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Right and left: role reversals and new-age politics

Fintan O’Toole on riots in Dublin; David McWilliams on modern politics; and Roe McDermott’s latest advice column

Welcome to this week’s IT Sunday, a selection of the best Irish Times journalism for our subscribers.

In the second half of the week, national headlines were dominated by riots in Dublin city centre that followed the stabbing of several people, including children, in an incident in the north inner city. In the wake of the riots, Fintan O’Toole wrote: “The anguish and the anxiety go deep, and this moment will not be easily erased. But we have seen that some things go much deeper: including the love that impels us to risk our lives for one another. That is where our republic lives.”

David McWilliams this weekend is examining new-age politics, observing that in many instances the right has become left, and the left has become right. Turning his attention to the next president of Argentina, Javier ‘chainsaw’ Milei, he says: “Milei is the most radical, and most colourful, of all the ‘new-age’ politicians who have emerged over the past decade. I call them ‘new-age’ politicians because we are in a new age... Whether it is Trump, now the bookies’ favourite to be in the White House this time next year, Wilders in Holland, Meloni in Italy or Le Pen, who is leading the polls in France, these are politicians for a new era.

“They are described as right-wing but the old language isn’t accurate. They are more a loose coalition of alternatives – alternatives to the status quo. Animated by corruption or demography and immigration, sometimes they are fired up by culture, other times by economics. Some of them, such as Le Pen, want a bigger and more protective state, while others, such as Milei and Trump, want to tear it down.”


Matt Williams is starting a rugby revolution, he’s even named the movement: the mission of ‘Find Your Backs’ Side’ (FIBS) is to bring awareness of the unjust laws that have disadvantaged backlines to the attention of the rugby community, he writes.

“Today, hookers (actual fee paying members of the Front Row Union) are often the game’s leading try scorers. This abomination is caused by the overwhelming number of scrums that now end in penalties, which in turn has triggered an explosion in the number of mauls formed from the lineouts created by these penalties. From which hookers score tries. All of which have disenfranchised backs’ involvements in the game.”

Corinna Hardgrave this week wrote about a restaurant – Da Mirco, in Cork – that is so wonderful that she wanted to return the very next day. “Da Mirco feels close to my perfect restaurant: simple food, good wine, a relaxed atmosphere, and a very affordable price point.” Read the 4.5-star review here. Food Month is continuing all November at The Irish Times, where you’ll find features, restaurant reviews, recipes and everything else food-related.

Roe McDermott, in her latest advice column, responds to a reader who is experiencing difficulty navigating sexual boundaries in their relationship: “My partner has brought up their concerns over not having enough sex throughout the week. As a victim of sexual assault, I have told them that it can be difficult for me. How can I take on their concerns regarding sex, while also being sensitive to my own trauma?”

In this week’s On the Money newsletter, Dominic Coyle is taking a look at redundancy. A slowing economy over the past year has meant job losses are appearing in the headlines more frequently, according to Coyle. Knowing how your payoff will be taxed and your rights to other support are important in a position few plan to find themselves in. Sign up here to receive the newsletter straight to your inbox every Friday.

As always, there is much more on, including rundowns of all the latest movies in our film reviews, tips for the best restaurants in our food section and all the latest in sport. There are plenty more articles exclusively available for Irish Times subscribers here.

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