Insufferable preaching from cabals of cowards

If the bishops, after all that has happened, have the bottle to engage in public debate on a moral issue, bring them on. By Vincent Browne.

There is insolence abroad. A malign insolence from a once-powerful quarter, and insolence from a currently powerful quarter that is becoming even more powerful - and probably even more insolent.

Where is Occupy now?

On 8 October 2011 the Occupy Dame Street camp was established. But the next five months made it clear that such a disorganised (or “non-hierarchical” to use their term) protest would not be effective. On 8 March 2012 An Garda Síochána dismantled the camp and any campers that had remained were gone for good. But the campers had certainly generated public debate around the issues they had raised.

All is well - All is really, really well

Tax revenue is falling off and the current account deficit is growing. The €130 million in health cuts is just the start; there is more, much more, in store for us. By Michael Taft.

The Exchequer figures are out. And they are not good. Coming into this year, the Government had a strong wind at its back, with €1 billion being carried forward from Budget 2011. That wind has blown itself out and the Government is looking at a deteriorating situation.

In praise of public investment

It is the height of misunderstanding to fear that public investment distorts markets and crowds private investment out; the reality is one of highly distorted markets that are clearly incapable of fostering adequate levels of private investment. By Yanis Varoufakis.

The Electric Picnic’s alcohol paradox

In a summer where we seem to be fishing the bodies of young men out of rivers and canals with alarming frequency, there is surprisingly little debate about our paradoxical relationship with alcohol.

Cards on the table - I gave up drinking a few years ago after a young Wicklow man who was here in Stockholm to celebrate St Patrick’s Day drowned in an accident.

As is normal in Irish communities around the world, there was a lot of drinking done that weekend, and in truth it could have been any of us.

Let the TV cameras into Seán Fitzpatrick trial

If the administration of justice in public is essential to the maintenance of a democratic state, then clearly the stability of the state would be supported by making access to what is happening in courts easier by having cases broadcast on television. By Vincent Browne.

The expectation that the silly season will end abruptly with the trial of Seán FitzPatrick and his co-accused is mistaken.

Crisis of mortgage arrears has wider impact

The Government's Personal Insolvency Bill, while providing some positives, favours the rights of creditors, banks and lending institutions. By Patrick Nulty, TD.

At the end of June this year there were a staggering 83,251 homes with mortgage arrears of more than 90 days. This represents 10.9% of all homes with mortgages. Of these 65,698 homes were in arrears of more than 180 days. This is the equivalent of 8.6% of the total stock.

How mainstreaming becomes assimilation as Traveller-specific supports disappear

My school day, over eleven years, was filled with drawing, knitting and sewing. Various therapies, such as speech and language, occupational therapy and physical therapy were also part of that day. Travellers were automatically assumed to have a cognitive and cultural disability. The segregated syllabus didn’t include languages, maths, history or the Irish language – all mandatory subjects in mainstream education. By Rosaleen McDonagh.