Articles %

June 27, 2016

In football, a certain type of player emerges when his team needs him most. He is a leader on the pitch at crucial times and makes the right choices, which matter most. Right now Ireland needs such a political leader. It is time to be calm, rational and act in Ireland’s self-interest. More

June 23, 2016

This EU referendum has divided Britain like no other political event in my lifetime. The campaign has been so violent, forces have been unleashed by both sides that might prove impossible to control and the very existence of the United Kingdom is now unsure. Even if ‘Remain’ wins, as the latest polls suggest, the victory will prove to be pyrrhic at best, because it is highly likely that a narrow victory for ‘Remain’ will only be secured by a strange alliance of cosmopolitan London together with Irish, Scottish and Welsh nationalists who ultimately want to break free from London’s orbit. More

June 16, 2016

Are you concerned at the lack of any real analysis in Official Ireland’s position with regard to the upcoming EU referendum in Britain? More

June 13, 2016

As a 21-year-old student, I stood in the Great Hall, Bruges, in September of 1988. Little did I know that the speech I was about to hear would constitute the opening salvos of a battle that would culminate with Brexit. More

June 9, 2016

I’ve just had a surreal moment in the Centra at Donegal Square, Belfast, right opposite the City Hall. Blaring on the radio was The Police’s ‘Invisible Sun’. The Polish shop assistant was oblivious, but think about it: this is a song penned in 1981 by Sting about the Hunger Strikers, the conflict in the North and the nihilism of the Troubles. Those dark days are very far from the sunny Belfast I am strolling around today. While it’s no Dublin, the transformation is truly extraordinary. In the same way as Northerners, particularly unionists, should travel South more often to see that we don’t bite, we Southerners should also head North, to see what has been achieved here. It’s only two hours from Dublin and when you think of the carnage of the 1960s, ’70s, ’80s and 1990s, the results of (an often difficult) peace are worth savouring. More

June 6, 2016

What is Official Ireland going to do when The Donald arrives? Having gone out on a limb by advising Americans to vote for Hillary, the Taoiseach faces a choice: should he shower with garlands yesterday’s man, Joe Biden, or embrace the potential man of tomorrow, Donald Trump? More

June 2, 2016

Have a guess at who said the following: More

May 30, 2016

Silicon Docks might be getting the headlines, but our huge and growing success in the air travel sector is even more remarkable. More

May 26, 2016

The news that another man has been killed in a war fuelled by money made from drug dealing, begs the question how long are we going to tolerate the illegality of drugs. Yes, the word used is tolerate! More

May 23, 2016

Peter the “Captain” of the bamboo raft is an extremely observant Seven Day Adventist and a mine of information on the Marla Brae river, on Jamaica’s North coast. He gushed with details of the history of the area, the flora, the fish, the weather, the termites, the ganja, the rum and of course, the Lord. As we floated effortlessly down stream, the river bloated by last night’s rains, he explained why he doesn’t eat shellfish, has never drank and how he observes the Sabbath in its entirety. The local Rastamen and himself – despite their religious differences – are “brothers’, sharing a deep love for the land, the nature, football, cricket and the power of the Almighty. More


I write two economics columns every week. They keep me sane and hopefully, on my toes – but you can be the judge of that! One appears in the Irish Independent on Wednesdays and the other in the Sunday Business Post every Sunday. I’ve been writing the columns for over ten years now, covering economic, financial, demographic, social and geo-political issues – and all sorts of other things that come into my head, sparked by things I’ve read, people I have spoken to or ideas I have heard, over the course of any particular week.

The world - and Ireland - is changing so rapidly that it’s impossible to run out of things to write about. Since I rarely stop writing, the articles are composed and written in the oddest of places, in bars, on trains, in my office, on buses. You name it, I’ve written in, on or under it.

One of the great joys in the week is reading the responses to my articles in the comments on this site. Thanks so much to everyone who responds, challenges, argues and even blatantly insults! This is what freedom of expression and opinion is all about: two contrasting opinions – a buyer and a seller - make a market and makes for good discussion. Imagine a world where we all agreed?