Politics »

  • Showbiz politics in presidential race

    September 22, 2011 @ 7:01 pm | by Deaglán de Bréadún

    The news that RTE’s presidential debate will be broadcast on the Late Late Show says it all – this is a showbiz election. That’s not necessarily a bad thing and it is even, in a way, heartening to think that a political race could have the same crowd-pulling power as The X Factor. (more…)

  • Sombre Jumping-Off Point

    July 31, 2010 @ 11:18 pm | by Deaglán de Bréadún

    Last March while covering the Taoiseach’s visit to California, I took time out of a fairly hectic schedule to pay a visit to the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco. It was my first time on the West Coast but the Bridge was well-known to me from movies, especially those of Clint Eastwood. (more…)

  • Calamity Coughlan?

    March 2, 2010 @ 12:45 pm | by Harry McGee

    Tánaiste Mary Coughlan has a huge perception problem. Her reputation is probably unrecoverable at this stage. The Sunday Times gave her a going-over, not once but twice, the weekend before last.

    However, the evidence that has the commentariat dub her as Calamity Coughlan is thin on the ground, when you begin to parse it. I think she is lacking in the requisite skills for this job, but for different reasons than  my fellow members of the commentariat have chosen. (more…)

  • The Mess We’re In and meaningless speculation about a reshuffle

    February 26, 2010 @ 2:50 pm | by Harry McGee

    One of my favourite books of all time is Joe Lee’s 1912 to 1985, A Social and Political history of Ireland.

    In the amazing Perspectives chapter at the end of the book, Lee rails and vents against the dearth of ideas, courage and innovation in Ireland during most of the first six miserable decades of the State. Denmark started off the last century on equal footing to Ireland but innovated, adapted and adjusted while Ireland stagnated and stalled into a decades-long sclerosis.


  • Cowen off the cuff but still off the track

    February 5, 2010 @ 10:59 am | by Harry McGee

    Brian Cowen at a Fianna Fail Event last year. Pic Brian O’Brien

    It has been one of few moments that Brian Cowen has been on fire since becoming Taoiseach.

    Last year, he stood up at the Dublin Chamber of Commerce Annual Dinner and, without warning, delivered a master class in rhetoric.  First of all let’s pile up the negatives. His lacklustre record as Taoiseach. His general inaccessibility. His mule-like refusal to come out and tell it like it is. His gruesome prose. His secretive instincts. Suspicion of the media.


  • How much do we really know?

    January 25, 2010 @ 1:27 pm | by Harry McGee

    Brian Cowen’s interview with Gerald Barry on This Week yesterday was one of his better ones. (You can listen to the full interview here.)

    He warmed up towards the end and you could hear from his voice that he was speaking in real English and probably gesticulating his arms, and not just coming out the civil servant nonsense lingo.


  • Cowen and Brown in Downing Street

    January 14, 2010 @ 4:20 pm | by Harry McGee

    Both leaders have issued a statement in the past 45 minutes. It’s exactly as you would expect. It goes along the lines of many previous statements, with minor variations.

    The gist. The following are the important issues: devolution of policing and justice powers.

    Despite all the tragifarce of the past month, despite the serious fever that the Iris Virus has caused to the DUP, we believe it’s still achievable. What’s more we believe it’s desirable. The date on the Good Friday Agreement ticket has not yet expired.  Like parents, we have finally emptied the nest, but you always know we are there at the end of a telephone.


  • Audacity of opposition versus timidity of Government

    November 4, 2009 @ 10:42 am | by Harry McGee

    Arianna Huffington in her eponymous blog  poses a great question in her headline on Obama’s first year in office (see the blog posting here).

    “Obama One Year  Later,” it reads. “The Audacity of Winning vs. The Timidity of Governing”.


  • Brian Cowen and the Naked Truth

    March 26, 2009 @ 10:33 am | by Deaglán de Bréadún

    The silly season usually arrives in August. At that time, parliament and the courts and the other institutions are on their summer hols and the most wild and wonderful stories have a chance of surfacing in the news media.cowen.jpg

    National Gallery visitor reads caption under Brian Cowen caricature


  • Those Senators on the ‘Late Late Show’

    March 21, 2009 @ 12:57 pm | by Deaglán de Bréadún

    People who couldn’t get through to RTE to complain about the Senators on the Late Late Show last night were ringing The Irish Times instead. It’s very hard to blame them. To watch the programme, click here (item is about one hour into the programme.)


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