The Dublin Smite and Lockdown of 2011 didn't go unnoticed by that city's citizens, but was notable for how casually it was imposed; and for the hole in mainstream comment where criticisms of the basic infringement of civil liberties it constituted should have been. In Ireland's new Emergency, writes Dublin Dilettante, the time is never right for questions, let alone protest.
Talking about the effects of a long history of colonisation is not exemplary of the holding of a 'petty grudge' or a failure to let go of the past, writes Cian O'Callaghan. The effects of Ireland's particular history on its particular present cannot so easily be dismissed, and deserve to be engaged with.
While there is no question but that We The Citizens has some entirely laudable aims - the reimagination of our broken political system; placing citizens at the heart of deciding what kind of country they wish to have – it ignores questions of power and autonomy, placing its faith instead in an imago of a free individual who will, given the opportunity, express opinions and beliefs which are untainted by power and ideology.
As an intellectual, the first duty of the academic who wishes to engage with society is on the level of ideas, writes Eddie Brennan. Trying to build a new society within the institutions, language and politics of the nineteenth century is hopeless; what is needed from intellectuals and academics is rebellious thought.
The argument over wages and competitiveness usually lacks one critical fact: that that argument, when articulated by the likes of IBEC or Chambers Ireland, is not really about competitiveness at all, and is rather about maintaining or increasing the profit margins enjoyed by employers at the expense of their employees, writes Aidan Regan.
Speaking on RTÉ radio's Dialogue a number of years ago writer John Moriarty, quoting Philip Larkin's Church Going, said: 'There's that last wonderful stanza:
A serious house on serious earth it is,
In whose blent air all our compulsions meet,
Are recognized, and robed as destinies.
And that much never can be obsolete,
Since someone will forever be surprising
A hunger in himself to be more serious,
And gravitating with it to this ground,
Which, he once heard, was proper to grow wise in,
If only that so many dead lie round.