Written on: 27. 10. 2011 in the category: news | read the full article

Rugby powers must tackle dangerous play

Thursday October 27 2011 Deterrence is the most infuriating of virtues: the more successful it is, the more invisible are its consequences. So we should at least acclaim a morally superior act of deterrence whenever we see one, especially when it is done at great risk to the doer. Which is why the Irish rugby world should this week welcome home the referee Alain Rolland, and celebrate the single bravest deed in the Rugby World Cup: his sending off of […]

Written on: 26. 10. 2011 in the category: news | read the full article

Garda Ciaran Jones gave his life for Ireland

IT was on the last weekend of autumn, the first days of winter, as an evil and ferocious monsoon lashed the bleak mud of the Wicklow hills, that a young off-duty garda, Ciaran Jones, freely went out and gave his life, so that others might live. Of course, he did not deliberately seek death, but no-one going out on the N81 on Monday night could have been in any doubt, with the dark cataracts rampaging down the steep slopes on […]

Written on: 25. 10. 2011 in the category: news | read the full article

RTE’s McGuinness coverage has been abysmal

I have no particular feelings about most of the presidential candidates. Sean Gallagher is a Fianna Fail stealth-missile, and I would trust that once in the Park, he’d remain nice and stealthy. Poor Gay Mitchell is not so much a missile as one of those poor birdmen who used to leap off the Eiffel Tower, convinced that the fragments of cloth attached to their arms would keep them aloft. He’s more likely to be a sad and crumpled heap than […]

Written on: 14. 10. 2011 in the category: news | read the full article

Terrible things, bedsits — but are they the business of Government?

MY HEART is torn: the Government is to abolish bedsits by 2013. Part of me says thank God. Another part says what business is it of the Government to choose how people live? Let the market decide. If you’re a certain age, namely, YOUNG, you probably don’t even know what a bedsit is. It is an entire flat, usually minus a bathroom, lavatory or fridge, distilled into a single small room. Everything that you notionally need is there, as it […]

Written on: 12. 10. 2011 in the category: news Uncategorized | read the full article

McGuinness is part of the IRA’s army council. This question remains central to the election

THE clock clicks by. Irish democracy sleeps, the lullaby of Sinn Fein lies wooing it to a deadly slumber. Electors under 30 have little memory of the Troubles: those under 25, none. Mental partitionism, which became endemic in this Republic after about 1973, means that maybe half of those old enough to remember the Troubles do not actually do so: the memory receptors in their brains were instantly turned off by any mention of the North. And suddenly, we have […]

Written on: 11. 10. 2011 in the category: Featured news | read the full article

Time for brand Fine Gael to get a new slogan

So the Fine Gael train seems to be hitting the buffers again. There’s one theory that all is going to plan; that the rival presidential candidates, having written off Gay Mitchell, will engage in mutual hari-kiri, leaving the Mitchell innards within. And then suddenly, bam, he’s back, scattering whatever entrails remain: next, he’s nodding presidentially as his metaphoric coach-and-four takes him to the old Vice-Regal Lodge. But even if Dublin votes for him in preference to some culchie, he’s unlikely […]

Written on: 7. 10. 2011 in the category: Featured news | read the full article

Irish people have shown themselves to be remarkably tolerant and wise towards migrants

‘Migrants have been assaulted, urinated on and forced to leave their homes, a study on racism has found”: thus ran the opening line of a newspaper report on an ‘investigation’ by the Immigrant Council of Ireland. One would assume that the Immigrant Council’s allegations were based on a careful and extensive study of Irish society. Not true. The report was based on interviews with just 24 people, all of whom had presented themselves at the ICI Racist Incidents Support and […]

Written on: 6. 10. 2011 in the category: Featured news | read the full article

Without a major cultural reform, we are programming certain failure into our future

I had to get from near Dalkey to the M50 the other day. I might as well have been trying to get from Dover to London in late 1940. South Dublin County apparently prides itself on its absence of signposts; and its roundabouts are a multi-exited triumph of nameless bedlam. I remember writing about this, all of 20 years ago. Yet here we are, one entire Celtic Tiger later, with the beast having been conceived, gestated, reared, matured, murdered and […]

Written on: 5. 10. 2011 in the category: news | read the full article

It’s quite obvious that the Pacific Islanders have genes that make them outstanding athletes

AT this point, I bid farewell to most of my female and American readers, as I turn to the subject of the Rugby World Cup. I’ll just give you all a moment to get your coats and go. Oh, and shut the door behind you, if you please. Thank you. Right. Do you know that one fifth of all players participating in the world cup are from the Pacific Islands of Tonga, Samoa and Fiji? Pacific Islanders, who are bigger, […]

Written on: 4. 10. 2011 in the category: Featured news | read the full article

Some questions that we should never have to ask

A peaceful society only exists when we largely repress whatever emotions, desires, ambitions, likes and dislikes that would cause gratuitous offence or hurt or pain. Society requires the assertion of a common virtue as a primary adhesive, binding unfriends in an agreed commonwealth of bogus esteem. Therefore the head of state of any republic must at least SEEM to be the embodiment of that adhesive, and a lifelong public adherence to the Ten Commandments is a primary requirement for such […]