Poorer and more unequal

While other EU countries have taken steps to prevent low-income groups from disproportionately suffering as a result of the recession, in Ireland we get poorer and more unequal. By Michael Taft.

At a meeting of Labour Party activists, Dr. Mary Murphy – a leading academic and activist – made the following statement:

“We may be a poorer country, but that does not mean we must be a more unequal country.”

Lone parents rally against cuts

On 5 December last year a group of lone parents gathered on the lone parenting board on to discuss how the Budget measures outlined that day in the Dáil would affect them. Said one:

Jesus I am hopping mad. […] I see this as an attack on parenting and children and will march protest, scream or whatever is necessary. Who is with me???


When Steve Jobs died last year, on October 5th, at the age of 56, from pancreatic cancer, it was the most important death in the world. Not in terms of political significance – the deaths of Osama bin Laden, Muammar Ghadafi, and Kim Jong-il were much more momentous in that respect. Not in terms of fame either – Liz Taylor and Joe Frazier were greater celebrities than Jobs when they died.

Ireland has no need for an embassy in the Vatican

Many convinced Catholics believe it would be appropriate now for the Vatican to pare back the pomp and pretence, as a signal of the humility it nowadays protests. By Vincent Browne.

An Italian monsignor visited a drapery store in Rome in early March 1923 and ordered warm underwear, most likely long johns and woolly vests.

Putting lipstick on a pig

The Irish citizenry remains silent as we are ritually humiliated and degraded. Ireland is a nation that can no longer meet its own gaze. By David Johnson.

Guardians of the peace?

Would the gardaí have been as relaxed as they appeared to have been about the emergent mayhem in Tallaght if it happened in Dublin 4? By Vincent Browne.

There was a disturbing insight into the character of An Garda Síochána last week, and it concerned the murder of 16-year-old Melanie McCarthy-McNamara in Tallaght last Tuesday night.

Pointing the finger in the wrong direction

If we're to talk about collective responsibility for the Irish bubble we should at least begin to acknowledge that the story is not broadly one of people going mad… it is one of institutions  going mad. By Nyder O'Leary.

The Finance Bill: To those that have...

The Finance Bill is a pretty grim affair all round. By Michael Taft.

The Finance Bill, running to nearly 300 pages, is out. There’s the odd sliver of good news – the 5% levy on the sheltered income from legacy property tax relief for those earning over €100,000, for instance. Otherwise, it’s a pretty grim affair, putting into effect a regressive budget.

But there are little stories that inform the broad narrative set down by the Government. Let’s run through four of them.