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Regulation not Prohibition

The interminable debate over proposals to criminalise purchasers of sex took another turn this week with the publication of the report by the Oireachtas Committee on Justice, Defence and Equality. Predictably it recommends the so-called “Swedish model” but it also includes draconian proposals to treat visitors to prostitution websites as sex offenders and ban the [...]

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 [...]

Personal insolvency, the ECB, and the shallowness of much political debate

If you had tried to follow the debate on the bill reforming personal bankruptcy in Ireland, what would you have learned over the last few weeks? From the opposition you’d have learned that awful Alan Shatter wants to take away people’s wedding rings, and from Alan Shatter you’d have learned that we had a massive [...]

No to (Adult) Prostitution Ban

Recent months have seen the issue of prostitution come to prominence as the Presidential election approaches. A disturbing parallel with the Lisbon debate is evident in the near unanimity of the political and intellectual ‘Establishment’ for a blind support of traditional policy approaches. How can someone simultaneously claims the mantle of liberalism while also attempting [...]

Government balks at removal of property-based tax reliefs

In a news dump that would impress Andy Coulson, the government clearly put the word around yesterday that it would not be implementing the abolition of the so-called “Section 23″ property tax reliefs and this is confirmed in the Friday afternoon release of the Finance Bill, which was already overdue.  Specifically, according to the Minister’s [...]

The central bank and the mortgage drug

What is an Irish Mortgage-Backed Promissory Note?  Below the fold, some thoughts — on what may be old news — about this question.

We’ve identified the problem

Good.  Then you’ve completed Step 1 on page 15 of the Health Services National Partnership Forum Tools For Change Through Partnership — “Identify the Problem”.   And going by yet another Friday news dump, it sounds like if you got to Step 6 — “Review the Outcome” — everyone involved got a junket to New York.  [...]

69.6 percent of us partied

One wonders if election posters working around the Brian Lenihan on Primetime claim that “we all partied” are already being printed up.  By coincidence, the CSO has released the numbers from the 2009 survey of household income and living conditions.  This survey appears to be a critical source of  information on trends in household income [...]

FG-Labour: Let asylum-seekers work

In a week when the use of forged documentation in the asylum-system was highlighted with the rejection by the Supreme Court of the appeal of Nigerian asylum-seeker Pamela Izevbekhai against her deportation, FG and Labour are proposing the allow asylum-seekers to work. Despite 13% unemployment and mass-emigration – Alan Shatter and Pat Rabbitte are now [...]

HSE: 151 young people in social service orbit died since 2000

Friday evening. Bank holiday weekend.  What better time for a document dump? We are now much closer to the “nearly 200″ figure for deaths of young people in some form of care/interaction that initially circulated in the media.  Not least because the 151 doesn’t include the earlier 37.   Apparently the post-18 years of age transition [...]

They never tire of the Friday news dump

HSE reports on deaths of Young Person A and Young Person B.   Young Person B  was named by Barry Andrews in Dail Eireann on RTE.   The reports are summaries and only hint at the disastrous care received by A and B.  One example from B – The independent living accommodation that was provided to Young Person [...]

Adding a few shillings to the bank pension

Brian Cowen to Enda Kenny today  – [Irish Times] “Contrary to how this is being portrayed, this is a payment into an overall fund that provides for the pensions of most Bank of Ireland staff. If it wasn’t made, the fund would be short-resourced to meet its obligations to all Bank of Ireland pensioners and [...]

The public sector pay deal: a time bomb for an alternative government

One of the mysteries of the Irish economic crisis, which historians may eventually puzzle over, is the long-drawn out nature of it.  On March 30, 2010, we get decisions regarding the financial sector that other countries made 12-18 months ago.  And for all the disruption caused by the selective go-slows in the public sector, the [...]

Protection Racket

There are days when Ireland is a dispiriting place.  Consider the following three seemingly separate issues.  The HSE report into the life and death of TF.  Niamh Brennan’s still under wraps report on the Dublin Docklands Development Authority.  And the latest delay in the Moriarty Tribunal.  They have something in common: legal sensitivities are being [...]

The hammer of the (union) gods

The Irish Times has an interesting two part series on the predicament of the Irish unions.  Today’s installment provides a good insight into the minds of the union leadership and in so doing illustrates the challenge of relevance.  David Begg and Jack O’Connor now say that after 20 years of Social Partnership™, all they ever [...]

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