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    Nay to the Mayor Yayers

    In any discussion about Mayoral governance’ in Dublin there are assumptions: firstly, that it is a good thing, that it will solve lots of problems in the city; and second, that the mayor should be directly elected. We usually hear the paraphrased quote – ‘who do I ring if I want to talk to Dublin?’. […]

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    Braced for Brexit

    Back in the 1960s I once stood on the plinth of Nelson’s column in Trafalgar Square, London, between Landseer’s lions, at a Connolly Association rally against anti-Catholic discrimination by the Northern Ireland Stormont regime. Lots of people were waving tricolours. Forty years later I spoke again in the same spot, at an anti-EU rally organised by […]

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    Hands off civil society

    The UN’s Secretary General, Ban Ki Moon, has called civil society “the oxygen of democracy” but its space is shrinking. This may be jargon, but it is inspired by a serious threat to democracy – the undermining of basic rights: freedom of expression, freedom of association, and the right to peaceful assembly. Civicus grandly describes itself […]

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    Democracy and war

    DEMOCRACY AT HOME General Election 2016 has thrown up an utterly unpredictable result with Fianna Fáil in the ascendant. At the time of writing the consequences of the vote including who will survive as leaders, who will be in government and who will lead the government could not be less predictable and, without resorting to […]

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    Put in perspective

    As we know well in Ireland cash is one of man’s greatest temptations. It’s a recurring theme in Russia. In the venal world, for example, of Fyodor Dostoevsky’s ‘The Idiot’ (1869) most of the characters succumb to greed. General Ivolgin desires money to support his addiction to alcohol and to allow him to spend time with […]

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    Mojocon no Mojo con

    MoJoCon – the Mobile Journalism Conference which debuted in Dublin last year – has its roots almost a decade ago, when Glen Mulcahy, then working with RTE Nuacht, began experimenting with the camera on his Nokia N93 smartphone. “Video quality was atrociously bad, photographs were tiny, 1Mb was seen as huge, it was very much in […]

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    1916 values diverted

    One value of the 1916 Rising commemorations is to highlight the contrast between the aspirations of those who set out to establish an independent Irish State for the whole island of Ireland and the reality of what exists today – a partitioned country whose native language, Irish, is on the point of death as a cradle-spoken […]

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