Politics »

  • Have They All Had Charismadectomies?

    June 30, 2009 @ 5:30 pm | by Deaglán de Bréadún

    The summer won’t be as quiet politically as previous years. We are awaiting important reports from ‘An Bord Snip Nua’ and the Commission on Taxation and, of course, the Greens will be wrestling very publicly with their consciences.

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    The great are only great because we are on our knees: Big Jim Larkin statue in O’Connell Street, Dublin (Photograph by Frank Miller)

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  • What will replace Questions and Answers?

    @ 12:00 pm | by Harry McGee

    …. another Questions and Answers, of course.

    Most people who have more than a passing interest in Irish politics would have looked at the last episode of Q and A last night.

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  • Crocodile Tears for Michael Jackson?

    June 29, 2009 @ 7:16 pm | by Deaglán de Bréadún

    The prolonged mourning for the late Michael Jackson is  becoming distasteful. No doubt he had a great musical and theatrical talent and, of course, anyone’s death is a tragedy, especially the demise of one who was still relatively young and had a lot more to offer in artistic terms. 

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  • The Boom – what it really meant.

    June 25, 2009 @ 2:14 pm | by Harry McGee

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    A couple of years ago after yet another glowing IMF report about Ireland, the then Taoiseach Bertie Ahern famously commented: “The boom is getting boomer.”

    It was always goingt to be a spectacular boom. But there we were thinking it was all to do with economics when it was about the deafening noise that was made when the bubble burst.

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  • Nasty Nettle of Property Tax

    June 24, 2009 @ 3:20 pm | by Deaglán de Bréadún

    The political scene is overcome with ennui and sluggishness. The warm weather contributes to a mood where everybody wants to be somewhere else, preferably on a beach with a long, cool drink in hand.

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    Wolfe Tone: admirer of the ‘men of no property’

    (Photograph by Cyril Byrne)

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  • Once More into the Breach on Lisbon

    June 20, 2009 @ 3:45 pm | by Deaglán de Bréadún

    Given the number of bad weeks he has had since becoming Taoiseach, it was about time for Brian Cowen to have a good one. He got his guarantees and  his  protocols on the Lisbon Treaty and even managed to convey the impression of a little “Brit-bashing” along the way.

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    Did Brian really put Brown in his box in Brussels? (Photograph by Frank Miller from May 2008 at Stormont)

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  • Solitary Courage of a Hero of Our Time

    June 19, 2009 @ 2:23 pm | by Deaglán de Bréadún

    If you haven’t already done so, please read today’s column in The Irish  Times by John Waters (click here). It concerns a hero of our time, Dr Cyril Daly, who was a lone voice against corporal punishment in schools way back in the 1960s. 

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    Columnist John Waters (Photograph by Frank Miller)

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  • Rope a dope?

    June 17, 2009 @ 12:59 pm | by Harry McGee

    I am looking at Brian Cowen on the TV screen in the office, drudging through Taoiseach’s Questions. The Dáil this week has been like a burst balloon  or a wind without sails or an end-of-season clash between two mid-table teams.

    There has been a sense of tiredness – maybe it’s anti-climax – after the elections season and the emotion of the debate on the Ryan report. Nobody has whipped themselves into a froth of fury this week. There have been some more wringing of hands by parties (mainly the Greens) about the future and all the dreadful things that may be in store.

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  • Could Our Political Parties Organise a Booze-Up in a Brewery?

    June 15, 2009 @ 1:23 pm | by Deaglán de Bréadún

    Here’s a little saga that may or may not speak volumes about the political set-up in this country. The story begins with a news report by yours truly last week on a report from the Standards in Public Office Commission about the funding of political parties. flag-1.jpg

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  • FG Gives ‘FF’ the Boot

    June 11, 2009 @ 8:32 pm | by Deaglán de Bréadún

    My former colleague in the political press corps, Mark O’Connell used to like quoting “a Leinster House wag” in the course of his reports for a Sunday newspaper.  The wag could be a different person every week and, if one made a remark that O’Connell considered particularly witty, he would bestow the title upon you for the next edition – not by name of course, but you knew it was you when you read it.

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    Matt Kavanagh’s moving photograph from Wednesday’s protest march

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  • Lest We Forget

    June 9, 2009 @ 9:29 pm | by Deaglán de Bréadún

    Before they disappear under the receding wave of time, here are some impressions of the recent elections. In the course of the campaign, some people complained they were boring but the present writer didn’t find that to be the case.

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    In happier times . . . or maybe not: Gerry Adams (left) and Christy Burke
    (Photograph by Matt Kavanagh)

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  • The second storm…

    @ 10:31 am | by Harry McGee

    Fine Gael’s tactics in tabling a vote of no confidence was to give the Government parties no respite, no breathing space, no time for contemplation and cogitation.

    So once the Dáil kicks off today, it’s going to be all-action end-to-end stuff… well as close as it gets to that for anoraks. (more…)

  • Sunday night 22.20

    June 7, 2009 @ 11:00 pm | by Harry McGee

    I’m sitting at a table in the middle of the vast indoor auditorium at RDS Simmonscourt, after filing the latest copy on the Dublin euro constituency. In the distance George Hook is holding court at the Newstalk braodcasting stand watched by an audience of political hangers-on and anoraks. All of the Euro candidates are here.

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  • Long Night of the Soul for the Greens

    @ 10:55 pm | by Deaglán de Bréadún

    Not easy to find time for th’oul blog when you’re busy covering a rapidly-changing story for the paper. I’m currently languishing between the first and second count results for Ireland East, so it seemed a good time to “post”.

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    The Greens in happier times (from left:) John Gormley, Patricia McKenna (now Independent) and Trevor Sargent
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  • The Elections… the results… the runes

    June 6, 2009 @ 7:00 pm | by Harry McGee

    There are tallies galore. With some of them you can read the runes. With others you would be better off reading tealeaves.

    Let us get to the nub of what’s happening. (more…)

  • Get Out There And Vote

    June 5, 2009 @ 12:17 pm | by Deaglán de Bréadún

    There’s an Anarchist poster around town to the effect that, If voting changed anything they’d ban it. Or maybe it was, Don’t vote – it only encourages them. I know the arguments: parliamentary democracy is fixed in favour of the privileged, there’s no point, etc.

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    The alternative is anarchy (more…)

  • Frank Speaking from Flannery

    June 3, 2009 @ 10:50 am | by Deaglán de Bréadún

    Another angle to Frank Flannery’s public intervention (for previous post on this subject, click here) in the election may be an attempt to influence the result of the Dublin Central byelection. Sinn Féin’s Christy Burke is a candidate whose popularity exceeds that of his party. If FG’s Paschal Donohoe can attract SF transfers, so much the better from the main opposition party’s point of view.

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    The Bert in happier times: could he pull off an unlikely coup for De Brudder?

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  • Mairead McGuinness

    @ 10:16 am | by Harry McGee

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    I wrote a piece on Mairead McGuinness for this morning’s paper that appeared in a very truncated form. Here is the full piece…

     

    A GROUP of about 30 pensioners have gathered in the community hall in
    Dunshaughlin, Co Meath for a matinee performance of Alan Bennett’s
    play ‘The Lady of Letters’. A makeshift stage with two chairs and a
    table depicting a parlour has been set up under the basketball hoops. (more…)

  • Fine Gael pulls a stroke to zilch FF’s Ryan

    June 1, 2009 @ 12:02 pm | by Deaglán de Bréadún

    The Political Cute Hoor of the Week Award (even though it’s still only Monday) goes to Frank Flannery for his statement that Fine Gael would be willing to work with Sinn Féin to put Fianna Fáil out of office.

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    Enda and Frank: what are they cooking up? (Photograph by Eric Luke)

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