Blustering on bank debt shows desperation

The hissy fit engendered by Angela Merkel’s comments on 19 October arose entirely from the ludicrous spin placed on the 29 June communique. By Vincent Browne.

After the EU summit on 29 June last a statement was issued stating it was “imperative” to break the “vicious” circle between banks and sovereign states.

This coalition is starting to make FF look good

One of the more substantial achievements of this government has been to burnish the reputation of Fianna Fáil which, we had believed, had been consigned to well-deserved oblivion by the outcome of the 2011 election. By Vincent Browne.

As the coalition resolutely persists in its ineptitude, Fianna Fáil doesn't seem that bad in retrospect.

Kenny's 'recovery' is a grandiose PR exercise

The claim that Enda Kenny and his governemnt have inspired some kind of recovery is just plain wrong. By Vincent Browne.

The cover story in the European edition of Time magazine on Ireland's "Celtic comeback" pioneered by Enda Kenny was a public relations triumph, for which Kenny himself deserves credit.

Ireland's relentless assault on the vulnerable

While in Iceland the left-leaning Icelandic government chose to focus the impact of the adjustments necessitated by the crisis on the richest sectors of Icelandic society, in Ireland the poorest have been made to bear the brunt. By Vincent Browne.

The good, the bad, and the state's bank guarantee scheme

The Labour Party didn't vote against the 2008 Credit Institutions (Financial Support) Bill, which legislated for the bank guarantee, because it opposed the guarantee or even its scope. By Vincent Browne.

Four years ago this month, the Dáil debated and then endorsed the bank guarantee scheme, which has cost this society at least €64 billion.

The current government is spending a large part of its time trying to persuade our EU partners to help us undo the damage the guarantee did to us.

Children's rights amendment offers feeble protection from abuse and neglect

We are being asked to vote on a defective constitutional proposal that extends weak protection to our children from abuse and neglect. By Vincent Browne.

There is a straightforward question to be asked about the proposed constitutional amendment concerning children. It is: why does it not include the oft-quoted and approved aspiration of the 1916 Proclamation: “cherishing all the children of the nation equally”?

Gilmore has sold out more than just Shortall

When it's eventually all over, of what exactly will Labour's leading lights be proud? By Vincent Browne.

Eamon Gilmore's excruciation during his interview on 27 September with Richard Crowley of RTÉ betrayed a realisation that his failure to stand by Róisín Shortall was not just an act of personal disloyalty, but of disloyalty to what Labour supposedly stands for, and of disloyalty to the constituency which the party supposedly represents.

Constitutional amendment on children's rights deficient in many ways

Forty-six years ago (in 1966) three High Court judges adjudicated in a case where a child, born to unmarried parents, was adopted. Subsequently the natural parents married each other and made an application to have their child returned to them, after it was found that the adoption order concerning their child had been invalid.

By this time the child was aged 17 months and had bonded securely with his/her adopted parents and, aside from that, concerns were raised about the capacity of the natural mother to parent the child adequately.

Our sovereignty won't be back any time soon

Has no one told Enda Kenny of the plans afoot in Europe to end even a pretence of Irish sovereignty? By Vincent Browne.

Aside from his inspirational vision of making Ireland "the best little country in the world in which to do business" (is that aspiration borrowed from the 1916 Proclamation?), Taoiseach Enda Kenny's other grand design for Ireland is to recover its "economic sovereignty".