News and recent articles

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 [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

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, [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

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. [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

March 13th, 2017|