Future Ireland / Economic Inequality: An emerging challenge for a New Ireland

In October last year, I attended a keynote speech delivered by President of Ireland Michael D Higgins to a packed auditorium at the University of Auckland, New Zealand. The speech was anchored around Michael Davitt’s 1896 visit to New Zealand, a visit where Davitt was impressed by the then Crown Colony’s progressive policies on land, tax, pensions and the economy. Subsequently, the founder of the Irish National Land League brought a number of these innovative ideas back to Ireland, to …

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Live Rugby: Ireland v New Zealand – Ireland Win!

Half time score at Soldier Field, Chicago, was Ireland 25 New Zealand 8.  Second half has just gotten under way.  BBC text commentary here.  Or watch live.  Audio is a bit ropey. But it could be history… Update Ireland win!  For the first time ever, in 111 years of trying, Ireland have beaten the All Blacks!  With 5 minutes to go, the score was Ireland 33 New Zealand 29 and the momentum looked like it was with the All Blacks. …

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Brexit will strengthen the Union

Brexit will strengthen the Union, not weaken it. The vast majority of Scottish & Ulster trade is far and away with the rest of the UK. Scottish trade with the EU is down 20% in the last year with the USA being Scotland’s single biggest export country. The Republic of Ireland accounts for only just over 4% of Northern Ireland sales (which is more than Northern Ireland sales to the rest of the EU put together) A report from Barclays …

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Flying the flag: New Zealand debates a new flag

New Zealand Prime Minister, John Key proposed a few years back his desire to see a new flag for the country. Referenda will be held later this year and in the early part of 2016 on whether to replace the existing flag the country has since 1902. He has come into some criticism for one-focusing on a flag and two the cost of doing such a lengthy process which will cost around $26 million. Key has expressed a preference for …

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RWC – Mum: ‘He proved them wrong’

Wonderful stuff from the NZ Herald: Sheryll Donald this morning said she never doubted her son would turn in a great game when he was called off the bench with 50 minutes to go. Seeing him rescue the flagging All Blacks side was one of the proudest moments of her life, she said. And as Graham Henry said: Didn’t he do well. Steve Donald. Superb DewiWelsh Nationalist. Rugby Fan. Know a bit about History and Railways…

RWC – almost done….come on All Blacks!

Enjoy: Power’s back on in Auckland. Sticking with the Herald – A number of All Blacks are pacing around the playing surface.. Enjoy! DewiWelsh Nationalist. Rugby Fan. Know a bit about History and Railways…

RWC: Final – Will France make a game of it?

New Zealand unchanged and supremely confident. France? “le match de toute une vie”  – Imanol Harinordoquy ain’t a bad player. Let’s face it – they’ve done it before.. I hope New Zealand stuff them and sink their ship on the way home. Any objective observations? DewiWelsh Nationalist. Rugby Fan. Know a bit about History and Railways…

RWC: Semi Final Day…Make History Wales…please!!

2 Fairly big games this weekend in Auckland. On Sunday New Zealand face Australia. Is McCaw fit? Will the all Blacks risk Cruden or play Weepu first five eighth? (Where on earth does “first five eighth” come from?) Here’s the NZ Herald – Graham Henry will be trying to stay awake…it’s a 9pm start in New Zealand – which is a bit different for the players. In Australia they are working on those Sonny Bill Williams voodoo dolls…might be working – …

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Rugby World Cup: Wales could be in with a shout, but Ireland must dream…

Mick has sent me to New Zealand for the RWC (in my sweet and wonderful dreams…). Anyway a wonderful opinion piece in the New Zealand Herald (required reading for the next month or so): “While we are on the topic of RWC lunacy, how did Quade Cooper escape with no punishment after the obviously deliberate kneeing of McCaw last week? At the risk of sounding an All Black paranoid, if it had been McCaw’s knee on Cooper, the world would …

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The Maori and the Pakeha: Why can’t it work for us?

I recently had the pleasure of visiting New Zealand, and was quietly impressed by the way in which the minority Maori culture has been embraced by the majority Pakeha (i.e. white) population. That is not to say that NZ is blissfully free of ethnic tension, but such tensions seem to revolve around affirmative action and guaranteed representation rather than a cultural gap. This is exemplified by the extensive Maori carvings that decorate Auckland airport – at one point just past immigration …

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