Posts categorized “Current Affairs”

Tim Pat to deliver Mac Lua Memorial Lecture – “Why Is No One In Jail?”

Tim Pat will kick off a series of debates on Ireland’s economic woes when he delivers the annual Mac Lua Memorial Lecture for Irish Writers’ Month in Hammersmith, London.

The event, with a Q&A to follow, will take place on Wednesday 6th June, 7pm.

» For full details go to

Do we need a president at all? Can we afford one?

Tim Pat’s letter to the Irish Independent, published 24/8/11, probes a deeper question surrounding the race for the Aras…

As the proportion of the population throwing, or not throwing, its hat into the ring of the presidential contest begins to acquire the characteristics of a somewhat farcical mass movement, is it not time to ask the questions do we need a president at all? Can we afford one?

The president’s powers are not essential to the running of the nation even at the best of times. These are not the best of times and we cannot say that they are the worst because we know that there is worse to come in the forthcoming Budget and in charges on water, property, energy and — on what should be the bread of the future — a university education.

The only things going down are incomes and the pitiable benefits of the young and the elderly.

We had no president in our first Constitution after independence. There was a governor general, who was imposed upon us by the British, and who was got rid of by De Valera who introduced the presidency in his 1937 Constitution, and subsequently made the office a well-paid old folks home.

Now that Fianna Fail, which De Valera founded, has got rid of not merely the governor general but of the economic independence which the founders of the State fought for, is it not time to close down this rather ruritanian institution, with its aura of the Raj and the Viceregal Lodge, and spend the money on things like getting cancer sufferers off trolleys in busy hospital corridors or, alternatively, in prosecuting the people responsible for our economic situation?

Tim Pat Coogan
Dalkey, Co Dublin

Follow-on discussion:



“Ireland – Yes we can?”

The Derry Journal reports on Tim Pat Coogan’s speech at a Féile event in Cultúrlann Uí Chanáin, Derry…

The author and historian said that community movements have driven changes in Derry and those changes have shaped modern Ireland.

“The word which will govern what we succeed in is a word which epitomises Derry – that word is community. It is the ability to hold what you have and try for what you want.”

“Even in the midst of everything that is happening today, that spirit can still be seen looking around Derry today,” he said.

» Read more

The Queen’s Speech – Late Debate Podcast

Catch the podcast of last Wednesday’s RTÉ Radio 1 ‘Late Debate’, with Tim Pat Coogan, Kevin Humphries TD, Luke Flanagan TD, Brenda Power and Shaun Connolly.

» Download MP3

Sure we’re not right Michael, Sure we’re not! – Tim Pat at the Percy French Summer School

Tim Pat will be speaking at the 2011 Percy French Summer
, to be held at Castlecoote House, Co. Roscommon, from 11th–15th July

The Athlone Advertiser reports that the headline talk “… is one of many that aims to address current socio-economic issues… Some of Ireland’s leading academics will gather to celebrate the work of Percy French and debate issues such as ‘The Irish conscience’, ‘The Female education debate in 18th century’, ‘Trades, crafts and people of old Fuerty’, to name but a few…. Tim Pat’s talk is of course taken from Percy French’s well known song ‘The West Clare Railway’”

Question and Answer Session – Thursday 14th July, 12.15pm

Sure we’re not right Michael, Sure we’re not!

A reflection on the contemporary political and economic crises with apologies to ‘The West Clare Railway’ by Percy French

Tim Pat Coogan
Luke Ming Flanagan TD CHAIR

This is a significant moment for both of these islands

Tim Pat reflects on the Royal visit in The Herald:

We’re into welcome mode now. Whatever saucy doubts and fears we entertained in the last few weeks about the timing or wisdom of the visit, the queen landed today and it is not only fitting and right that the best foot is put forward but, to be quite blunt about it, there is an extraordinary commercial spin-off to all that is happening.

I have seen a fair few newsworthy events in my time, but I have never seen such a concentration of journalists descending on the country in such a short space of time.

I’m told that I will be one of some 1,200 media people in Dublin Castle today.

That is the kind of coverage of a country or an event that the Bord Failtes and the IDAs slaver over…

Read the full article

Stepping back in time but issues not polls apart

Ken Sweeney, writing in today’s Irish Independent, invites Tim Pat to reflect briefly on the historic election of 1933.

“IT’s time for a change. ”

“It could have read as an election poster slogan for any of the main opposition parties. But it appears the theme was just as relevant back in 1933 as the forefathers of both today’s political parties battled for the hearts and minds of the population,” writes Sweeney.

» Read more

Listen again to Tim Pat on Today with Pat Kenny

On Friday 15th October,  Tim Pat Coogan and fellow guests – Justine McCarthy of the Sunday Times and Mick Clifford of the Sunday Tribune –  joined Pat Kenny to discuss the week’s stories.

Listen again at:

Media need to show they have the public interest at heart

Read the Irish Times report on Tim Pat’s address at the opening of the Parnell Summer School in Avondale, Co Wicklow yesterday.

“Politics is a noble profession but the ignoble have taken control of it… we didn’t hear enough from the media about the great storm that was approaching. A climate of corruption was allowed to prosper”.

Now in its 20th year and running until 13th August, the 2010 Parnell Summer School is debating ‘The Role of the Media in Politics and Society’.

‘Gotcha!’ – media in politics and society at the Parnell Summer School

Tim Pat Coogan will preside over the official opening of the 2010 Parnell Summer School – ‘Gotcha! The Role of Media in Politics and Society’.

The six-day event, which is celebrating its 20th year, will take place from August 8th-13th at Avondale House, Rathdrum, Co Wicklow – the birthplace of politician Charles Stewart Parnell.

Sessions include:  ‘Press Freedom’, ‘Corruption in Politics’, ‘History of Irish Media’, ‘Parnell and the Origins of Modern Day Press in Ireland’,  and ‘Citizen Journalism and Beyond’.

» More