Keane report 'designed to protect the banks'

The Keane report is cold comfort for those in mortgage distress. By Christina Finn.

When the Keane report was first commissioned there was some hope that something good might come out of it. Finally a report on the mortgage crisis, where everyone can sit down and hammer out a solution. We weren’t just fools to think that would happen; we were downright stupid.

Wicklow council to face criminal charges

Wicklow County Council is facing four criminal charges relating to the deaths of two Bray firemen in 2007. Mark O'Shaughnessy and Brian Murray died while fighting a fire at a disused factory in September 2007. The men were killed when the roof of the factory collapsed on them.

In a letter to the Council's law agent David Sweetman, Wicklow County councillors were informed that the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) had made a decision to prosecute the 'principals' of Wicklow County Council. The letter continued to say that "summonses would follow in due course".

Are workers’ rights a sideline to economic survival?

Many of the architects of this crisis are managing to survive the recession pretty well, continuing to draw generous salaries or retiring from political and corporate life with handsome pensions. The contrast with the most poorly paid and protected among the Irish workforce could hardly be starker. As Christina Finn explains here, the recent reduction of the national minimum wage has accelerated a “race to the bottom” that will leave marginalised and migrant workers even more vulnerable than before.

Fresh debate was on the Button

An unconventional election debate held to a full house at The Button Factory in Dublin's Temple Bar, had the energy that voters are looking for in this general election. Organised by musician Candice Gordon, the event, called Re:Public2011, sought change in stuffy political leader debates and a campaign that would engage more people in politics.

Davenport Hotel staff in battle to defend minimum wage

The O'Callaghan Hotel Group came under severe criticism today following allegations that it attempted to force five migrant workers to sign new employment contracts at the reduced national minimum wage. The women, who are all from Eastern Europe and who have worked for the Davenport Hotel in Dublin's city centre for four to six years, refused to sign the contracts and were taken off the hotel roster. By Christina Finn

Cowen bows out

Brian Cowen delivered his valedictory speech as Taoiseach in the Dail today in front of all parties, his wife and two daughters. This afternoon, he tendered his resignation as Taoiseach and President Mary McAleese dissolved the Dail. Yesterday, Brian Cowen announced that he will not contest the next election.  

"It has been a privilege to serve the people of Ireland," he said. He wished all members of the Dail well especially those retiring from politics, and said he had made "enduring friendships that go beyond politics".

Enda Kenny declines three-way debate

Fine Gael leader Enda Kenny has declined the invitation by newly elected Fianna Fail leader Michael Martin for a three-way election debate with the leaders of the Labour Party and Fianna Fáil.

Mr Kenny said his Fianna Fáil counterpart was not in a position to dictate the format for any election debates and said that he was not willing to exclude other political leaders from a televised election debate. By Christina Finn

Michael Martin calls for more leader debates

In his first press conference as leader of Fianna Fail, Michael Martin said he was "extremely proud" to be the new leader of the party.

Speaking to a packed room in the Gallagher gallery at the Royal Hibernian Academy, Michael Martin said "Ireland can and will come through this crisis".

Standing alone, the eighth leader of the party thanked his fellow contenders for a fair and "positive" leadership competition.