Author Archive | George

Northern Ireland to miss out on another 2012 Olympics opportunity?

Not satisfied with ensuring that Northern Ireland doesn’t have a stadium in place to host football matches or any other sporting discipline during the 2012 Olympics, it seems Belfast is now also out of the running as a potential venue for training camps ahead of the world’s largest sporting event after the city’s bid arrived more…

Darling needs to be less out of whack in Budget 2009

When Alistair Darling presented his first budget as Chancellor of the Exchequer in March 2008, the US mortgage markets were in meltdown and the credit markets barely functioning. But Darling remained confident that the United Kingdom was well-placed to “maintain stability” through the world economic slowdown. He bullishly predicted that the British economy would “continue more…

150 years of Irish Times available

For those interested in doing a spot of research or simply some historical browsing, the entire 150-year archive of the Irish Times is freely available at the moment. The offer ends April 6th, so enjoy it while you can. Feel free to post any gems you find.

Lisbon or Nice – the choice facing Irish voters

One point in José Manuel Barroso’s interview with RTÉ that has so far failed to receive much coverage is the EU Commission president’s admission that, even if there is a second no vote to the Lisbon Treaty, the world won’t fall in and the European Union will continue pretty much as before. If the Lisbon more…

Sterling in crisis – will it end in tears?

While some northerners see opportunity in the form of southern shoppers from sterling’s precipitous fall in recent months, others in Great Britain are less sanguine about the benefits accruing from the weakness of the British currency, not least because of Gordon Brown’s budget profligacy to try and encourage consumer spending in the UK as a more…

Mixed messages over success of British Army Irish recruitment drive

Last month, the Times reported how 16 per cent of the new recruits to the British Army in Northern Ireland since April were from south of the border, more than double the figure for 2006. Slugger dealt with it here. However, today the Irish Independent reported that an “expensive” recruitment drive by the British Army more…

Robinson and Adams continue blame game

It seems DUP leader Peter Robinson is now fully aware of the chill economic winds blowing through Northern Ireland and like any decent politician worth his salt, has embarked on a policy of blaming someone else for the upcoming woes. While others blame, for example, the banks, Robinson preferred instead to focus on Sinn Féin more…

Last chance saloon or flogging a dead horse?

The Sunday Times has published Platinum One’s report on how to transform the fortunes of domestic football on this island and, not surprisingly, it involves the creation of an All-Ireland Premier League. The plan would see the league run along the lines of the English and Scottish Premier Leagues which would have a prize money more…

Give a dog a bad name?

A picture is worth a thousand words in the media, especially if it’s one that can reinforce a popular stereotype. In this case, it’s Linfield fans as a horde of troublemakers. The incident in Dublin involving Linfield fans at the Setanta Cup clash against St Patrick’s Athletic comes hot on the heels of media reports more…

Dublin’s IFSC moves North

New laws will be put in place to extend Dublin’s Irish Financial Services Sector across the border. The announcement came following a meeting between Taoiseach-in-waiting Brian Cowen and Northern First Minister-in-wating Peter Robinson. Under the plan, companies based in the Irish Republic, which are currently suffering skills shortages, will be able to employ undergraduates in more…

The UK and “the largest financial shock since the Great Depression”

Sterling has hit an 11-year low against a range of currencies and slumped to 80p against the euro for the first time as consumer confidence wanes against a weakening housing market and a downgrade to UK growth forecasts. On the same day the International Monetary Fund cut its UK growth forecast for next year to more…

“A New Year proposal that will be too good for the FAI and IFA to refuse”

The Irish Independent reports that “advanced discussions about the introduction of an All Ireland soccer league” have taken place between top eircom League and Irish League sides and with the backing of “significant third party” encouragement. While the report cites no sources and accordingly has to be taken with a large pinch of salt, it more…

“From our side nothing has been decided”

There seems to be conflicting news coming out regarding the issue of the FAI drafting players from throughout the island of Ireland. The Irish Independent reports that FIFA has now decided “the FAI, who may no longer quote the Good Friday Agreement as an excuse for drafting up players born on the island of Ireland” more…

Up to our oxters in debt

Up to our oxters in debt

It seems the citizens of the UK now owe as much as the entire value of the British economy while, not to be outdone, Ireland has moved to the top of the eurozone’s indebtedness table. Starting with the UK, the Independent reports that gross domestic product (GDP) will hit £1.33 trillion this year, less than more…

Irish abortion rate continues to fall, UK’s continues to rise

The number of Irish women travelling to the UK for abortions continued to drop in 2006 while, in contrast, the overall figures for the UK remain on an upward trend. The same divergence was also seen in the number of teenage pregnancies in both countries. Last year, 5,042 women gave Irish addresses at British abortion more…