin Smith and his family were walking home after an evening out in the Portuguese resort of Praia da Luz. A retired businessman from Drogheda, Co Louth, he co-owned an apartment there and was a regular visitor to the Algarve town. The crowds of summer had yet to […]

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    Boyes will be Boyes

    Stephen Boyes is on the run from the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI). He is flitting between hotels and the homes of friends across the border. He claims that he is in danger of arrest and imprisonment because he is refusing to cede control of 110 acres and other land he claims he owns […]

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    Banksters

    As the latest banking fraud ripples across the beleaguered public consciousness it is salutary to recall that the concept of banking has always been counter-intuitive. Artificial entities with legal personality that charge and pay out interest, but whose purpose is to protect the assets of its shareholders. Banking has never prioritised the protection of those […]

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    Democracy Works

    It’s been a bad couple of years for democracy. The Brexit fiasco was the most humiliating British retreat from Europe since Dunkirk, but this time, entirely self-inflicted. Yet, rather than an alarm, Brexit instead turned out to be a blueprint for the bloodless US coup that followed, where right-wing extremism seized the world’s most powerful […]

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    Eschatological ruminations

    Eschatology, or the study of the end of times, is at least as old as the written word. The concept spans many of the world’s major religions, usually referring to some future day of judgement or reckoning. Beyond the realms of theology, eschatology as a concept is currently undergoing something of a renaissance, especially after […]

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    IR FU(EU)

    The nineteenth Six Nations tournament begins on February 3 but one man who won’t feature is Simon Zebo. It was announced in October that Zebo will be leaving Munster at the end of this season and moving to Paris to play for Racing 92 in the French Top 14 league. The announcement of his planned move […]

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    Villager February 2018

    Listen up around what they’re at Villager likes nothing more than a shafted preposition. Most of the articles that come in to this magazine are from academics writing ‘around’ their subjects. They go into Village’s file of death along with cover letters for CVs that sign off cheers. So he was thrilled to see the Irish […]

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    Food Insecurity

    Like most people in Ireland, I grow almost none of my own food. Unfortunately living in the city, and not having a garden I am somewhat restricted. Every now and again I get a pang of anxiety when I see supermarket shelves empty on a Sunday night, before the delivery lorries have arrived. This is […]

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