No hard questions asked of Charlie Haughey, then or now

It was obvious throughout the period when he was Taoiseach and leader of Fianna Fáil that Charles Haughey could not possibly have financed his lifestyle from his official salary. And yet the media and the political establishment did not want to know. By Vincent Browne


Catholic bishops pronounce on age of consent

At their quarterly meeting in Maynooth on 7 December the Irish Catholic bishops welcomed the report of the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Child Protection of 30 November last.  However, even at this stage, Bishops wish to register their deep concern at the lack of any reference to the moral issues involved.


Budget Statement 6 December 2006


 An Ceann Comhairle:  Before calling on the Minister for Finance, I remind Members that the budget documents being circulated remain confidential until the Minister has announced them.

Brain dead politics

Politics is no more now than a game show. Personality and style with an agenda stacked against fairness and democracy. By Vincent Browne

McDowell, Hain and a blazling row

  • 6 December 2006
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In the last session of talks between the two governments and Sinn Féin at St Andrews, I proposed to Tony Blair that an Irish-language act be brought forward at Westminster by his government. That last session was a very stormy one – it was about putting together a programme to get the DUP into the powersharing arrangements, as laid out in the Good Friday Agreement.



Cork council meeting abandonded after Shell gardaí compared to B-specials

A  Cork city council meeting ended in disorder and was adjourned by the chairman on 27 November after a councillor refused to withdraw comments comparing An Garda Síochána's behaviour at the Shell protests in Mayo to that of the B-specials in the North and Thatcher's militarised police force during the 1980s mining protests.



Junior minister's decision to halt aid will 'cost lives'

Conor Lenihan, minister of state at the Department of Foreign affairs, has been criticised for threatening to withhold funding from an agricultural charity active in Africa. The threat followed intervention by the Irish Farmers' Association. By Frank Connolly

Suspicions of Sinn Féin spin

It was reported over a week ago that Gerry Adams, Martin McGuinness and Gerry Kelly had all intensified their personal security for two reasons: an apprehension they might be assassinated in the run-up to the recognition of the police service in Northern Ireland and a renewed participation in the institutions of the "six-county" state.