- Scotland, Northern Ireland and Ireland have an EU ambition in common which cuts across old divisions of religion and class and sets them apart from England and Wales. Time for a new compact, a diversity-driven Hiberno-EU rainbow stretching from Kerry to Aberdeenshire. Time for another country.RJ Doyle, 25 June 2016
"Britons voted on Thursday to leave the European Union. The Leave side led with 17.4 million votes, or 52 percent, versus the Remain side’s 16.1 million, or 48 percent, with a turnout of around 72 percent." From the NY Times, 24 June 2010; see map(111 mots)
A new buzzword has entered the Hiberno-English lexicon, sidling in between Beautiful Ireland and Dear Old Dirty Dublin: Rip-off Ireland. The Irish have a gift for coining phrases, but this one is an import. I heard it often when living in London in the 1990s, and now, living in the pricey French capital, sometimes wonder whether Paris Pas Cher is not just a bad blague. The cost of food, houses, cars, medical attention, child care: return-ing to Dublin recently gave me a sense of déjà vu all over again.(852 mots)
David, I remember your public speaking not that long back, just before the crisis finally broke: you were sure there’d be a reckoning for all the private Irish debt v German savings, you sensed there was trouble ahead, but you were unsure about when. Others had similar fears, you voiced yours clearly, but it was not a forecast as such, and you occasionally expressed doubt, given what seemed like gravity-defying property prices. Your fears were based on something more sophisticated than “what goes up must come down”, though not sure if you saw the tsunami building in the US. Maybe you did.(264 mots)
Island for sale
During the 80s crisis an American friend Mark Boswell and I mused in a Paris kitchen about splitting Ireland in two, and then selling off either the romantic, gaelic, West or the then wealthier urban East. Which side would raise more cash? Which sale would cause more soulsearching and challenge Irish (or any other) cultural identity more?
An article in the Irish Independent raises a similar specter: "Yesterday, the IMF and the EU were busy trying to limit the damage following their mission to Greece. One auditor, also the EC representative, Servaas Deroose, encouraged the Greeks to "sell beaches" to pay back the IMF/EU loan."
Stuff of theatre? How real it could all become.
David, good point on RTE radio this week 3 December 2010 re-IMF tying Irish state to the banks and it becoming a question of citizens v banks. Question: isn't that how financial capital was predicted to develop 100 years ago, and wasn't it also seen as its eventual demise?(142 mots)
When the tide goes out, you can see who is not wearing swimming trunks, says Warren Buffett about investors. Likewise, people, and seemingly very clever people, can be found wanting in their efforts to explain the current crisis. They splash about, short of breath and ideas, and tend to resort to clichés and caricature, to reassure themselves they knew it was coming all along, and that proper order is now restored. The case of Ireland shows this up nicely, notably by exposing the prejudice of French political pundit Bernard Guetta.(1196 mots)
Ireland is now the happiest place in the world to live, and France grumbles in 25th place. That is what a recent report surveying 111 countries from the Economist Intelligence Unit, part of the Economist group in London, says. Luckily, despite all that heady economic success, the Irish still have a grain of modesty to go with their humour, and the news was greeted with a chuckle. “A great place, but what about the traffic, the cost of living, the weather?” is how many folk reacted.(802 mots)
You have to be an optimist to be in the tourist trade, they say, particularly with today's tense international climate. And sure enough, beautiful Ireland, just like belle France, is eagerly looking forward to a fine summer season. Business was up slightly in 2003, but staying competitive is tough. No one can afford to be complacent, even with Ireland's many natural attractions.(818 mots)