It’s not easy. No one said it was. But it is essential. Vital and imperative. As useful as a doctor – although not as highly regarded. As children of our nation we do not always appreciate the presence of politics as it impacts on our lives. Taxes, laws, restrictions and regulations are structuring and safeguarding our present nation and the environment of our grandchildren.
By Paul McElhinney
In recent years, technology and security requirements have coalesced to produce the very scenario predicted in fiction by writers such as George Orwell: the surveillance society. Recent events surrounding the News of the World phone hacking scandal have brought into sharp relief the many legal and ethical challenges of this new surveillance society.
By Kieran Fitzpatrick
Vincent Browne says in his article on the Mahon Tribunal that a witness has a constitutional right to have legal representation at a tribunal of enquiry. The tribunal cannot convict anyone of a criminal offence, so where does any automatic (or at least any constitutional) right to legal representation come from?
Paul McElhinney sees similarities between the case of Julian Assange and the Dreyfus Affair.
As the dust has settled (at least, temporarily) on the events surrounding the Wikileaks revelations of earlier in the year, it is probably a good time to stand back and try and draw some overall meaning from those events.
Granny never liked Ian Paisley. Be it radio or television, we could never hear him in full because Granny would squeal, “Waff, waff, waff, that fella!” Not that she was overtly political; it was more his demeanour, his teeth, his accent. Her hand slapping down in his direction said more of her perhaps, than it did of him.
By Paul McElhinney
He had been seriously ill for some time, but his eventual passing came as quite a shock. You somehow felt that the irrepressible force that was Garret would bounce back one more time. The timing of his death, in between the visit to Ireland of Queen Elizabeth and that of President Obama, was apocryphal. The Queen’s visit was, in so many ways, the crowning glory of all Garret had striven to achieve in his lifetime in the field of Anglo-Irish relations. The fact that he was not well enough to meet her on her visit was sad in retrospect.
By Mary Ryan