Barroso’s New European Commission

Yesterday José Manuel Barroso, President of the European Commission, announced the portfolio responsibilities for the next Commission. Several new portfolios were announced including Climate Action, Home Affairs and Fundamental Rights and Citizenship. Barosso also reconfigured other portfolios including Education, Health and Consumer Policy and Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Response.

The Cost of a Cut in Child Benefit

The ‘family’ is at the heart of the Irish constitution but the child is not: this was the message from those present at the ‘1 Million Reasons to Oppose Cuts to Child Benefit in Budget 2010’ conference held in Dublin today.

Civil servants both support and condemn strike action

Over 250,000 public sector workers across the country went on strike today over plans to slash €1.3 billion from the public sector wage bill, bringing many essential services to a halt. General Secretary of IMPACT, Peter McLoone acknowledged yesterday that the strike will cause hardship to those who depend most on public services. However, he, like many on the picket lines, argues that the Government has forced workers into strike action by failing to negotiate a fair alternative to a public sector pay cut.

Ireland that allows child abuse is not a Republic

The Ryan report published this year revealed horrific and "endemic" child abuse by clergy into whose care children were entrusted. Details of equally horrific abuse, concealed for decades by four Catholic archbishops of Dublin, are emerging this week from the report of the Commission set up to enquire into abuse within the archdiocese.

The West Bank's 'rebuke of tyranny'

The 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall last week was a cause for much celebration and received huge coverage in the global media. World leaders descended upon Berlin to celebrate the momentous event which reunited Germany and changed the face of Europe, and the world, forever.  Such high profile celebration was wholly fitting.

Irish well-being degraded by recession

The rise in inequality and poverty during the economic boom was damaging enough. But now, rising unemployment, income cuts and spiralling debts are contributing to an even graver depletion in the state of Irish ‘well-being’, according to Helen Johnston, Senior Policy Analyst with the National Economic and Social Council (NESC).

Fascism in Limerick

About six months ago a small group of Maoists decided to begin activities in the Shannon Industrial Estate. They came mainly from their strongest base in Trinity College. Their leader in Limerick, Arthur Allen, was formerly the Maoist Irish Student Movement's expert on the war in Vietnam. Like most Irish Maoists he comes from a wealthy background, his family owns the OdIum Company and are dis¬tinguished and wealthy Quakers. Obviously such a group were not an immediate threat to the "status quo" in Limerick. They took jobs in the Estate and gradually grew to about eight members.