Leading with the chin

The progressive political parties represented in the Dáil, Assembly, and Council chambers around the country have been slow to understand the potential opened up by the #Occupy movement. During the recent presidential election, with all the coverage it was bound to receive, none of the candidates representing progressive politics in Ireland – Higgins, McGuinness and David Norris (although, I understand that not everybody will see him in this category) referenced the it. I found this strange.

Our unbalanced Dáil

Ireland’s seventh place ranking out of 187 countries in the annual UN Human Development Report puts the country ahead of the majority of its EU neighbors when it comes to gains in education, health and income. Of the EU 27, only the Netherlands ranks higher, in third place. But when the index is adjusted for gender inequality, Ireland’s ranking plunges 26 places to 33.

Time to change tack

With the election of Michael D Higgins to the Presidency and with a new TD by virtue of the Dublin West election, the Irish Labour Party has been given a lift from their slippage in recent opinion polls. But what will they do with this extra ammunition?

Pulitzer's legacy

Tomorrow marks the centenary of Joseph Pulitzer's death. Below, Paul McElhinney looks at the life and legacy of the man who gave his name to journalism's most prestigious prize.

A century ago this month, a figure synonymous with journalism died aboard his yacht while moored in Charleston Harbour, South Carolina. While a major figure in journalism during his lifetime, Joseph Pulitzer is known less for his lifetime exploits as for the journalism prizes which bear his name.  

Things we lost in the flood

So, my house, or should I say my former house, is now pretty famous. It's been on the six o'clock and the nine o'clock news and is stealthily making its way across the interweb. Yes, my home was the one at the end of the flooded road in Kilmainham and with the floating cars in front of it. It was a beautiful little house on an idyllic road with an amazing garden with, funnily enough, a river running through it. Literally every day I looked out my window and couldn't believe my luck.

A whole lotta nothing, or: the meaning of the Áras race

There is a void at the core of the Irish presidential election. To understand the meaning of the election – if not necessarily the role of the presidency itself – one must understand that at one and the same time nothing is at stake and everything is of huge enormity.

The race for the Áras is an exercise in vacuity as well as collective narcissism, one which allows the Irish body politic project its moral, political and economic anxieties into an empty cupboard where they can arrange them at will to suit them.

Dana must accept limits of president's powers

When I was 8 years old, in 1997, my knowledge of the Constitution of Ireland was, for reasons one can well imagine, rather ropey. Fourteen years later, Dana Rosemary Scallon's affection for the supreme law of the state, and professed earnestness to protect it, is belied by an inattention not just to finer detail but any detail at all. Given that she attempted a run for the presidency in 1997, 2004 and now in 2011, what is her excuse?

Chic seekers

The fashion world used to have ‘bohemian chic’ and ‘heroin chic’.  Now in our straitened times, we have ‘recession chic’.  Although coined by the media in the early years of our current recession, as a term it has not exactly become common currency. Yet, if one looks around, it has become an identifiable phenomenon. How to remain ‘chic’ during our recessionary times is now a full-time occupation for many. 

A tale of two pensions

The focus on the huge pensions received by a tiny minority of public servants overlooks the fact that many who work in the public service will not be terribly well-off in retirement. By Enid O'Dowd.