Future Ireland from a Southern Perspective

This week, we’re featuring submissions from readers on the theme of ‘Future Ireland: Alternative Conversations about Unity and the Union’. Competition winners will be published on Saturday. Éamonn Toland is a business leader and writer from Dublin. Just over a decade ago, before the crash, the then Irish Foreign Minister, Dermot Ahern, called for the IFA and FAI to form an all-Ireland soccer team, so that the island could “punch its full weight internationally, something that real sports people have … Read more

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 … Read more

Should the Republic of Ireland Stay in the EU?

Former Irish ambassador Ray Bassett has written a detailed report for the UK think-tank Policy Exchange entitled After Brexit, Will Ireland be Next to Exit? He argues that Ireland should seriously consider whether or not it stays in the European Union, and he appears to favour an Irish exit. The issues raised by Bassett certainly deserve serious deliberation. As shown in the UK’s referendum, those in favour of continued EU membership were found wanting when it came to articulating the benefits for remaining within the … Read more

Special Status for the ROI in the EU?

In my post on whether Northern Ireland could stay in or have “special status” in the EU, I concluded that at the very least Northern Ireland does already have special status because everyone has the option of taking up an EU (Irish) passport. I’m now considering whether Brexit may also result in EU “special status” for the Republic. To be clear, this is a think-piece, not a proposal. I’m ruling out the Republic of Ireland actually leaving the EU, as its economy is … Read more

Belfast City Council debate on inviting the ROI & NI football teams to City Hall

belfast city council logo

Tonight  Belfast City Council rejected two amendments by the DUP and UUP that would have changed the original decision by the council in December to invite the Irish Republic and Northern Ireland football teams for a reception in Belfast City Hall. Here are some live tweets from myself and Rebecca Black from the Belfast Telegraph from the debate .@BrianKingston says Cllrs declaring that they dont support NI is “sending out the wrong message. “ — David McCann (@dmcbfs) January 5, … Read more

Another Societal Milestone Passed; What Next for Progressing Ireland?

Last Saturday’s overwhelmingly positive referendum outcome in support of constitutional recognition for same-sex marriage was a great result for progress, equality, liberty, inclusion, rights for everyone and all things good in Ireland. It was a proud and historic moment for Irish society generally and especially for those Irish citizens living in the Republic who had and positively utilised the residential privilege to vote. To think homosexual acts were only decriminalised in the state 22 years ago in 1993… Having found themselves under the repressive moral and … Read more

The price of cancer for children in the Republic

More than 70% of the population in the Republic of Ireland have to pay to see their GP, as well as prescription charges and Health Care Costs. More than one in four sick people are deterred from visiting their GP as a result. Costs to see a GP range from anywhere between €45 – €75, to call out an ambulance can cost anywhere from €100, as can a hospital stay. Add to that prescription charges and illness can be a … Read more

Passion went missing Republic’s ‘pointless’ show at #Euro2012…

Managerialism. That’s what they call it. Shuffling the deck chairs with little or no point or sense of long term value other than to perform a job. Call me, generally, neutral on the FAI/IFA thing, but last night missed the passion for the green shirt shown in former days by Gerry Armstrong, Sammy Mc, Niall Quinn and even that old fake Irishman Tony Cascarino. There wasn’t even trace of Jack’s much derided route one to goal. Trap’s game plan was … Read more

After #Euro2012 is it time to think about a single Ireland soccer team?

Well, as it was put on Morning Ireland this morning the Republic sang whilst Spain played football. The singing, whilst impressive, only annoyed Roy Keane the more. The Corkman was blunt: “We’re a small country, we’re up against it, but let’s not just go along for the sing-song every now and again.” Translated, this roughly means: “this is sport, not entertainment”. I’m sure my old Da, who never even saw Keane the elder play but who loved seriously competitive players … Read more