Ireland's political magazine Saturday - Apr 25, 2015
Get on with it: reform the Garda.

Get on with it: reform the Garda.

By Jonny Baxter. A big spin is underway about “the biggest ever reshuffle of senior gardaí” by incoming Garda Commissioner, Noirin O’Sullivan with “nearly 100 senior officers being transferred and promoted” and the Irish Times editorialising about a “bold and brave new start”. So Village  decided to have a look back at incidents of corruption,

Sisyphus 
and Achilles.

Sisyphus 
and Achilles.

 By Constantin Gurdgiev. Ever since October 2009 when the Greek Government finally faced up to bond-market pressures and admitted that its predecessor has falsified the national accounts, the euro area has been unable to shake off a sovereign-debt crisis. When the dust finally settled on revisions, the Greek debt-to-GDP ratio shot up from 98 percent


Profile of Teagasc.

Profile of Teagasc.

By Frank Armstrong. Research and training for the agricultural-industrial complex. Teagasc is the agriculture and food development authority in Ireland. Its mission is “to support science-based innovation in the agri-food sector and the broader bio-economy that will underpin profitability, competitiveness and sustainability”. In that order, and there is no mention of quality. Teagasc was established

The Syriza victory in Greece has its foundations in the polarisation of that society following the collapse of the economy in the great financial crash of 2008/2009, and since. It is rooted in the implosion of the traditional parties, and in particular of Pasok, the social democratic party that dominated the Greek left, and many


Villager

Mates of Yates Under this heading in the last edition Villager made reference to Leo Varadkar. The intention of the piece was to imply that sexuality is workaday and of no particular interest but Village accepts that the reference was offensive and a mistake. In general, Village does not support the outing of the sexual

21% of Irish workers are low-paid.

21% of Irish workers are low-paid.

By Sinéad Pentony. Low pay is endemic and entrenched in the Irish economy, and the situation for many low paid workers can only be described as grim. The government is setting up a Low Pay Commission and introducing a range of legislative changes to address a number of issues relating to low pay. Will it


Wasting anger.

Wasting anger.

By Michael Smith. Colm McCarthy, Ireland’s most unangry man, has stated portentously if unoriginally that “anger is not a policy”. He likes to reach smugly for a metaphorical spreadsheet that emits efficacious public policy to him alone, at his click. He’s right of course.  Always right! The Roman stoic philosopher Seneca agreed with him: anger

How optimism lifted.

How optimism lifted.

 In the Sticks by Shirley Clerkin. There was optimism and all the babies slept peacefully in their beds among the quiet, velveteen hills.  The piano played cheerful melodies, tinkling beads on a necklace out the open windows to the birds that flitted contentedly on the air. Plans were gone over, knitting clacked, beds were dug,


Back to school.

Back to school.

By Tony Lowes. The environment is the enemy of jobs”.  That’s what my lad recently reported was the universal belief of all those in his Leaving Cert ‘Civic, Social and Political Education’ (CSPE) class in our west cork community school. To be honest, it’s what most people think in modern Ireland. To object to developments

Economics has yielded to politics.

Economics has yielded to politics.

By Constantin Gurdgiev. January’s IMF review of the economic situation in Ireland rained a heavy dose of icy water over the overheating Government spin machine, and much of the IMF concerns centre around exactly the same themes that were highlighted in these
 very pages last month. Top of the IMF worries list is growth. Budget


Careful with that private finance.

Careful with that private finance.

By Lorna Gold. It was the vision of Garret FitzGerald, as Minister for Foreign Affairs, which led to the establishment of an official Irish aid programme for Africa and the developing world 40 years ago, in the early years of our membership of the EEC. For a generation it generally increased – until this recession.

2ºC.

2ºC.

By Sadhbh O’Neill. In 2009, signatories to the UNFCCC met to agree new legally binding greenhouse-gas emission targets. The outcome, known as the Copenhagen Accord, singularly failed to meet high expectations for a legally-binding agreement but the Accord did specify for the first time that the objective of the international community was to “hold the


States burgeon while world shrinks.

States burgeon while world shrinks.

By Anthony Coughlan. The growth in the number of States in the world is one of the most  remarkable features of our time, though it is not often commented on. The United Nations had 51 Member States when it was established in 1945. It had 193 at the last count – a near fourfold increase

Too big (and weird opes)

Too big (and weird opes)

By Michael Smith. In 2013 the ESB announced its  intention to demolish its Dublin headquarters on Fitzwilliam Street. The edifice had been designed in 1962 by then-fresh-faced young (subsequently Ansbacher-account-holding) architect-tyros Sam Stephenson and Arthur Gibney. The ebullient young pair won the competition to replace the street, which dates from 1792, after a report by


Quality, uniqueness and place.  Planning for quality of life.

Quality, uniqueness and place. Planning for quality of life.

By Kevin Leyden and Patrick Collins. Ireland appears to be slowly re-emerging from its recent economic troubles and many have offered new ideas about our future. For us, this will involve considering the importance of two interconnected phenomena: the experiential economy and place-making. Both are about quality of life. We argue that focusing on quality


Syriza seizes a moment for Europe.

Syriza seizes a moment for Europe.

By Michael Smith. Newly elected Syriza has told voters it will end the era of austerity in Greece (and beyond). It has pledged to stop what its 40-year-old leader, Alexis Tsipras, has called the “fiscal waterboarding” policies that have turned Greece into a debt colony. It is the first time in more than 40 years

Battling successfully for Travellers in Cork.

Battling successfully for Travellers in Cork.

By Chrissie Sullivan. This year the Traveller Visibility Group (TVG) will celebrate its 21st year working in Cork with the Traveller community, tackling social exclusion and discrimination head-on. We have been to the fore in highlighting the many practices of institutional racism in our city. When we were set up, there were three key services


Climbdown.

Climbdown.

By Michael Smith. Climate change is the biggest issue of our age. It seems likely to leave a legacy for future generations that will mean our epoch will be remembered primarily for its stupidity and spendthrift environmental profligacy. It is generally accepted that to stabilise CO2 concentrations about 450ppm by 2050, which might avert runaway

Duping our ‘cherished’ 16-year-olds .

Duping our ‘cherished’ 16-year-olds .

By Niall Crowley. If Alex Fogarty was told one more time how mature he was he could really have claimed the right to violence. Alex, 15 years old we were told repeatedly, from the National Youth Council of Ireland was on the ‘Prime Time Debate’ on votes for 16-year-olds. He was up against Noel Howard