Ireland's only serious political magazine Friday - Oct 31, 2014
Everywhere yet nowhere

Everywhere yet nowhere

How we push climate Armageddon to the back of our minds. John Gibbons interviews Kari Marie Norgaard   A few minutes into Dr Kari Marie Norgaard’s recent lecture in Trinity College, Dublin, she ran a short animation showing the steady ratcheting up of global surface temperatures over time. The clip began in 1950. By the

Economic hopium for the masses

Economic hopium for the masses

The Interloper: Ireland’s national accounts extraordinarily manipulated. By Constantin Gurdgiev.   Since the publication of the second quarter 2014 (Q2 2014) National Accounts on September 18th, Irish media have virtually abandoned any critical assessment of the economy in a fog of fawning, culminating in some wayward demi-jubilation over the Budget. The ‘crisis easing’ narrative of


Unravelling Gogarty

Unravelling Gogarty

Planning Tribunal costs as well as findings based on James Gogarty’s evidence are being successfully challenged. By Frank Connolly IT is bizarre that the very people whose wrongdoing gave birth to the long-running Flood/Mahon tribunal into planning and payments may yet get the Supreme Court to reverse the decision to withhold payment of their costs


Eurout of line on the environment

Eurout of line on the environment

European Parliament should block Juncker’s shocking attempt to undermine EU environmental policies. By James Nix   As currently proposed, the EU Commission would, for the first time in more than two decades, have no dedicated environment Commissioner. Instead environment is rolled in with fisheries and maritime to make up one of what are essentially 20


Penalising  lone-parent employees

Penalising lone-parent employees

By Caroline Fahy. In July 2014, over 5,000 recipients of the One Parent Family Payment (OFP) lost the payment. This was as a result of the decision announced in Budget 2012 to restrict eligibility for the OFP to those parenting alone whose youngest child is aged seven or under. Minister for Social Protection, Joan Burton

As the European Commission decides against Bus Eireann we reprint Tim Doyle’s 2013 article explaining how the school bus system is anti-competitive.

As the European Commission decides against Bus Eireann we reprint Tim Doyle’s 2013 article explaining how the school bus system is anti-competitive.

Bus–iness as usual   In 1967 the Department of Education initiated free transport for post-primary schoolchildren. It was a progressive initiative thought up by the Minister, Donogh O’Malley, requiring that €1.2 million be paid to CIE for the first year to perform “matters of a purely transport nature”. CIE exacted a profit of 4% on


History shows policy changes inequality.

History shows policy changes inequality.

By Kevin Buckley. Thomas Piketty and his colleagues at the World Top Incomes Database (WTID) have revolutionised the study of income equality through their clever harvesting of data from historical tax receipts and national budget records. Their data can be used to study how the proportion of national income collected by the very wealthiest people

Wicklow Council Consultant sought tender for clean-up of illegal waste. By Frank Connolly.

Wicklow Council Consultant sought tender for clean-up of illegal waste. By Frank Connolly.

  The multi-million-Eurp scandal surrounding the illegal dumping of waste in county Wicklow is another legacy left to the new environment minister, Alan Kelly, by his predecessor, Phil Hogan and another reason why the latter’s proposed elevation to the post of European Commissioner has been questioned. In October last, Nessa Childers, MEP wrote a letter


Whither Heather?

Whither Heather?

By Frank Connolly. Disgraced former judge, Heather Perrin, may have done her time but some of those whose wills she administered are still awaiting justice. The remaining sibling of Bridget and Frank Murray who lived in Fairview and whose wills were drawn up by Perrin, who unusually had been a solicitor not a barrister, has

Tax cuts in low-tax Ireland won’t benefit the needy

Tax cuts in low-tax Ireland won’t benefit the needy

By Sinead Pentony. Preparations for Budget 2015 are under way. As with previous budgets, the Government has choices it can make in meeting the requirement to reduce the deficit in the public finances to less than 3% of GDP in 2015. Unfortunately, there are no such self-imposed or externally imposed requirements to reduce inequality and


Interview with Paul Murphy (before EP election).

Interview with Paul Murphy (before EP election).

By Michael Smith Paul Murphy is 31 but perfectly formed, a model of good humour, principle and intelligence. He grew up in Dublin’s Goatstown,his father worked for Mars and his uncle is newsreader, Michael Murphy. He went to St Kilian’s, a German school in Clonskeagh, where he became politicised by international events like the battle

Aarhus: State drags feet on legal costs in environmental cases.

Aarhus: State drags feet on legal costs in environmental cases.

By Kieran Fitzpatrick. The Aarhus Convention aims to protect the environment and proclaims the public to be the best guardian of the environment. There are three strands to the convention: 1) Access to information; 2)Public participation; and 3) Access to justice to review environment-related decisions or to enforce environmental law. Ireland was the last member


Imprison fewer women.

Imprison fewer women.

By Ivana Bacik. Women are a tiny minority in prisons and a particularly marginalised and vulnerable group. On average, only about 3-4% of those in prison are women. While prison numbers in Ireland generally have stabilised and even reduced in recent years, there have been increasing numbers of women committed to prison. There was an

Picking at Piketty.

Picking at Piketty.

By Constantin Gurdgiev. Thomas Piketty’s ‘Capital in the Twenty First Century’ (Harvard University Press, 2014) has ignited both public and professional debates about the economics of income and wealth distribution not seen since the inter-war period a century ago, when applied Marxism collided with laissez-faire economics. To give the credit due to the author and his


Dodgy Donegal’s ex-Manager sues Village editor.

Dodgy Donegal’s ex-Manager sues Village editor.

By Michael Smith. Michael McLoone, former County Manager in Donegal is suing me. He wants damages, punitive damages, aggravated damages and an order prohibiting the further publication of unspecified statements the subject of the proceedings. We’re not worried. The proceedings relate to material the substance of which is privileged because it refers to affidavits opened

Dáil and its legal reform bill still pro-lawyer.

Dáil and its legal reform bill still pro-lawyer.

By David Reynolds. The circumstances of the demise of former Minister for Justice, Alan  Shatter, diverted attention from the risk of the thwarting of his reforms of the legal profession. Infamously many ministers, and their – often informal – advisers, are lawyers. Indicative of the problem is that at the last reading of the proposed


Autumn ’15 tsunami for coalition.

Autumn ’15 tsunami for coalition.

By John Gormley. In May of 2013 I predicted in this column that Eamon Gilmore would step down as Labour leader before the General Election to be replaced by Joan Burton.  So now that it has all come to pass, as though perfectly scripted, can I apply my soothsayer’s powers again? I’ll give it a