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
May 19, 2016
Yesterday, the American Airlines flight from Dublin to Charlotte, North Carolina, was jammed. There were five flights leaving Dublin airport for the United States between 8am and 9.30am. The very friendly American immigration official at the US immigration in Dublin told me that 3,000 people travelled from Dublin to the States on average every morning. That’s a huge amount of people and, obviously, it only gauges the punters going one way. There must be a similar number coming the other way. He told me that when college term is finished, that figure will go up to 5,000 leaving Ireland for the US every morning. More
May 16, 2016
If Britain leaves the EU, it could start a domino effect – at the end of which is a united Ireland More
May 12, 2016
When I was a kid, the coolest thing you could do when you grew up was to go on the Magic Bus from Dublin to Greece. All the hip older brothers of my mates did this. They worked in London for the summer on the sites and then spent the lolly on PLO scarves, massive spliffs, a copy of the Little Red Book and a one-way ticket to Mykonos to lose their virginity to a German hippy with hairy armpits. More
May 9, 2016
Brexit could provide a boost to our FDI. More
May 5, 2016
By hook or by crook’ is a wonderful, outdated expression. It’s the sort of thing my grandfather used to say. We all know what it means, but where does it come from? I heard it the other day while at the wonderful O’Sullivan’s pub in Crookhaven watching a dogged Leicester City grind out another result against Manchester United. With pints and toasties in front of us, we watched as Leicester had a man sent off in a belt and braces final five minutes, when the old fella beside me declared: “This Leicester outfit are determined to win the league by hook or by crook.” More
May 2, 2016
The gap between what the elite earns and the rest of us is causing a revolt. More
April 28, 2016
One of the less-celebrated joys of working for yourself is not having to do the daily commute. This daily grind can be a true purgatory. Not having to do it is a much under-estimated luxury, which is only truly understood when you are stuck in a traffic jam, infuriated and anxious. More
April 25, 2016
As a musician, he was dazzling, subversive and sexy – but Prince was also savvy about the internet age and fought for the rights of the content makers 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?