Headlong rush on Aer Lingus

The record high reached by the Irish stock market last week – with the ISEQ index breaking 8,000 – suggests that this might be a perfect time to raise large amounts of cash for Aer Lingus by way of a stock market flotation.

The culling of casinos

'Do you need €1.35 million? Play Now. Lotto. It could be you." The text of this advertisement for the National Lottery, in the window of some retailers at present, proves that the Government not only approves of gambling but actively encourages it.


Punishments to fit the crime

At least six, possibly seven, times as many people will die in road accidents this year as will be murdered. Accidents may be the wrong word, as the possibility of something going wrong in the event of excessive speeding or the consumption of alcoholic drink, both of which are offences in themselves, is increased. All drivers should know this, which makes them responsible for their actions. So does it mean that they should serve long jail sentences as a result if their actions result in death? It seems not.

Aer Lingus privatisation

The question must be asked of SIPTU: why did it refuse Aer Lingus chief executive Dermot Mannion the opportunity to meet the workers last week? And this: was it afraid that he might persuade them of the merits of selling the airline to the private sector? As well as this: is it possible that fighting the sale might be very damaging to the prospects for the airline and its remaining 3,500 employees?  


McDowell publicly tells Ahern to cut taxes

Michael McDowell's real, if coded, message to Bertie Ahern last week was this: win the next election for the existing Government by delivering transparent tax cuts to middle income earners in the next budget.

Mahon goes on and on and on...

This is a confession a Village columnist and national current affairs radio programme presenter and editor should probably not make, but I've lost interest in the Mahon Tribunal and I barely read or listen to any of the coverage these days.

AIB's 'excessive profit-taking' not the worst

It's easy to take pot-shots at AIB's profitability. Many politicians could not resist populist attacks last week when the bank announced 2005 profits of €1.7 billion, even after setting €50 million aside to cover the cost of compensating customers ripped off by the foreign exchange transactions scandal. This is an enormous figure in a country this size – even if half that profit is earned abroad. At face value it implies to some an organisation that is ripping off its customers, overcharging for services and products.