Integrity the common theme of Ireland's Greatest

On Friday 22 October, RTE will announce the winner of the Ireland's Greatest poll. Each of the five finalists were the subject of hour-long documentaries, broadcast from September onwards. By Eoin Ó Broin.

Michael McDowell made the case for Michael Collins, Dave Fanning for Bono, Joe Duffy for James Connolly, Miriam O'Callaghan for John Hume and David McWilliams for Mary Robinson. The winner will be chosen, as was the shortlist of finalists, by popular ballot.

Electorate now ready for a real alternative

The most important aspect of the most recent Irish Times poll was not the 32% for Labour, but the combined 45% for Fianna Fail and Fine Gael. By Eoin O Broin.

Individual polls tell you very little, it’s the overall trend that counts.

Since February 2009 Labour has scored from 20% to 25% in the MRBI polls. Their recent dramatic 10-point jump could either be an anomaly or an indicator of a significant surge.

Until we have a few more polls we just won’t know.

However the slump in support for Fianna Fail and Fine Gael has been coming for some time.

Gilmore’s silence on Croke Park deal is dishonest

The Croke Park Agreement is a bad deal for taxpayers, public sector workers and users of public services. By Eoin Ó Broin.

Who has the right to comment on the Croke Park Public Service Agreement?

Labour leader Eamon Gilmore says that political parties should not ‘interfere’ in what is a matter for public sector workers. They should be left in peace, he says, to consider the strengths and weaknesses of the agreement and make their decision accordingly.

I don’t agree.

EU bailout leaves Greece's structural problems unsolved

The European Union will lend Greece €110bn during the next three years, increasing the tax burden on ordinary workers instead of tackling the Greek economy's structural problems. By Eoin Ó Broin.

Greece is in trouble: on May 19, its government must pay an €8.5bn bill for money borrowed on the private markets 10 years ago.

But the Greek government is broke and can’t borrow any more from the private sector to pay its debts. It runs the risk of being the first developed capitalist economy to default on its debts in the current economic crisis.

Government loading cost of collapse on less well off says ICTU

A new Irish Congress of Trade Unions (ICTU) report calls on the government to shift the burden of cuts away from the less well off in society. By Eoin Ó Broin.

In a report released this month, the ICTU says a "determination to load the full cost of the collapse onto working people and the poor" is at the heart of government policy. The consequence of this strategy, argues ICTU, "could turn Ireland into a social and economic wasteland for a decade or more". 

An agenda for a New Ireland

Every year one of Ireland’s leading anti poverty groups, Social Justice Ireland (SJI) produces a social and economic review.

This detailed report provides both a critique of government policy in the previous year and a set of alternatives aimed at producing a more equal society. This year's report, entitled An Agenda for A New Ireland, was published on April 6.

Pat Kenny is a waste of public money

On Monday night The Frontline, RTE’s flagship current affairs show, broadcast a special programme on the state and direction of our health service. 

Advertised for a week in advance, the programme promised to tell us if our health system is on the right track or going backwards?

Milking the recession

Profitable companies are using the current economic crisis to weaken terms and conditions of employment and drive down wages of some of the countries lowest paid workers according to a new report published by Mandate.

'Milking The Recession', launched by the retail sector trade union earlier this month claims that there is "an aggressive and determined" drive by companies to roll back the modest gains made by workers in recent years.

Falling prices do not justify a lower minimum wage

Figures published today showing a decrease in the cost of living have prompted employer groups to renew calls for a decrease in the minimum wage. However, on closer examination, the CPI reveals several increased costs which, combined with welfare cuts, push many people further into poverty. By Eoin Ó Broin.