S Long

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So far S Long has created 55 blog entries.

Concern at the rising costs of insurance for motorists and employers

Order of Business, Seanad Éireann 13th April 2017 I raise the issue of insurance premia generally and as they affect motorists and employers, in particular. The reason I am concerned about this is that it was the case that the former Minister and Tánaiste, Mary Harney, and I, together in our respective Departments in the [...]

April 18th, 2017|

The peace process must now largely be seen as military capitulation disguised as a political transformation

In an intriguing recent radio discussion on BBC last week, John Ware, presenter of a Panorama programme on Stakeknife and Kieran Conway, a self-described former Provo intelligence officer and author of “Southside Provo”, discussed the significance of the now accepted belief that Fred Scappaticci was simultaneously a British spy and the IRA’s chief counter-intelligence interrogator, [...]

April 18th, 2017|

My trip across the invisible border provided a new perspective on North-South issues

On Friday I travelled to Belfast to unveil a plaque to commemorate Eoin Mac Néill’s birth 150 years ago this year and his lengthy residence as a secondary student and undergraduate at St Malachy’s College in Belfast from 1881 to 1887. When he arrived there, as John Mc Neill from Glenarm in Antrim at the [...]

April 13th, 2017|

We need a realistic and honest debate on the type of Europe we aspire to now

The draft EU guidelines for negotiating Brexit are a welcome first offer in the process by which the departure of the UK from the European Union will be negotiated.     It is, of course, a little artificial for a negotiating strategy to be developed in public and in the full gaze of the other [...]

April 3rd, 2017|

Transcript of Heritage Bill (Committee Stage) 29th March 2017

Senator Michael McDowell:   It seems to me if this is one of the genuine motivating factors one would expect it to appear as one of the criteria by which regulations would be crafted, but we do not see this. In a spirit of genuine conciliation in this debate it seems to me the Minister should indicate [...]

March 30th, 2017|

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|