Fine Gael: A Minor Miracle

By the end of May of 2002 Fine Gael was a political force on the verge of extinction. In the wake of its general election defeat the party had been left crushed. Twenty-three Fine Gael seats, including those of eleven members of its frontbench, were lost. Several of the party’s biggest names, such as Alan Dukes and Charlie Flanagan, fell in battle. Overall, Fine Gael got a dismal 22% share of the vote, its number of Dail seats was reduced to an atrocious 19% and it secured only three of the 47 available Dublin seats.

Communities ‘reeling’ at closure of community projects

Fourteen Community Development Projects tackling social exclusion in some of the most disadvantaged parts of Ireland will soon close their doors to the public, due to funding cuts by the Government. 

In total, 13 of the 14 Community Development Projects (CDPs) that have been forced to close are in the most underprivileged parts of Dublin. These include North Clondalkin CDP, the North West Inner City Women's Network, the Ballymun Community Action Programme and the West Tallaght Resource Centre. 

Poverty levels set to increase in 2010

Poverty is set to increase in 2010 according to Social Justice Ireland (SJI). The anti-poverty group has this week published a detailed briefing paper saying that the numbers of children and ‘working-poor’ living in poverty will rise as a direct consequence of Budget 2010.

Figures from the Central Statistics Office (CSO) show that in 2008, 615,000 people in the state -14 out of every 100- were living in poverty. 

This figure includes almost 200,000 children and 116,000 people in employment.

Figures are not yet available for 2009.

Apple iPad - The content revolution that wasn't

The hype leading up to the launch of Apple's new iPad was, even if exciting for a few of Apple's most die-hard fans, alarming to the more reflexive among us.

Apple does have an irrefutable history of launching industry-changing products, starting with the Apple II in 1977, and featuring most importantly, not the iPad or the iPhone or the iPod, but the Macintosh in 1984. This was and still is the only one (apart from possibly the Apple II) that can seriously be called a "tool" because, unlike all the others, you can use it to create as well as consume content.

Nobody seems to be policing the Garda Siochána

When Kathleen O’Toole goes back to Boston on her holidays, her former colleagues in the Boston Police Department will get great entertainment from her stories about our police force.

At times, they might feel she is winding them up, they will surely find it hard to believe that the Garda Síochána is as chaotic and dilapidated as she has found it to be.

Failure of government explains social housing need

As local and central government fail to meet social housing need, masses of houses lie empty across Ireland. By Eoin Ó Broin.

The National Institute for Spatial and Regional Analysis (NISRA) estimates that from 2006 to 2009 the supply of houses in Ireland outpaced projected housing need by 154%. It estimates that 302,625 homes like vacant across the state, not including almost 50,000 holiday homes.