Ireland Stand Up - the name seeming to conjure up that version of Irish nationalism of yore where Catholicism was an assertion of 'Irishness' - cannot be too well staffed. It has a pitiful number of Facebook followers and has been up and running for little more than two months. Yet, they managed to draw 55 TDs and 20 Senators, including no less than Minister for Europe Lucinda Creighton, to a meeting in Buswell's hotel near Leinster House last week. Creighton offered her support to the group’s agenda, namely that the Irish government ought to (eventually) reverse its callous decision to nix the Irish embassy to the Holy See!Add a comment
- 25 January 2012
- James G. Cussen
- 20 January 2012
- Jonathan Victory
1. Our political system breeds apathy
A lot of Irish people are just apathetic. But apathy is not some kind of innate attitude we’re born with, rather it gets drilled into us by a political system that not only encourages bad behaviour from politicians but one that also discourages the rest of us from getting involved. With a political system as dysfunctional as ours of course people become apathetic. But it’s not because people don’t care; it’s just that people come to expect the worst because that’s what we’re used to.
2. Our religious history
With Church & State intertwined for so many years Ireland was a highly conservative society that was deferential to authority. This wasn’t the kind of environment where Leftist protest movements could develop as they did throughout Europe. We don’t have much of a history of protesting in this country so it’s taking us a long time to figure it out.Add a comment
- 18 January 2012
- Diarmuid O'Flynn
There’s been much talk lately about promissory notes, the Anglo promissory notes particularly. Having been involved in Ballyhea in protesting the bank bondholder bailout for 45 weeks (and counting), I felt it my duty to do some research on this topic. Here is the result, in layman’s terms and with massive thanks to the Namawinelake blog.
A few years ago when this vat of worms was first opened up, it quickly became apparent that Anglo was insolvent - in other words its assets were worth less than its liabilities. Banks aren't allowed to be insolvent, so Anglo needed more cash, and in a hurry, or it would go under. The then Minister for Finance, the late Brian Lenihan, wrote a €30bn IOU and gave it to Anglo, who in turn took it to the Central Bank and asked to exchange it for cash. Did Brian ask your permission, my permission, before he landed us all with this massive debt? Did he even ask the permission of his government colleagues, did he – as required by our Constitution - ask permission of the Dáil? Did he hell. Anyway, off the rails as this request was the Central Bank nevertheless said yes, and handed over the money.Add a comment
- 10 January 2012
- Tom Boland
With its glass frontage Stapleton House on Cork’s Oliver Plunkett Street is an unlikely Bastille. However, like the Bastille, this NAMA building serves as one symbol of the illegitimacy of the regime, and contrary to myth the Bastille was almost equally empty.
Unlike the Bastille, this building was taken peacefully, and rather than opposing the state it is intended to supplement it; to give where the state cuts back. Briefly, the centre is intended to house various public amenities, from debt and mental-health counselling to a ‘Youth and Wisdom’ café run on a voluntary basis and a ‘pop-up’ soup kitchen.Add a comment
- 23 December 2011
- Paul Kestell
- 12 December 2011
- James G. Cussen
Mr. English opines that this is in response to the withdrawal of an invitation to Griffin to speak in Trinity College, and that issues relating to free speech will be teased out during Griffin's appearance. Honest!
First, let's dispatch the usual talking points very quickly. Mr. English is entitled to invite whoever he wishes to, regardless of their credentials or qualifications to speak, in relation to any issue whatsoever. Hypothetically, inviting Coco the Clown to speak on quantitative easing is his prerogative.
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- 25 November 2011
- Kieran Dunne
A recent report on the issue, carried out by the European Network Against Racism Ireland, highlighted the need for greater governance in the area. The report said that anecdotal evidence indicated racial slurs and incidents were on the increase - possibly due to the economic downturn.Add a comment
- 24 November 2011
- John G. Fitzgerald
It is an article of faith among almost all political parties in Ireland that the country’s future is inseparable from that of the euro. It is widely considered to be insane even to think of the alternative. If Ireland left the euro the economy would collapse, the country would have to default on its debts, and it would be frozen out of international markets, or so the story goes. There are too many practical difficulties in re-issuing an Irish currency and the national debt would still be denominated in euros, leaving a heavy burden for future generations.Add a comment
- 19 November 2011
- Vincent Wood