S Long

About S Long

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So far S Long has created 50 blog entries.

Real reconciliation with the orange in our tricolour must mean more than just indifference

When I wrote here last week about the spirit of the “Chuckle Brothers” being needed for a resolution of the impasse that has left Northern Ireland without a government and without a functioning assembly, I was not conscious that Martin McGuinness was about to join Ian Paisley in eternity, although I knew he was very [...]

March 27th, 2017|

Brexit may not deliver a united Ireland soon, but it’s a challenge that should unite us all

One of the perennial problems in discussing the future of Northern Ireland is that the discussion of itself has a seriously polarising effect on the two main communities there. The underlying conflict of aspirations comes to the surface, however peacefully, and the process of normalising relations between those two communities is set back. On the [...]

March 20th, 2017|

Tuam is a by-product of the deeper scandal of a religious and social culture that seems so cruel, and yet so recent, to the modern world

One of the less edifying aspects of politics is the tendency of some practitioners to engage in the rhetoric of competitive moral outrage. The Tuam Mothers and Babies Home scandal is a case in point. The Oireachtas has heard in each House genuine and moving personal accounts from survivors of the Irish system of dealing [...]

March 13th, 2017|

When you see life-saving surgery denied over cost, tax residency for sale is a gamble Ireland can ill afford

At the height of the financial crisis, we changed our tax laws to provide for a domicile levy on certain Irish citizens whose worldwide income exceeded €1 million, whose property in Ireland was greater in value than €5 million, and whose liability to Irish income tax in a relevant tax year was less then €200,000. [...]

March 13th, 2017|

Is Mark Zuckerberg the most modern of the Evangelists?

In an IT age I suppose it is almost  inevitable that a somewhat binary perspective on reality should suggest itself to  Mark Zuckerberg, who has just published his Facebook manifesto, as a vision of a better world. The “either or” or “1 and zero” underpinning of the software programmer’s language is almost bound to translate [...]

March 13th, 2017|

Leadership contests and the strong, silent coalition against reform

Maybe all is not lost for President Trump. A column in the latest edition of the well-produced, deeply conservative Irish fortnightly newspaper, The Catholic Voice, is calling on all its readers to pray for Donald Trump so that he may not be deflected by the wave of criticism from anti-Christian media from pursuing his policies. [...]

February 27th, 2017|

Minister Fitzgerald’s attempt to push Sexual Offences Bill through the Seanad in one afternoon is shameful

On Wednesday the 15th of February at the old League of Nations building in Geneva, the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) will be addressed by an Irish Government delegation which it is planned, at the time of writing, will be headed by Tanaiste Frances Fitzgerald, Minister for Justice and [...]

February 13th, 2017|

Trump’s jump into the US political pool causing potential tsunamis in Europe

It is a funny old world – politics. A few weeks ago, Francois Fillon appeared to be on course to win the French presidency. But an Exocet has hit his campaign in the form of a scandal about his placing of his wife on the public payroll as a political advisor when in fact she [...]

February 6th, 2017|

Adoption (Amendment) Bill 2016 – Second Stage debate 24th January 2017

I welcome the Minister to the House and acknowledge her sterling role in preserving it as part of the Democracy Matters campaign before she became a Minister. I thank her for being one of the leaders of the small group of people who stood up for the Seanad at the time. I was struck at [...]

January 30th, 2017|

The importance of calling out Trump for what he is

Am I alone in detecting a whiff of raw evil in the Trump administration’s utterances this week? I spoke in the Seanad on Thursday about the evil plans of this man, the POTUS, to reintroduce torture, including waterboarding, for detainees suspected of having information useful to the US in its war on terrorism. Lest we [...]

January 30th, 2017|