Ireland's political magazine Sunday - May 24, 2015
Song is existence.

Song is existence.

By Frank Armstrong. “In the presence of great music we have no alternative but to live nobly” – Seán ó Faoláin     Donal Dineen recently described this as a “golden age” in Irish music. We might take heart when a DJ of his calibre with knowledge crossing genres and continents makes such a pronouncement.

Hot water: the  protests are a catalyst.

Hot water: the protests are a catalyst.

By Rory Hearne. Last month’s Village editorial missed the point in disdaining the water protests and favouring a campaign about the (admitted) injustices of NAMA facilitating the return of the delinquent developers. The water protests are most important because  they represent a new form of citizens’ action and empowerment in Ireland. The water movement is


O’ Carroll corollary.

O’ Carroll corollary.

By Ivana Bacik. In a recent short video, filmed by director Lenny Abrahamson, Mrs Brown – comedian Brendan O’Carroll, explains why she will be supporting the marriage equality referendum. She wants her gay son Rory to have the same opportunity for happiness as everyone else’s son. It’s a simple but effective statement that sums up

Political dynasties in Ireland and abroad.

Political dynasties in Ireland and abroad.

By Eoin O’ Malley. When the French UMP selected Jean Sarközy to run the party in the wealthy suburb of Hauts-de-Seine, a region his father Nicolas dominated for two decades, many saw this as an attempt to start a new political dynasty. The protests at the then French president’s later attempt to install his son


Spring unsprung.

Spring unsprung.

By Constantin Gurdgiev. With po-faced pomp the Government has launched its mutli-annual fiscal programme, aspirationally titled ‘The Spring Statement’. A lengthy, over-manned delivery of the programme required the strenuous efforts of a score of  civil servants, economists and two ministers to energise the public imagination. Yet, for all this effort, it smacked of the vintage

Lone parents want to work.

Lone parents want to work.

By Mary Murphy. Changes to the One Parent Family Payment (OFP) are now coming to a head and are causing stress and panic  for many families. Over half a million people live in families headed by a lone parent. These families are much more likely to experience poverty and social exclusion. In 2013, 63% of


Mudguard: the time-honoured role of the Labour Party.

Mudguard: the time-honoured role of the Labour Party.

By Anthony Coughlan. Like most Labour and Social Democrat parties Labour was originally established by the Trade Unions to advance the political interests of trade unionists and workers generally. When founded in 1912 it had the joint name of  the Irish Labour Party and Trade Union Congress. The British Liberal Government had promised Home Rule.

Consciences of goldfish: Homelessness.

Consciences of goldfish: Homelessness.

By Mike Allen. A person who is homeless can expect to live only until his or her mid-forties. Each year around 30 people who are homeless die in our capital city; most in emergency shelters, a few on the streets. You never hear of them. Their deaths get as little attention as their lives, unless they


Leftism demands nationalism ahead of socialism.

Leftism demands nationalism ahead of socialism.

By Anthony Coughlan. In last month’s Village, Yanis Varoufakis, Finance Minister in Greece’s Syriza Government, was quoted as saying that it is “the Left’s historical duty, at this particular juncture, to stabilise capitalism, to save European capitalism from itself and from the inane handlers of the Eurozone’s inevitable crisis.” He said the Left in Europe

Counter culture

Counter culture

By Lorraine Courtney Political art is often charged with achieving the impossible: producing real, tangible change. Artists don’t pass laws or have a finger on the button, so what can they possibly do to influence governments or dislodge the structures of power? Will they ever save the world through ideas, objects and images alone? ‘Counter


Siteserv in the media.

Siteserv in the media.

By Gerard Cunningham and Michael Smith. The agendas and non-agendas associated with Ireland’s most powerful media owner, Denis O’Brien, are so complex that Village decided to try to bring some loose science to bear from a survey of newspaper coverage and front pages. The latest round of the Siteserv story broke on 19 April when


Barristers’ Code allows them to act despite conflicts of interest.

Barristers’ Code allows them to act despite conflicts of interest.

By Michael Smith. I remember 25 years ago attending a lecture on ethics for barristers in the King’s Inns (motto Nolumus Mutari 1541 – ‘we don’t want to be changed 1541’). An eminent (though aren’t they all?) senior counsel and ‘bencher’ (don’t ask!) was batting for the Bar Council. A student asked why a second-level teacher

Pure Love and the Loss of Shame.

Pure Love and the Loss of Shame. Opinion

Coming from a country where there are no plans for marriage equality and stances toward gay unions are stifling, the mobilisation of supporters for marriage equality in Ireland has been humbling.


Trichet: Franco-Banco-anchor

Trichet: Franco-Banco-anchor

Ireland, Euro area Governance et l’art de mentir: Past, Present and Futur Jean-Claude Trichet Institute of International and European Affaires   Dear Members of the Parliament Irlandais, It is for me an immense plaisir and a great honneur to be here, today, with what passes for the élite of your country, at this place where

Blame Big Food and Pharma.

Blame Big Food and Pharma.

By Frank Armstrong. You know you are in trouble when the Minister for Health boasts about taking out health insurance although the Programme for Government stipulates a “universal, single-tiered health service, which guarantees access based on need, not income”. In his cheery way Leo Varadakar was effectively admitting that the provision of public health care


Radio is for old people.

Radio is for old people.

By Gerard Cunningham. Newspapers have grown used to the idea that they face an existential threat from the digital world, even if they haven’t quite figured out what to do about it.  But for a long time broadcasters, in particular radio,  thought they could be different. The truth is that, behind the chipper periodic press


I resigned from government direct provision Working Group.

I resigned from government direct provision Working Group.

  By Reuben Hambackachere. Background article by Niall Crowley follows below. On the 21st of April 2015 I officially submitted my resignation as the named individual representing the Core Group of asylum-seekers and Refugees on the Government Working Group established to examine improvements to the protection process and the Direct Provision system. The working group

O’ Brien – Desmond Letter

O’ Brien – Desmond Letter

Denis is for once on the back-foot as concerns arise about the roles of IBRC, Cox, Davy and KPMG in the discounted sale of Siteserv to him   D E N I S  O ‘  B R I E N   Dear Dermot, Fuming. So the non-story so far: Shareholders in Siteserv got a €5m