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Wednesday, 27th November 2013

The death of Fr. Alec Reid has once again shone a light on one of the most passionate and persistent of people who for many years struggled for peace in Ireland. Originally from Tipperary, Fr. Reid was one of the prime movers in a peace process that took many years to come to fruition but, despite all the setbacks and all the frustrations that the peace initiatives encountered through the years, here was a person who had a solid and complete faith in the belief that peace could be achieved in Northern Ireland and, therefore, that peace could be brought to the island of Ireland as a whole. To say that the process was a long, drawn out, arduous struggle would be putting it mildly. Many, many times the peace process looked like it was in danger of complete collapse

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Wednesday, 20th November 2013

IT'S MY PARTY

It would appear, according to new opinion polls, that a significant number of Irish voters would like to see a new political party formed. Naturally enough, all eyes are now on the Reform Alliance and Lucinda Creighton in particular. Despite what newspaper leader stories would have people believe, there is not widespread dissatisfaction with the Government parties and their approval ratings have not plummeted since the budget and their failure at the last referendum over the dissolution of the Seanad. While their numbers are not exactly anything to write home about, it is somewhat of a surprise that their popularity has not fallen further. What does come as somewhat of a surprise is that the opposition parties have really failed to capitalise on Government weaknesses to improve their own positions. And that is where the idea of a

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Wednesday, 13th November 2013

Taking Some Time

Given that we seem to be living through an unrelenting series of bad news regarding the economy and also how most people are suffering because of it, it only seems right that when those few short periods of good times come along that we make the very most of them. The forthcoming Christmas and New Year celebrations are exactly what we need at this moment, a time to celebrate with family and friends and sit back a little and think about what is most important to us and be thankful that whatever we have, we have. Times might be tough and a lot of people are experiencing a lot of economic pain and the thought of Christmas and New Year and the expense that it could bring might not exactly at first be enticing. But, like most things

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Wednesday, 6th November 2013

a case of equal rights

It would appear that the Government is finally getting ready to move forward with its decision to grant more equality to Gay and Lesbian couples as it says that it is preparing a referendum to legalise gay civil marriages. Naturally enough, there will be those who will come forward and say that this is the end of civilisation as we know it but, as regards the majority of right thinking people in the country, it would seem that the move will be welcomed. The issue of equality for Gay and Lesbian people has come a long way since Homosexuality was decriminalised in the early '90s. Up until that point, while a lot of gay people just got on with their lives, it was still very easy to discriminate against them. Not just in a general way

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Wednesday, 30th October 2013

Looking for answers

It seems that following the fiasco of children being wrongly taken from their families by the authorities, the Minister for Children, Frances Fitzgerald, is now saying that she will have to look into the manner in which outside authorities conduct themselves in relation to children they deem to be at risk. It seems only a short while ago that we had a referendum that we thought would put paid to this sort of situation. However, with children from a Roma family being taken away wrongly from their parents, it seems that the whole situation is up in the air again. The children, it would appear, were taken away from their parents because there were some questions in relation to their parentage. It would seem that the authorities thought that because the children had blond hair and did not

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Wednesday, 23rd October 2013

The Fine Detail

In a speech that was wide ranging and delivered in a fast paced tone sometimes it was hard to figure out exactly what the Minister for Finances Budget was actually comprised of when he spoke in the Dail last week. The speech was certainly well written because of the constant refrain of what on the surface of it seemed like positive moves by the Government. However when the dust had settled and you had a chance to read the fine detail and see what was actually proposed you quickly realised that this Government's budget was not terribly different from all the austerity budgets that we have become used to over the last number of years. Effectively this means that there are going to be cuts in services, and lots of them.

One of the areas that seems to be

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Wednesday, 16th October 2013

Are you Astounded?

According to the Minister for Finance the Irish public will be 'astounded' by the budget that he will announce in the Dail and that there will be much 'good news' in it. So on the one hand we have this news to digest and on the other we are hearing of dire cuts in all departments such as Health and Social Welfare. Sometimes it is hard to understand what this Government is up to. The one thing is clear is that it is keeping the Irish public very much on its toes. First of all we were given the 'good' news that instead of cuts totaling over 3 Billion Euro we will only have to have cuts in the region of just over 2.5 Billion Euro. Aren't we lucky? Then we've had the usual merry-go-round of speculation over

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Wednesday, 9th October 2013

What Happens Next?

Now that the referendum proposed by the Government was defeated it will be interesting to see what will happen next. Naturally enough all of those who are opposed to this Government are predicting a dire future for Fine Gael and Labour, but that of course is just par for the course in politics. Of course there are questions to be asked and answered by the Government parties but in the larger scheme of things, does their failure to have the referendum on the abolition of the Seanad make a huge amount of difference? First of all it has to be said that the motion was defeated by the slimmest of majorities and the result was a real matter of conjecture for a long time until the final tallies came in.

There are those who are saying that because the

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Wednesday, 2nd October 2013

Time to Vote

Although there has been a relative quiet surrounding the two referenda that people are being asked to vote on next Friday that doesn't mean to say that people should take a back seat when it comes to going out and making their mark at the ballot box.

The discussion surrounding the referenda has been the least rancorous of any referendum of the last number of years but that doesn't mean that what is being voted on isn't important. The abolition of the Seanad is perhaps one of the most significant moves that has been made in a number of decades regarding the manner in which Irish people organise our parliamentary system. Perhaps it is the fact that the overwhelming majority of people do not have a vote in the Seanad elections now means that people just can't get exercised

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Wednesday, 25th September 2013

Business As Usual

Now that all the think ins are over and we are spared the sight of political parties trying to show that they have something new to say the Dail has started up in earnest and even though we all know that a week is a very long time in politics we are almost certain that the next while will be dominated by the forthcoming referenda as well as the upcoming Budget in October. It seems so far that the whole hoopla that usually happens when it comes to referenda has not yet happened and the whole debate surrounding them has been somewhat of a lack lustre affair. Even the potential abolition of one of our houses of parliament doesn't, yet at least, seems to have caught the public imagination. Maybe it is because the vote is some way

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Letters to the Editor

  • Our View

    A Paper AnniversaryAs he has been in high profile politics for such a long time, it is hard to think that Leo Varadkar has just celebrated his first year as Taoiseach. Over the last decade, there has hardly been a time when the man hasn't been out of the headlines for one reason or another. But it is his role as Taoiseach which has cemented his position in Irish history.Of course such an anniversary didn't go past uncommented and he was given a rough ride in the Dail when the subject came up. As mu …

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