Region Archives: Ireland

On the necessity of a land tax

Constantin Gurdgiev gave a good overview of why a land tax is essential if Ireland is to build a smart / knowledge economy a few months back on the Renegade Economist. It’s probably worth reviewing his arguments today, the day Fianna Fail ruled out a (admittedly unfair) flat rate property tax. Gurdgiev blames the disparity more…

Londonderry SF councillor still confused

Sinn Féin councillor, Maeve McLaughlin, who doesn’t believe Londonderry [And Northern Ireland? – Ed] is still part of the UK, is now complaining that she can’t search the National Archives of Ireland for ‘Derry’.  As the Derry Journal reports Sinn Féin councillor Maeve McLaughlin said a number of local people had raised concerns about the website. more…

How to run a PR top up system with multi-seat constituencies

How to run a PR top up system with multi-seat constituencies

The point of multi seat constituencies is to provide the electorate with a choice not alone of party but of personnel. It is in effect a nascent instant primary system. However political parties don’t see it like that and tend towards running the minimal slate of candidates because they are currently fearful of using it as such more…

Quote of the Week

At the very least.  As identified by the observant Miriam Lord Quote of the week from former Republic of Ireland manager, Brian Kerr, discussing the massive salary paid to England manager Fabio Capello with Vincent Browne on his TV show. Brian, who is in charge of the Faroe Islands, joked that he pulls in twice more…

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Slugger’s comment thread rebuild – redux

You may recall that – a few weeks ago – I posted an idea on how we can add value to Slugger’s comments thread. It met with a mixed reaction, and while some of you liked the idea and saw possibilities in it, there were also some extremely perceptive objections. As a result, we have more…

“And then there was Arthur Morgan…”

An RTÉ report notes that a couple of TDs have been disciplined by their parties following yesterday’s vote in the Dáil which resulted in a ban on stag hunting, but not stalking.  And Harry McGee makes a sharp observation at his Irish Times blog And then there was Arthur Morgan. Like the Labour Party, Sinn Fein has done more…

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Two Arrests as Police Officers Injured During Customs Raid

Two police officers have been injured, one critically, during a cross border customs operation near Meigh, south Armagh.  Two men have been arrested.  From the RTÉ report Over the weekend a cargo of smuggled cigarettes arrived from China in Dublin Port. Watched by customs officers, the cargo was then brought to Dundalk. Earlier today the container was then more…

A solid statement that North-South cooperation is here to stay

Armagh is now on the Irish diplomatic circuit.  Next month the highly regarded Southern Joint Secretary of the North South Ministerial Council (NSMC), Tom Hanney, leaves to become Irish ambassador to Belgium. His successor, Anne Barrington, is finishing her days as ambassador to Tanzania. The man who will fill in over the summer, the current more…

Fisk back writing on Ireland

Nice piece yesterday: http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/commentators/fisk/robert-fisk-german-captains-uboats-and-other-lies-about-ireland-2004816.html The serious stuff is about Saville but I enjoyed this: “So thoroughly did I check out every possible lead that I came up with three U-boat stories, at least one of which is absolutely copper-bottomed. The first was a U-35 which sailed in to Dingle Bay on 4 October 1939 to more…

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Donie Cassidy: Sorry lads, there’s no sitting. I’m off to play golf in Turkey…

Whilst we’ve been obsessing with things Nordie, there’s been a whole series of awkward expenses stories in the south that’s led, for instances, to the resignation of the Fianna Fail whip by Ivor Callely.  Technically there’s nothing wrong with Parliamentarians playing golf with other Parliamentarians from other countries. But when you close down the upper more…

Seán Quinn’s cunning plan…

As the BBC notes, Seán Quinn has told RTÉ’s Prime Time that he has a plan to repay the  €2.8 billion the Quinn family owes Anglo Irish Bank within seven years.  Some turnips may be involved… Not least of which is that, if this earlier BBC report is correct, there are two separate debts involved. A year more…

Building on the Rugby success of the Ireland team(s)

It is understandable to view the 09/10 Irish rugby season as bit of a disappointment. No Heineken Cup win, no Grandslam and not even a trifling Triple Crown or a measly Magners league title. Ulster in particular, have had a difficult season vying at the business end of the season with Connacht for the third more…

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Republicans, prisoners, parades and conflict

I previously noted the Independent Hunger Strike Commemoration parade that applied for permission from the Parades Commission and how this was at least one reason RSF refused to support it. Last week’s parade in support of Republican prisoners in Belfast, organised by RSF, didn’t apply for permission and was allowed to take place unhindered (it more…

Irish inquiry calls for expulsion of Israeli officer

The Irish Times reports that Israeli Ambassador to Ireland, Dr Zion Evrony postponed a planned appearance at an Oireachtas committee today to answer questions about the aid flotilla controversy, citing “unforeseen circumstances”. However it also reports today that a leaked report from an inter-agency group including the Department of Foreign Affairs, the Department of Justice, more…

“Bar them from the Eurovision?”

In the Irish Times Miriam Lord reflects, briefly, on Taoiseach Brian Cowen’s Skibbereen Eagle moment in the Dáil yesterday Yesterday, the party leaders discussed what Kenny described as “an outrageous act of aggression on the high seas”. The attack by Israeli commandos on a humanitarian aid convoy to Gaza was roundly condemned, but minds were more…

Ireland-Israel tensions rise

It’s still looking very dicey out there in the Eastern Med, as we wait for the Irish wave.  Brian Cowen must know there’s not a snowball’s of the MV Rachel Corrie getting through to Gaza and is getting his diplomatic retaliation in first. The Israelis are drawing a careful distinction between the naval blockade and letting more…

Does the South now have a better welfare state than the North?

Growing up as a Northern Irish and British boy in the 1950s and 1960s, it was an article of faith that the wealthy United Kingdom had the best welfare state in the world and the Republic of Ireland was a backward and impoverished place that couldn’t afford such a socially advanced system. Even after nearly more…