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    Apollo House: channel for change

    Josephine Campbell (not her real name) volunteered for the media team in Apollo House during the 28 day occupation, which saw a vacant NAMA building transformed into a shelter for people sleeping rough. In total, 205 people stayed as residents in Apollo House. “I’m currently without a home or a tenancy since May 2015. Before […]

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    Parliament President is Berlusconite

    On 17 January, the European Parliament elected a new President, the Italian MEP Antonio Tajani. The election of Tajani may have gone unnoticed by most citizens in Ireland, however the implications of it could have far reaching consequences for their everyday lives. Tajani, is a member of the European People’s Party (EPP), a group he […]

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    ParentAlienation

    During 2015 in Ireland there were 49,689 applications to the family law courts in the context of relationship breakdowns. This indicates a high level of contentious separations and divorces exposing children to ongoing conflict between their parents. Definition One emerging phenomenon currently facing social, legal and mental health practitioners is that of a child or […]

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    Fury and Avoidance

    The prospect of a Commission of Investigation into the sale by NAMA of its Northern Ireland property portfolio to US vulture fund, Cereberus, in April 2014, looks to be receding by the day. Judging by the demeanour and language of finance minister, Michael Noonan, during a special debate on the issue on 1 February the […]

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    Sinn Féin and DUP up

    Changes to the number of Assembly seats in the forthcoming Northern election will give an artificial seat boost to the two big parties, the DUP and Sinn Féin. Each of the 18 constituencies will elect five MLAs (Members of the Legislative Assembly) rather than the previous six. Because the Assembly will be reduced from 108 […]

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    Naming and faming not naming and shaming

    (2010) The king of Irish investigative journalists, Paul Williams, will join forces with the Irish News of The World on March 10 [2010] as its crime editor.  The clamorous controversy about his departure from the Sunday World is indicative of how he has become the indisputable media godfather of crime reporting.  But  does “the journalist […]

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    Recalling the North’s Civil Rights Movement

    January was the 50th anniversary of the establishment of the Northern Ireland Civil Rights Association, which sponsored the civil rights marches that brought the anti-Catholic discriminatory practices of the old Stormont Unionist regime to world attention. I was at that foundation meeting on Sunday 29 January 1967 in the International Hotel, since demolished, behind Belfast […]

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    Obama’s betrayal of emotional trust fostered populism

    We are now witness to a pervasive acceleration in the normally glacial processes of geopolitical rebalancing in the West. Behavioural economics is helpful in analysing it. On his first full day in the White House, President Trump signed an executive order withdrawing the US from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), the core international economic legacy of […]

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    Why not

    THE PROBLEM. Donald Trump is a purveyor of hatred, a contrarian: anti-liberal, anti-democratic and hostile to a free press, an anti-environmental, corruptible bully; a liar, a misogynist groper and a boor. He developed the political platform you would expect on the back of this persona. And as Village went to press at the beginning of […]

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    Irish Times struggles with non-Catholic abuse

    In 2001 Irish Times reporter Carol Coulter wrote a short article outlining allegations of abuse affecting Smyly’s Church of Ireland Children’s Home. The report referred to preparation of a report by the health board. What the report said and indeed whether it was written were never reported. The paper did not investigate further. On 16 […]

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    Life experience not needed

    In 2007, as the spin-heavy, scandal-bruised Blair era came to a close, British journalist Peter Oborne published a harsh polemic titled ‘The Triumph of the Political Class’. The book describes the rapid growth of a professionalised cabal of career politicians in the UK from the late 1970s onwards – a self-interested clique more devoted to […]

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    PACing up

    As public hearings at the Public Accounts Committee into the controversial sale of the Project Eagle portfolio of distressed assets in Northern Ireland and Britain come to a close, its members are facing some difficult choices with potentially serious political implications. However, the absence of key individuals who have declined invitations to give evidence, including […]

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    Trumping science

    The new American President is post-science just as he is post-truth. His number one environmental priority is to cancel the Paris Climate Agreement, not uncoincidentally the number one environmental priority for environmentalists.

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    Turmoil over de-institutionalisation

    The planned closure of the St Mary of the Angels institution in Beaufort, Co Kerry has brought a disconcerting media focus on the issue of de-institutionalisation of people with intellectual disabilities. The families of residents have made their feelings known on how the closure of that institution is being handled. They have launched a Facebook […]

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    Beware

    The enforcement of Privacy and Data Protection Law is meagre in Ireland compared to the rest of the EU. This is exciting for practitioners but can be distressing for members of the public; one day it could even be for you! In the case of Max Schrems, now landmark law, an Austrian complainant notified the […]

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    Increasing housing supply won’t reduce prices

    The Construction Industry have said for years that “increasing supply (housing) will reduce prices”. The government have accepted this as fact and current policy is driven by it. The graph below is compiled from Central Statistics Office (CSO ) data for 1975-2015 and includes monthly new home completions and monthly average new house prices in that 40-year period. The information has […]

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    Stacking Up

    Bertie Ahern made a sensible and probably decisive intervention in the controversy surrounding Gerry Adams and the killing of senior prison officer, Brian Stack, which dominated the headlines and political discourse during the first week of December. The resurrection of a story involving the shooting of Stack as he left a boxing match in Dublin’s […]

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    Villager – Dec/Jan 2017

    Barrister Michael Cush has been appearing for Denis O’Brien in some of his exhausting judicial travails. The last two letters of the senior counsel’s name suggest posh, plush, an advocate who cushions, shushingly. The first two letters suggest something altogether less generous…

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    (Ar)Lean times in North

    December 2016 issue. Six months have been a long time in politics for Northern First Minister Arlene Foster, as storm clouds have gathered round her ascetic political persona. In May she consolidated the DUP vote and seat numbers in the Assembly elections. She seemed master of the political scene, just like newly-minted British Conservative leader, […]

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    Gender-isory

    This November marks the second anniversary of my successful gender equality case at the Equality Tribunal against NUI Galway for its failure to appoint me to the post of Senior Lecturer. It was hailed as a landmark case and should have been a call to arms, not just for NUI Galway, but for all third-level […]

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    Don’t call her your mother

    “Don’t Hug Your Mother”. This is the order our father gave to my brother JP and me as we were on our way to visit our mother. It was just over a year after our parents had separated. We were ten and twelve years of age. My father’s demands were the beginning of a process […]

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    IMF Oomph

    According to a recent IMF study, there are reasons to worry about a new housing-markets-triggered financial blowout. And although IMF data suggest that we are not at panic level regarding house-price inflation its researchers conclude that “there are several reasons to think that the present conjuncture is a time for vigilance”.

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    Trump/Slump

    By all possible measures the US presidential election of 2016 has set a record low in the quality of political discourse. However, with the outcome handing the Republicans a decisive victory in the White House, Senate and House of Representatives contests, the election will have a lasting and systemic impact on the development of economic […]

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    Poverty shapes abortion

    A woman in poverty is damned from two perspectives when it comes to pregnancy. She can’t afford to continue a pregnancy but she can’t afford to stop it either. Constitutional reform; investing in women; trusting women; reversing austerity; treating all mothers equally; addressing poverty, low pay and childcare and all the other social and economic […]

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    Enda(ngered)

    The election of Donald Trump is just the latest headache for an already precariously balanced Irish government. The election of the man whose words were described as ‘racist and dangerous’ by Enda Kenny just a few months ago does not in itself pose an imminent threat to the Taoiseach’s political survival but it certainly intensifies […]

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