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.
(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.