Tom Dunne

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    Nama, the drama

    Nama was inevitably going to be controversial. Set up to acquire loans from the Irish banks that had recklessly provided the finance for an almighty property boom and needing to be rescued when the inevitable happened, Nama was the vehicle created to work through getting some of the money back. In 2009 the property market […]

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    NIhillism

    It is forty three years since the now notorious Glenanne Gang murdered three members of the Miami Showband in July 1975. Two of the band survived -Stephen Travers and Des Lee. The Gang was made up of serving RUC and UDR personnel, plus members of the UVF. The leader on the night, the infamous Robin ‘the […]

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    Eschatology, or the study of the end of times

    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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    €140m to clean up one of Ireland’s 450 contaminated sites

    Silvermines, which the government spent €11m remediating in the 1990s, was back in the news in May 2017 as three cows were found dead of lead poisoning. A new inter-agency group involving the HSE, Department of Agriculture, Tipperary County Council, Environment Protection Agency, Teagasc, Irish Water, The Food Safety Authority and the Department of the […]

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    Lessons from Nuremberg

    I have for the last month been based in Eastern Europe, lecturing and contributing to the Anglo American University in Prague. The University has been very nice to me in light of the bedraggled and somewhat shaken image I must initially have presented. Prague, though it has its deficiencies as a city, is conveniently located […]

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    Oprah No

    Before she declined febrile suggestions that she run the US presidency on the grounds that she does not “have the DNA for it” Oprah Winfrey, the nation’s mother was attracting a great deal of serious political and media attention. Ireland has tried its hand at Dana, Gay Byrne and Sean Gallagher and may see some […]

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    Council to get €2.6m for site once valued at €28m

    Yet another controversy over its land disposals has hit Wicklow County Council following a decision by Councillors to hand over a valuable town-centre site in Bray to developer, Paddy McKillen junior. On Monday 15 January, Councillors voted to dispose of the 0.9 hectare Florentine site in Bray to Navybrook Ltd for €2.6m. The site has […]

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    Looking-down syndrome

    They think the right to life begins at conception and ends at birth. I grew up in a feminist household where that telling put-down of our American anti-abortion brigade was part of the lexicon. (It was also a Catholic household, but when it came to reproductive rights, as most things, feminism trumped religion). It’s a […]

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    U2’s First Recording Session Reviewed For The First Time

    U2 released ‘Songs of Experience’ before Christmas as a companion piece to 2014’s Songs of Innocence. Thematically, ‘Songs of Innocence’ was inspired by the band’s memories of their youth in Dublin in the 1970s with Bono describing it as “the most personal album we’ve written”. ‘Songs of Innocence’ touched upon these memories as perceived four […]

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    History Rarely Repeats, But Often Rhymes

    For over a decade now, Dublin-based five-piece The Spook of the Thirteenth Lock have been fusing the folklore and musical traditions of their home city with sounds and processes from further afield, with elements of drone and post-rock sitting alongside the foundations of folk and trad across their previous pair of full-length records. In addressing […]

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    Dáil and its legal reforms are pro-lawyer

    The circumstances of the demise of former Minister for Justice, Alan  Shatter, diverted attention from the risk of the thwarting of his reforms of the legal profession. Infamously many ministers, and their – often informal – advisers, are lawyers. Indicative of the problem is that at the last reading of the proposed reform bill, it […]

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    Dr Pat and Harassment at the Museum

    ‘Gogglebox’ added a new face to its ever-deepening stable of television viewers last October. Pat Wallace, alongside wife Siobhan, joined TV3’s Irish rendering of BBC’s extremely popular vicarious Big Brother-style television inversion. Before then Dr Pat Wallace was notable mostly for his heroic record on the controversial Wood Quay archaeological dig from 1974 when speaking […]

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    Gonzagrievance

    Revelations of sex abuse in all-male private schools in past decades have been powerfully conveyed across the Irish media. That barbarism should not, however, deflect attention from other enduring problems. I believe grave damage is still being done to the development of boys in ostensibly civilised institutions. Moreover, unequal educational provision maintains widening inequalities, underpinning […]

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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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