Looking back at a tortured century

Penguin recently launched a series of books entitled Central European Classics, which highlight the tragedy of the twentieth century. By Shane Creevy.

The books are designed to showcase writing from the region and include novels, short stories, dystopian satire, short fables, memoirs and essays.

No rise in student registration fee this year

A nervous Mary Coughlan drew severe criticism from the opposition in her first committee meeting as Minister for Education yesterday.  By Shane Creevy.

Coughlan confirmed that there are no plans to bring in student fees in the lifetime of the present government. However, one new piece of information was made abundantly clear; there will be no rise in the student registration fee for the forthcoming academic year.

Brevity can be beautiful

What exactly is wrong with Yasutaka Tsutsui’s The Maid? Not very much really. Except one thing: it should never have been a novel. By Shane Creevy.

Yasutaka Tsutsui is a renowned Japanese writer, whose work is now beginning to be read in translation. The Maid is his fourth novel published in English by Alma Books and covers the exploits of poor unfortunate Nanase.

She has been blessed with telepathic abilities – or cursed rather.

A reflection for Workers' Memorial Day

Workers should be allowed the freedom to change employer. By Siobhan O'Donoghue.

A feature of the economic growth model pursued by Ireland has been an attachment to and an overvaluing of risk taking. Taking risks has been seen as fundamental to progress at an individual and societal level. This greed-driven madness has led us to the brink of disaster.

Front Line report an 'awful reflection on policing'

A report launched yesterday, 'Breakdown In Trust: A Report on the Corrib Gas Dispute', raises serious concerns about the assault of Willie Corduff in April 2009. By Shane Creevy.

The report, commissioned by Front Line, is detailed and comprehensive. Front Line was keen to stress that the review was independent, having heard from many different figures in the Shell dispute.

Conflicts within feminism remain

Feminism today faces serious challenges, and defining exactly what it means to be feminist in the 21st century is an increasingly difficult task. By Shane Creevy.

Recent high-profile cases of domestic violence among celebrities – Chris Brown and Charlie Sheen spring to mind – lead to broad questions about the world around us. We might begin by thinking about the influence of American celebrities on Irish teenagers. We might also question the role of feminism in the twenty first century.

Commercial rack rents persist despite new law

Despite a law change in January, upward-only rent reviews continue to affect tenants with leases signed prior to 1 March 2010. Struggling shopkeepers hoping for a rent review remedy will be kept waiting. By Sandy Hazel.

The Land and Conveyancing Law Reform Act 2009 includes a key provision which renders ineffective the traditional upward-only rent review clause. However, this does not apply to leases signed before the commencement of the Act.

Mainstream media criticised by politicians

At the Committee meeting for Health and Children yesterday, RTE and the Irish Times were criticised for their lack of coverage of the See Change campaign. By Shane Creevy.

The See Change campaign, launched April 15, is an attempt to lower the level of suicide in Ireland by normalising mental health disorders.

Recounting the Troubles unsettling but necessary

January 1972 began with hopes of a new year and a new beginning in Northern Ireland. Newspapers and religious authorities were optimistic, as was a clairvoyant who we might consider amusing in his ineptitude were it not for the grim reality of the year that followed.

Because 1972 was, simply, one of the the worst years of the Troubles. Within the first hour of January eight bombs went off in Belfast. There would be a further 379 bombings in the same month alone, setting the tone for a vicious year of violence.

Rape victim support services face mounting challenges

The use of support services by victims of rape continues to increase while budgets have been cut by up to 15%.

The revelations of the Ryan and Murphy reports have brought increased exposure to the horrific acts of violence and rape that were perpetrated by the clergy. However, such horrors still continue today across the country.

As the impact of the recession and last December's budget cuts make their force felt in Irish life, Women's Aid and the Rape Crisis Network Ireland (RCNI) face mounting challenges.