Tag: Fianna Fáil

Blasphemy, Ireland and an Irish University

(An edited version of this post should be appearing in print later next month. I’ve reproduced it here as some of the more “controversial” parts have been edited out of the version which is going to be published.)

On the 1st of January 2010, Ireland took a remarkable step backwards when the so called Blasphemy Law came into effect. One of the main results of this has been that many people feel that their freedom of speech could be curtailed by potential legal action and a substantial fine if something they express is deemed to be blasphemous towards a particular religion. To say that this opened a can worms is an understatement and it rather succinctly showed the complete lack of common sense in the then Fianna Fáil led government.

Why We Are Where We Are

(Originally Published on Indymedia.ie in December 2010)

Throughout the history of the Irish state, Ireland was seen as an almost backwater of the Western World. It was a country literally and both metaphorically on the fringes of Europe with an economy which always seemed to be floundering in the doldrums. All of this changed in the nineties with the onset of the Celtic Tiger which was effectively brought about by low corporate taxes, an educated workforce and the low cost of wages. All of this led to a massive upturn in the economic fortunes of Ireland but when things should have naturally slowed down, those with political power ensured that the Celtic Tiger was extended beyond its natural lifespan by creating a bubble. The bubble in this case was a property bubble and like all bubbles in economic history, it was bound to burst. The government, and their associates in the banking industry and construction industry, did their best to try to convince people, not only in Ireland but also all across the world, that Ireland was the perfect economic model to follow. In reality it was all smoke and mirrors when in actual fact the entire economy was based on a lie; the need for more and more property. This lie, along with the cronyism at the very top of Irish politics, has led to the situation which we are now in where we are likely to default on our sovereign debt within the next 2 years.

The Art of Economic Misdirection

(Originally Published on Corkstudentnews.com in July 2010)

That’s it folks. Game over. Ireland Inc is well and truly on the way down. I have been rather sceptical of the country having the ability to weather the recessionary storm that has gripped us for the last 2 years but now the game is well and truly up. The government on the other hand seem intent on either ignoring the evidence or they are just too dumb to read all the signs. The former, and more insidious fact, is what I believe to be the truth. They are actively ignoring the evidentiary statistics and figures in order to complete their “doublethink” and attempt to enforce this on the public via the government media outlets and their representatives. We have been hearing over the last number of months about how the country “has turned the corner” or “is turning the corner” and that economic growth is projected for next year and the years to come.

Emperor Kenny’s New Clothes

(Originally Published on Corkstudentnews.com in June 2010)

It has now been just over two weeks since Richard Bruton directly or indirectly, whichever way you want to look at it, challenged Enda Kenny’s leadership of the main opposition party, Fine Gael. While it might have been an important enough event to write about at the time, I felt that it was better to wait until some time had passed so that an assessment of the fallout from the ruckus within the ranks of Fine Gael can be made. It seems now that in the two weeks since the failed coup, Kenny has emerged victorious and even the polls point to this. However, this much is obvious. Things are far from settled in the seats of the opposition in Dáil Éireann and the Irish public has a notoriously short memory when it comes to politics.

O’Donoghue Takes It All

(Originally Published on Corkstudentnews.com in February 2010)

We are now well into the New Year which has so far gotten underway with a bang in political terms. In the last few weeks we have seen the Budget Cuts coming into effect, the Blasphemy Law being enacted and more recently, the first of the so called “Toxic Loans” were transferred to NAMA. One event in particular though has gone rather suspiciously under-reported and that is the return of good old money bags himself, the now former Ceann Comhairle, John O’Donoghue.