Tuesday, 2nd April 2013
Highs And Lows
The election of Helen McEntee to her late father's seat in the recent Meath East bye election should not have come as a surprise to anyone. Of course there were rumblings about how this was going to be a test of the government but honestly how anyone thought that she wouldn't get the seat considering that it was her father's, won at the last general election and also given the nature of his death was being seriously deluded. No doubt she will prove to be an effective T.D. in the Dail but that wasn't really what was at issue here. A significant proportion of the electorate is dissatisfied with various measures taken by the government in recent months, especially since the budget, and many made those misgivings known to canvassers. But this was an election about a person
Wednesday, 27th March 2013
Who'd be a Cypriot?
The talk of the financial crisis in Cyprus has dominated all the news bulletins every single day since the story broke that the government there was going to impose a levy on all savings deposits in order to come up with some money in an attempt to alleviate the looming economic meltdown. Understandably a lot of the Cypriot people took to the streets to show their anger that the government would even think that such a thing was possible. In the end the government backed down and told the Troika that such an imposition would not be possible. The rest of the Eurozone, or at least its citizens breathed a sigh of relief, knowing that such a dangerous precedent had been averted.
If Cyprus had managed somehow to implement its plan then not only would Cypriots with savings
Wednesday, 20th March 2013
The announcement last week that Cardinal Jose Bergoglio of Buenos Aires was to be the next Pope was met with enthusiasm from many members of the Catholic Church. The first Pope from outside Europe in 1,300 years the Cardinal is also the first Pope elected from the Jesuit Order. The name he has taken, Pope Francis I was also taken as a sign that his leadership of the world's largest religion was also going to be a very definite departure and in some ways a return to the humility and basic tenets of the Church. As soon as his name was made public from the conclave journalists rushed to find out as much as possible about this man who is going to have a huge role in world affairs. On being appointed as Cardinal of Buenos Aires Bergoglio made a
Tuesday, 12th March 2013
A Future Indicator
Now that the CAO has released figures regarding the subject choices that future third level students want a degree in, you can begin to picture what the economy of the future might be like. It seems that the 'new economy' of Ireland is going to be based very much around technology and computers. Interestingly enough juxtapositioned with that are the figures showing that there is a very big increase in the amount of people who want to study agriculture and forestry. It probably comes as no surprise that even though the rest of the economy has suffered tremendously, agriculture is one sector that has performed quite well over the last number of years. It just goes to show that even though it is perhaps the most traditional sector in the Irish economy, it, nevertheless, is one of the
Tuesday, 12th March 2013
Nature has proved once again that the hand of man is still trying to find its niche in the natural cycle. Reports have indicated that a revival of the red squirrel population is underway as the range of the grey squirrel is being curtailed by the resurgence of the pine marten.
This animal appears to be acting as a natural brake on the grey squirrel population thus reducing the impact on the red squirrel.
For years, Ireland's shooting lobby have lectured to genuine conservations that grey squirrels were a threat to red squirrels and that the only solution was a wholesale slaughter against the greys.
Now we find that a natural predator, who has also suffered at the trigger fingers of Ireland's gunners, is now doing the job of grey squirrel control in a natural way.
So the shooting of grey squirrels on
Wednesday, 6th March 2013
THE BAGHDAD RAILWAY CLUB
AUTHOR: ANDREW MARTIN. PUBISHED BY FABER AND FABER. RRP €10.65
The recent Iraq wars were not the first conflicts that took place in that country involving western powers. During the First World War the country was the scene of a war between Britain and the axis powers of Turkey and Germany. Germany in particular, prior to the war, was trying to build up its power in the Middle East and started an ambitious railway scheme that would have seen a direct link between Berlin and Baghdad. The move was seen for what it was by Britain which was an attempt to threaten its dominance over the Indian subcontinent. But the war put paid to the railway scheme if not the antagonism between Britain and Germany alongside its ally Turkey. The railway background is important to this particular story
Wednesday, 6th March 2013
Spring Is In The Air
There is perhaps a tendency to overdo the metaphors when Spring time rolls around. It isn't hard to see why when you consider that it is a time of rebirth and renewal, when the days become longer and nature seems to be getting back into its stride. It is a great time of the year and even though the weather might not be the kindest it really does give you a lift not to have those really cold dark nights lengthening out ahead of you. Of course the best would be if that we could see the green shoots of economic recovery as well. They might not be so obvious at the moment but if you look closely enough there are some signs that things might just be getting better. Naturally enough things are not really
Monday, 4th March 2013
A new o.j.?
When the news that world famous athlete Oscar Pistorius was involved with the murder of his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, it took everyone by complete surprise. Then again incidents such as this always do. The thing is that it involved such a famous athlete, one of those rare people who was as well known off the track as he was on it. Everything about Oscar Pistorius was high profile. A double amputee, he astounded the world by his athletic ability. He was amongst the first disabled athletes to use those distinctive blades for running and his sheer courage combined with his winning ways on the track meant that he was a force to reckon with. Then when he took to the track as the first disabled athlete to compete with able bodied runners as the London Olympics his profile
Tuesday, 19th February 2013
Way to go
When the news that Pope Benedict XVI was to retire was first announced it took everyone by surprise. When you consider the fact that no Pope has retired in almost 600 years in the church's history it soon became clear what an unprecedented step his decision was. Of course it was not a decision that he took lightly. If the church is about one thing it is about maintaining tradition over every other consideration. But now the Pope has decided to step down at the end of this month and the world's catholics will have a new spiritual leader. While many people applauded Benedict's decision to retire from the world stage there were very few people indeed who spoke of him as anything other than a caretaker Pope. Coming after such a powerful personality as Pope John Paul
Tuesday, 19th February 2013
Statement by Bishop William Lee on the announcement by Pope Benedict XVI of his resignation
Pope Benedict's announcement has shocked and surprised everybody but we salute the courage of his decision. Clearly this decision has come after much prayer and reflection as he recognises that his deteriorating health prevents him from adequately fulfilling the ministry entrusted to him.
Pope Benedict was a clear and courageous preacher of the Gospel and teacher of the faith. He often spoke of the significance of eternal truths, especially the importance of deepening our faith in God. He emphasised the contribution faith communities make to the discussion of values and standards in today's society.
Some values such as human life, protecting children, equality amongst people, our responsibility for the poor, respect for God's creation, he spoke and wrote about again and again.
I had the privilege of meeting Pope
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Google AlertWhen a company which has it's European Headquarters here in Ireland is called 'evil' and 'immoral' by M.P.s in The House of Commons you tend to sit up and take notice. The particular company that was being referred to was Google and the reason it had enraged M.P.s in London was because even though it has a big operation there and conducts a lot of business there it pays no corporate tax. It does this by having all of its financial transactions finished here in Ireland. And the company here is …
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