The Electric Picnic’s alcohol paradox

In a summer where we seem to be fishing the bodies of young men out of rivers and canals with alarming frequency, there is surprisingly little debate about our paradoxical relationship with alcohol.

Cards on the table - I gave up drinking a few years ago after a young Wicklow man who was here in Stockholm to celebrate St Patrick’s Day drowned in an accident.

As is normal in Irish communities around the world, there was a lot of drinking done that weekend, and in truth it could have been any of us.

Let the TV cameras into Seán Fitzpatrick trial

If the administration of justice in public is essential to the maintenance of a democratic state, then clearly the stability of the state would be supported by making access to what is happening in courts easier by having cases broadcast on television. By Vincent Browne.

The expectation that the silly season will end abruptly with the trial of Seán FitzPatrick and his co-accused is mistaken.

Crisis of mortgage arrears has wider impact

The Government's Personal Insolvency Bill, while providing some positives, favours the rights of creditors, banks and lending institutions. By Patrick Nulty, TD.

At the end of June this year there were a staggering 83,251 homes with mortgage arrears of more than 90 days. This represents 10.9% of all homes with mortgages. Of these 65,698 homes were in arrears of more than 180 days. This is the equivalent of 8.6% of the total stock.

How mainstreaming becomes assimilation as Traveller-specific supports disappear

My school day, over eleven years, was filled with drawing, knitting and sewing. Various therapies, such as speech and language, occupational therapy and physical therapy were also part of that day. Travellers were automatically assumed to have a cognitive and cultural disability. The segregated syllabus didn’t include languages, maths, history or the Irish language – all mandatory subjects in mainstream education. By Rosaleen McDonagh.

The workers strike back

On 24 May 2012, 23 former workers of the Vita Cortex manufacturing plant in Cork left their former plant after a six-month sit-in protest. Their protest had already lead to a compromise deal to resolve the dispute earlier in the month, in what was one of the longest sit-in protests in Irish industrial history. The workers had to take extraordinary measures to enforce their rights and they were not the only ones to find themselves fighting for what they considered was fair recompense after being made redundant.

Katie's glory hides the truth about women's sport

As soon as all the Katie euphoria dies down, it will remain business as usual for women's sports. By Vincent Browne.

Baron Pierre de Coubertin, the founder of the modern Olympic Games, said that women's sport was "against the laws of nature", and that "the eternal role of [the] woman in this world is to be a companion of the male and mother of the family, and she should be educated towards those functions".

'I like to play with words. It's fun and it's my job.'

Terry Pratchett, literary superstar and cult hero, performed a publishing miracle when he dreamed up the universe of Discworld 30 years ago, and his magic is far from used up. Speaking to a Dublin audience recently the wizard of fantasy fiction talked about his inspirations, his struggle with Alzheimer's disease and his new novel, Dodger. By Ed O’Hare.