Articles: Irish Independent %


March 19, 2017

My first memory of going to a “big match” in a proper stadium is St Patrick’s Day 1976. I went with thousands of locals from around Dun Laoghaire to see CBC Monkstown in the Schools’ Senior Cup at Lansdowne Road. More

March 12, 2017

This week the column comes to you from New York — Hell’s Kitchen, specifically. I’m sitting in a café, looking out at a bar called Mickey Spillane’s. It’s funny how that name would have once terrified locals. More

March 5, 2017

In two weeks, Britain will trigger Article 50 and the clock starts ticking. The question is whether the UK and the EU can defuse the Brexit device, reaching compromise deals on everything from air travel and borders, to agriculture and banking. Or, as the clock ticks down and the stakes go up, will it culminate in a violent explosion of trade barriers, unpaid penalties and recrimination. More

February 26, 2017

We have three upcoming elections in France, the Netherlands and Germany where immigration — and Muslim immigration in particular — will be the main issue. In America, Donald Trump has declared his hand. Anti-Islam was one of his central campaign messages. And in Britain, immigration was probably the issue that swung the Brexit vote. More

February 12, 2017

This time last year, only a few of us were suggesting that Brexit was likely. The mainstream view was that it couldn’t possibly happen. But it did. And so too did Trump. When this column argued in June that “we should prepare for President Trump”, one or two local talk shows chuckled and sneered at the mere suggestion that such a creature could inhabit the White House. But he is there. More

February 4, 2017

It’s good to get things put in proportion on occasion. Two weeks ago in the Indian city of Jaipur, a taxi driver asked me how many people lived in Ireland. He and 800 million other Indians had watched the Irish cricket team run India close in the Cricket World Cup. In that one 2015 performance, the Irish cricket team was watched by more people than will watch the national football and rugby team, plus every golfer, all our GAA teams and every Conor McGregor fight put together in 2017. That’s how big India and Indian sport is. More

January 22, 2017

If you want to know what is going on in the property market don’t talk to an estate agent. The best leading indicator of the market is Mover Mark — the king of furniture movers. A conversation with a lad in a big white van stuffed to the gills with other people’s possessions is by far the most instructive steer you will get on the property market. More

January 15, 2017

This week various obituaries to TK Whitaker were constant in their praise of Mr Whitaker’s ability to break with conventional wisdom. It is ironic that many of these obituaries came from people deep inside the Irish establishment who have never questioned Ireland’s conventional wisdom in their lives. More

January 11, 2017

Most forecasters are arguing that the Irish economy will slow down in 2017 —but there are valid reasons for believing that the economy will accelerate from here. More

December 29, 2016

More than 30 years on, I still break out in a cold sweat at the opening bars of ‘Careless Whisper’. I am back in the teenage disco. Once the saxophone ushered in the full, rounded tones of George Michael, red-haired lads like me knew the night was over. More

Articles: Irish Independent

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?

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