Boom time income wasted claims Davy Stockbrokers report

A report released on Friday by Davy Stockbrokers says that Ireland's years of high income were wasted because of shortsighted investment in Ireland's property bubble.

The report states: "One of the great misconceptions about Ireland is that it is a wealthy country...yet it was never wealthy: those years of high income were largely wasted."

Over 1,000 Traveller families living in inhumane conditions

New research carried out on a Travellers' site in Galway demonstrates the inextricable link between their deplorable living conditions and poor health status, writes Sara Burke.

Last week Minister Eamon O'Cuív launched the report on the health of residents living in the Carrowbrowne halting site, which is located in the Minister's own constituency, north east of Galway on the Headford Road. It reveals the appalling conditions experienced by the Travelling community and the benefits for involving Travellers at an early stage in the planning and development of any sites.

Marie B: A Biographical Novel

Tom Hubbard’s first novel Marie B. is a meditation on art, life, death and the intersection of all three. It tells the true story of Mariya Konstantinovna Bashkirtseva, although truth as an objective reality becomes an unstable artefact in this moving work of fiction. By Shane Creevy.

Interview with Tom Hubbard, author of Marie B


Tom Hubbard was the first librarian for the Scottish Poetry Library (which marked its 25th anniversary in 2009) and has also worked on the Bibliography of Scottish Literature in Translation. His foremost literary activity has been poetry, though he has taught literature throughout Europe for a quarter of a century. Marie B., his first novel, is available through

Grant cuts prevent unemployed returning to education

Despite repeated rhetoric from government championing education and training for the unemployed and the focus on a ‘knowledge economy’, returning to education for mature students has become more difficult, indeed impossible for some. 

Due to cuts in December’s budget, new applicants in the Back to Education Allowance (BTEA) scheme will no longer be entitled to student maintenance grants. 

Hedge funds prosper while inequality thrives

The biggest ever speculative raid on any currency was launched against the euro last Wednesday, according to the Financial Times.

It was the kind of raid that George Soros undertook in 1992 against sterling, which precipitated the devaluation of that currency and its exit from the EU exchange rate mechanism.

Massive gains will be made by a few hedge fund operators in the next few months as the global financial crisis worsens. Huge profits will be made on loans to Greece, for instance, as the country will be forced to pay 2 or 3 percentage points above Germany for loans.

The romantic radical

In January 1814 a little known journalist was sent to review Edmund Kean’s first performance as Shylock in The Merchant of Venice at London’s Drury-Lane Theatre. Overnight the review catapulted the critic, William Hazlitt, to the status of a national celebrity. Hazlitt then embarked upon one of the most illustrious and controversial of literary careers. Duncan Wu has now chronicled the turbulent life of this brilliant man of letters in William Hazlitt: The First Modern Man. 

A novel way to fundraise for sports clubs

Two GAA players have developed an innovative website that fundraises for local sports clubs. By Joseph Galvin.

In the midst of the economic recession last summer, Diarmuid Duggan and Noel Furlong realised that local sports clubs were finding it more difficult than ever to stay afloat. 

Falling prices do not justify a lower minimum wage

Figures published today showing a decrease in the cost of living have prompted employer groups to renew calls for a decrease in the minimum wage. However, on closer examination, the CPI reveals several increased costs which, combined with welfare cuts, push many people further into poverty. By Eoin Ó Broin.

Equal access to quality education key to social mobility

A report published today shows how social mobility in Ireland is well below the OECD average and largely dependent on the educational attainment of one's parents.

Today, the OECD published its 'Intergenerational Social Mobility: a family affair?' report, which said: "Well educated parents tend to have well educated children for whom it is easier to obtain well paid jobs. But the odds are stacked against children who do not benefit from this virtuous cycle."