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A lot not done, a lot still to do

Micheál Martin as Minister for Health & Children, in the Dail on 25 October 2001 to push through the legislation for the 25th Amendment to the Constitution – The purpose of the Twenty-fifth Amendment of the Constitution (Protection of Human Life in Pregnancy) Bill is to provide a secure and effective constitutional basis for a [...]

Don’t type controversial opinions

On 12 October 2012, a process by which an opinion column written by opinion columnist Kevin Myers on the opinion pages of the Irish Independent newspaper had been hauled before Ireland’s statutory Press Ombudsman came to an end. The Press Ombudsman ruled that opinion columnist Kevin Myers had used his opinion column on the opinion [...]

Referendum open thread

Obviously there are quite a few places where the result is being discussed but for the sake of completeness we’ll open a thread here. I was struck just now to see on RTE Norah Casey (being interviewed by Miriam along with Mary Lou) to say that we need a convene a new style of think [...]

French still want renegotiation: German press

The Government’s claims that EU leaders agreed not to renegotiate the Fiscal Compact – due to be voted on on May 31st – have been met with silence from French and EU officials. German newspaper Suebdeutsche Zeitung claims that the French want to keep renegotiation on the table as a bargaining chip to gain German [...]

The IMF option sailed with the Lisbon treaty

It’s an interesting day on the Irish Times opinion page as Vincent Browne and Terence McDonough set out the anti-Yes position on the fiscal treaty, specifically regarding whether Ireland will still have recourse to the IMF outside the European Stability Mechanism. It’s clear that technically, as an IMF member country, it will. But leave aside [...]

Mario on the referendum

Draghi, not Rosenstock. Here’s the President of the European Central Bank in an interview with the Wall Street Journal discussing the fiscal compact: Many things have happened in Europe in the last year and a half. You have different countries that have different initial conditions–high debt, low growth countries and countries with low debt and [...]

The Irish Times, the eurozone and the plebs

Big things are happening in a big week for Irish and European politics and, let’s be honest, most of us don’t really understand what’s happening, or why. The budget to be unveiled today and tomorrow will need to cut spending and increase taxes because of the banks, or something. The European summit being held on Friday will save [...]

Morgan: Gallagher might not have invited me.

With Sean Gallagher now taken out of his Presidential hopes, convicted fuel-smuggler and Gallagher-accuser Hugh Morgan has changed his story for a second time. He now says the invite to the FF fundraising event may not have been issued by Gallagher at all, but by former FF TD for Louth Seamus Kirk. Kirk himself says [...]

‘McGuinness suspect in double police killing’ – Herald

The Evening Herald has claimed that SF Presidential candidate Martin McGuinness is the main suspect in the murder of two policemen gunned down in an IRA ambush in Derry: SINN Fein Presidential candidate Martin McGuinness is the main suspect in the brutal murder of two policemen, the Herald can reveal. Sergeant Peter Gilgunn (26) and [...]

Gallagher accuser a convicted fuel-smuggler

Update: Gallagher on facebook denying he is man in a 1992 photo cited on David Cochrane (of’s twitter page. Sinn Fein’s allegations linking Gallagher to a cheque for €5,000 for FF have been undermined following the revelations that the accuser has convictions for cross-border fuel-smuggling and tax-evasion and leased his General Election HQ to [...]

Doubts about Coalition deal

Opposition is emerging from some Labour and FG TDs, Labour councillors to the prospect of a FG-Labour Coalition. Dublin MEP Proinsias de Rossa has said the party ‘should be prepared to go into Opposition’ if FG refuses to implement elements of Labour’s “Social Democratic Programme”. Former Enterprise, Trade and Employment and Energy and Natural Resources [...]

We need the Seanad, kept but changed

The Irish Dail has one major failing; parish pump politics. There are a couple of theories as to why, but it seems the only national level views are to be found in the cabinet, the shadow cabinet and the Seanad. And that scope is why its needed. Its problems (and its expense) is why the [...]

Rating Political Reform Among Parties

On a day headlined by party proposals for political reform, we have a guest post from Johnny Ryan, one of the founders of, a bit more background to which is here. Joe, my colleague, came to me three weeks ago with an idea that was too good – and too simple – not to [...]

Gender Quotas and Tennis Courts

Much is made of the under-representation of women in the Dail and many people have been calling for gender quotas to be brought in. However little consideration is given to what the imposition of quotas mean. What signal do they send out.So first lets look at the claim that women are under-represented in the Dail. [...]

Seanad to solve crisis, self-terminate

Who among us has forgotten the tearful scene at the end of Terminator 2 when everyone still standing realizes that although that awful T-1000 Terminator is dead, the good Terminator (Arnie) points out that he is technology from the future and therefore must destroy himself to leave no trace?  So he lowers himself into the [...] is hosting political content

From the start, there have been questions about the government’s style website,   Despite the presence of special advisers, media affairs units, and handlers in government offices, there’s supposed to be a clear line between political boosterism and the provision of taxpayer-financed official information.  Yet within an hour of the Taoiseach’s unscheduled Thursday statement [...]

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