Micheál Martin - opportunism and cynicism of the worst kind

Micheál Martin is using events in the North as part of his strategy to revive Fianna Fáil’s electoral fortunes in the South. By Eoin Ó Broin.

The award for opportunist of the week must surely go to Micheál Martin. His opinion piece in last Wednesday’s Irish News was a timely reminder of Fianna Fáil’s cynical approach to both the peace process and to politics.

Gilmore and Rabbitte built their careers on cynicism

There is hardly anything for which Labour stands, or rather stood, that it has not dishonoured in government in the last 22 months. By Vincent Browne.

Pat Rabbitte and Eamon Gilmore entered electoral politics via student politics and trade union politics in the 1970s and 1980s. Together they have done more than most to engender cynicism about politics generally from an early stage in their political careers and together, in government, they have done more than most to add to the mountain of cynicism there is now about politics.

The Bryson Incident and the Provisional IRA

Historians’ understanding of the development of the Provisional IRA in the 1970‘s and its transition into a smaller, leaner but more politically attuned group - the precursor of the body that endorsed the Republicans’ journey into the peace process - may have to be revised in the light of a recently acquired British military account of a crucial phase in the war between the IRA and the British Army. By Ed Moloney and Bob Mitchell

It's easy to be positive - If you ignore the facts

We have the resources to deal with all our problems. All we need is the political will to use them. By Vincent Browne.

Taoiseach Enda Kenny has started the season on a positive note, which we all might try to emulate in 2013.

He said at the turn of the new year that 2013 would be the "year of recovery" and that the Irish presidency of the EU would bring "new hope" to people in the midst of the economic crisis.

Kenny is in no position to throw stones

Is there a significant moral difference between killing and letting die? By Vincent Browne.

Enda Kenny was afforded some further ammunition to target Sinn Féin by the recent revelations about Dessie Ellis, the Sinn Féin TD for Dublin North West, who certainly has questions to answer about the number of people killed or maimed via the bombs he assembled or helped to assemble during the decades of the Northern Ireland conflict.

Winning back the public’s trust

The public’s trust in politicians and politics can be restored, but only if politicians act to earn that trust. By Eoin Ó Broin.

The public outpouring of self-pity by politicians during the Christmas holidays would make you think that it’s a hard life being a TD and even harder being a Minister.

In defence of populism

Populism can be progressive or reactionary, democratic or authoritarian. But it is always a challenge to the status quo and is most powerful when a political or economic system is in crisis. By Eoin Ó Broin.

In his end of year review Sunday Business Post political editor Pat Leahy described Sinn Féin’s opposition to austerity in 2012 as “aggressive and populist”.

His description is one that has a broad currency among political commentators.

Of Toblerones and cojones

As a new year of political guff and spoofery dawns, we should forget Swedish-style taxes or childcare – what Ireland really needs is Swedish-style politicians. By Philip O'Connor.

Political and clerical hypocrisy on abortion issue

Both Fine Gael and Labour are as one in their determination to expel from their ranks any parliamentarian who votes in accordance with the pledges on which those two parties sought and obtained their mandates. By Vincent Browne.

Enda Kenny has reiterated that there will be no free vote on the abortion legislation which is to be introduced in the Dáil early next year.