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    Leo’s paradox

    As a younger, and perhaps wiser, Leo Varadkar once said: there is no messiah who will lead Fine Gael from the desert into the promised land. This did not prevent him from presenting a decidedly messianic image as he posed for the cameras following his decisive victory in the party’s leadership contest on 2 June. Since then […]

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    Haughey cleaned up his own mess

    The author is a senior lecturer in the department of Modern History at Liverpool’s hope University. He has carefully mined the available documentary sources to produce a book that covers Haughey’s, much disputed disposition and policy instincts on Northern Ireland. Given the longevity and impact of Haughey’s career this, by definition, involves a painstaking trawl through […]

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    Ross hits judicial soft spot

    There is this extraordinary conjunction of interest between the legal profession and parliament. Lawyers in Ireland play a very active part in the political system. In 2010 there were 16 barristers and solicitors in Dáil Eireann – ten percent of the total. There are strong historical associations between the professions of politics and the law. […]

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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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    Transfer pattern augurs well for Left

    Transfers matter under proportionate representation though perhaps more for psephologists and party tacticians than in terms of actual electoral difference. Noel Whelan, for example, notes that: “only 12 or 13 of the 158 deputies in the new Dáil will win their seats because of transfers. If we stopped counting after the first counts and declared […]

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    SF won’t prop up FF, FG or Labour

    The recent General Election was a very good one for Sinn Féin. We increased our number of TDs from 14 to 23. That’s a 65% increase – a success by any standards. Importantly, Sinn Féin also further increased the geographical spread of the party. There are now very few regions in the State in which […]

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    Unruly

    What is meant by the Rule of Law and is such a concept honoured in Ireland today? I believe that the rule of law though arguably an unqualified good is not being adhered to in this state save mostly by the judiciary and that the legal system and erratic observance of legality by state officials renders our […]

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    Post-election 2016

    The general election was tedious and it’s not really clear what message it purveys. The electorate seemed jaded and the politicians delivered no memorable new policies, apart from Renua’s utterly regressive at tax proposal. Village believes that elections should be all about ideas, ideology, policy (and how best to implement them). In these terms the […]

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    Responsive parties don’t want reform, responsibility or even power

    The election is over, but the prospect of forming a government is still somewhat distant. This probably shouldn’t surprise us. Apart from the outgoing Fine Gael-Labour government none of the other parties were really proposing to go into government. Their campaigns were based on a critique of the incumbent government. The Irish people roundly rejected the […]

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