Irish mood picks up as sun shines down on Ireland

“This will take an awful lot of hardship.” “It doesn’t take much.” Both of the foregoing contradictory statements are true of Ireland’s economy and mood of the moment. On the one hand there is the demoralizing game of pass-the-parcel being played by the politicians with the report of the popularly-termed An Bord Snip Nua which…

The tides of electoral change run over Ireland

The new celebrity politician of Ireland, George Lee, accurately summed up the implications of the rip tide that has run through the electoral triathlon, of which two legs have  been effectively decided. In his victory speech, he said that the Government does not have a mandate to continue. The local government wipeout which seems to…

How Ireland has failed to learn lessons from Famine

Modern scandals repeat mistakes of famine This year’s National Famine Commemoration ceremony at Skibbereen was dignified, efficient, moving. We stood under the Irish flag, beside a detachment from our own army as ambassadors from all over the world, accredited to a sovereign Irish Republic laid wreaths on the site of a mass grave wherein lie…

A political parable for our time

One of the oldest risqué stories circulating in Ireland  has become a political parable for our time. It concerns a group of Irish explorers whose  guides mislead them so that they unwittingly enter the territory of a dreaded group of cannibalistic pygmies known as the fukarwe tribe. As darkness approaches the Irishmen are surrounded by…

The Budget from hell

Shortly before the Minister for Finance, Brian Lenihan, entered the Dail to deliver his budget speech on April 7th I witnessed three dramas which more eloquently described the state of Irish society than did the budget debate. In one, a man in a business suit standing beside me in a Dublin bar with three friends…

Border shopping will end partition!

A veteran republican friend of mine sighed sadly to me recently and said: “You know I’ve worked for Irish unity all my life and now it looks as though the supreme irony is that the Border will be removed by cross-border shopping!” My friend was concerned at the prospect that the loss to the Irish…

Why life can defeat death in Northern Ireland

There are two time bombs ticking away in Northern Ireland. In fact some would argue three, given the potentially explosive effect of cross-Border shopping by the Republic’s citizens on the economy of the 26 Counties. But in view of the serious situation created by the recent lethal Republican activity in the North I will leave…

Blog (and book) launch

By Tim Pat Coogan Blogland here I come! Embarking on the journey to Blogdom is a fascinating undertaking.. I hope to have the time to explore this new world thoroughly, not merely for the intrinsic interest of the project, but because it gives me the opportunity of thanking the great number of people who have…