Cautious hope in Guinea

Elections are promised in Guinea, causing excitement among a people tired of military rule and a living standard of less than a dollar a day. But the country is not ready for elections and democratic rule. By Tom Rowe.

Guineans know what it means to wait. They spend a lot of their time sitting in the dark, waiting for the electricity to come back. It usually does, sometimes after five minutes, sometimes a few hours. In the suburbs they are lucky if they have power every second day. 

New mental health policies could benefit wider economy


Mental health supporters need to engage with economic arguments to further their influence. By Justin Frewen and Dr. Anna Datta.

When discussing mental health, we tend to focus on issues such as the distress and suffering of mental health service users as well as the most appropriate manner in which we might respond to their needs. The human rights of mental health service users are also a significant issue and have been assuming a more important role in this debate thanks to the efforts of bodies such as Amnesty International.

Sudanese elections crucial in possible partition

The Sudanese elections taking place now could lead to partition of the country between north and south. Oil will be a key factor in the negotiations if hostility is to be avoided. By Justin Frewen.

Dialogue on Sudan in recent years has tended to focus on Darfur. While understandable given the violence that has happened there since 2003, this focus overshadows important developments in the south of the country.

Regenerating the Regeneration Project

A new, scaled-down regeneration project for Limerick is to be sent to cabinet next week.

The revised plan will cost €924m, approximately 57% of the cost of the original. This revision of cost is a recognition that we live in straightened times, but also that the cost of construction has gone down quite a lot. Overall I’m not too surprised or upset by this downward revision. Most of the work of the regeneration project’s initial phases will be completed using these funds.

Quinn and the spin of ‘systemic importance’


Rules. They are there for a reason. When dealing with financial products like insurance, the financial regulator sets the rules. The rules are there for a very good reason: the consequences for the public for a large insurer getting into financial difficulty are enormous.

Senegal's separatist conflict smoulders on

West Africa’s longest running separatist conflict has already claimed as many lives as the Troubles. In a new departure, rebels have brought the conflict to Ziguinchor, the capital of Casamance state. By Tom Rowe.

High unemployment among the disabled damages economy

It has been estimated that the unemployment rate for disabled people in the most developed countries is roughly twice that for non-disabled people. Throughout the EU member states, disabled people are faced with significant barriers both in finding and holding down a job.

A tribunal of the people to remould broken politics

The values-based vision for Ireland has been undermined by electoral gain. By Colin Murphy

Eamon de Valera once said that if he wished to know what the people of Ireland were thinking, he had to simply look into his heart. Today, the politicians prefer to rely on polls to know what the people are thinking, while de Valera's role as a moral grandstander has been largely usurped by my colleagues in the media.

Could Ireland contract ‘Japan Disease’?

Ireland’s population will get older, as these cool graphs from Aidan Kane show. The bloggers from define ‘Japan disease’, where an economy is full of aging workers, and also highly indebted. How likely is it Ireland could contract a mild form of Japan Disease in the next 20-40 years?