Tag Archives | Republic

North -South is a political gift going a-begging

Two cheers to the Financial Times (£) for giving space to one of the many topics that people in Northern Ireland who live close to it take for granted but shouldn’t. The story is headlined “Irish two-speed economy puts integration under pressure”. Sixteen years after the signing of the Good Friday Agreement that ushered in a more…

A great example of cross border cooperation. More needed

This is a key example of the sort of all-island planning that should be speeded up in all sectors.  Good to see that flag waving doesn’t come into it. But the “black hole” must be filled. .. fears have been voiced that more families will face a uncertainty over where operations will take place in England more…

Is Stormont fit to take the gamble on a lower corporation tax?

The economist James Stewart of Trinity College Dublin  has revealed details of the extent of legal tax dodging  (£) involved in the Republic’s tax much vaunted 12.5% business tax rate in the Financial Times He argues that  the Republic’s government seems not be aware that a vast quantity of profits  are not subject to corporation tax anywhere more…

The “what ifs? ” of our past play a part in dealing with it today

The row over former taioseach John Bruton’s regret that the Easter Rising ever happened goes on. Will historian Diarmaid Ferriter have the very last word? In his latest sally in the Irish Times, Ferriter attacks the exaggerated use of the counterfactual, the “what if” school of history. His argument to  Bruton is basically simple –look, more…

The British goverment must set a better example before the case for an amnesty is properly heard

Adrian Guelke a  South African a  Queen’s academic and a leading authority on post-conflict resolution joins the growing list of reputable figures calling for an amnesty. He criticises the two governments for lack of involvement (although the unfortunate  Eamon Gilmore can’t be faulted for trying almost right up  to the moment of his resignation as Labour more…

Irish and English election results so different, so much the same

Similar trends and outcomes are apparent when the British and Irish elections results are compared. They are of course part of a common European picture. But the immediate effect on the coalition governments  at Westminster and in Leinster House differs. The Irish coalition is rocking. The Irish Times is even speculating that pressure from Labour may more…

Personal memories of Sunningdale and the UWC strike – the lost opportunity for a generation

Although I couldn’t attend the conferences they’ve sparked off vivid memories. This was a time when not only Northern Ireland seemed ungovernable but Britain too. At the Sunningdale civil service college in Berkshire we in the media were stuck in the conference annex for days because of the difficulty of getting taxis during the three day week, then in full more…

After the Adams arrest there is a way through, you know

The IRA is gone, it’s finished.” I want to make it clear that I support the PSNI.” My reading of Gerry Adams’ statement on his release with his anger only just held in check, is that he wants to limit the damage while capitalising on the circumstances. Snap reactions are notoriously unreliable. But the events more…

If Gerry Adams was ever immune, that immunity has now been lifted. What next?

The Adams arrest raises acute questions about a comprehensive approach to dealing with the past I discussed just before the news broke. Depending on the outcome, the prospects could go either way. The cry of selective or one sided justice from one side produces an inevitable echo. Justice all round is unlikely to become better served, neither are truth or political relations. If the more…

After the Visit, the greater epiphany?

What we saw in Windsor Castle this week was a delayed act of official reconciliation that should have taken place fifty years ago but was held up by the Troubles. It was in reality the unfinished business of closing a sequence of turmoil that began over a century ago, whose shadow is finally lifting only more…

Faint echoes from Ukraine reach home

From Timothy Garton Ash’s piercing analysis in the Guardian. Start by abandoning the labels “ethnic Ukrainians” and “ethnic Russians”. They mean almost nothing. What you have here is a fluid, complex mix of national, linguistic, civic and political identities. There are people who think of themselves as Russians. There are those who live their lives more…

United Ireland’s struggle against gay rights wins RTE damages

  Is it defamatory to accuse opponents of same sex marriage of homophobia? Or are they fairly exercising their consciences in declining to recognise equality with heterosexuals?   Irish Times columnists are on opposite sides of an argument which is part of the Republic’s slow emergence into the modern era. Sadly though the columnists haven’t gone head more…

The Irish archives are a partial model for information retrieval today – if the politicians ever let it happen

The release of papers about the rank and file – and the women – of the 1916 Easter Rising should prompt greater depth and detail in the writing of history you might have thought had been well turned over already. But you’d be wrong.  The eminent  historian Diarmaid  Ferriter explains the crucial role of the Bureau of more…

Northern Ireland reflections on the “real” Mandela, man and myth

Hooray. There is still a role for newspapers. The Guardian proves it with their balancing coverage of the early obsequies for Nelson Mandela who it might be thought is one of their natural heroes.   Restoring a human dimension after the hours of adulation and longueurs of 24/7 TV news is Simon Jenkins’ column and the more…

Trinity academic to become first woman cardinal shock!

No, Not Crocodile Dundee’s soon to be ex -wife but the vice provost of Trinity College Dublin. A real Sunday flyer From the Sunday Times (£) SHE may be a woman, married, a feminist and only 49, but an Irish theologian called Linda Hogan is being tipped as the Vatican’s first lady in red. There more…

The Glenanne story proves the time for frank admissions is overdue: further prevarication over collusion implies Briitsh government cover-up

Like most of the atrocities of the Troubles the story of the Glenanne gang isn’t unfamiliar  Suzanne Breen for one gave a detailed account of the 1976 Kingmills and Reavey brothers  massacres in January 2011 based it would seem on  “ imminent” HET reports. Of the Reavey murders she stated as a matter of established  fact: more…

The decline of traditional patriotism in Britain and Ireland

Remember the great closing episode of Blackadder from the trenches of the Great War where the artful dodger meets his nemesis at last   : “ We need a futile gesture?” The “futile gesture” being that he was to lead his men over the top to be mown down by the German machine guns.  But it more…

More on the trend of reconciliation in the decade of commemoration

  Stephen Collins writes in the Irish Times:   So far the decade of commemoration for the great events spanning the 1912 to 1922 period that led to Irish independence has been marked in a similar spirit or reconciliation and compromise. The tens of thousands of Irish men who fought in the first World War more…