Articles: Irish Independent %


August 20, 2017

There is an obvious solution to Dublin’s capacity problem: move Dublin Port and develop the greatest natural asset the city has into a new gleaming city. We are one of the last major cities to have a port on the most valuable prime land. Capacity constraints are now the biggest threat to Ireland’s prosperity — much more than Brexit. More

August 13, 2017

Did you know that Limerick has seen the biggest jump in income in the past decade? Not Dublin. Limerick. More

August 6, 2017

Looking out to sea at the huge winter waves crashing upon the Cape Town shore, it’s hard to imagine what the first local tribesman thought when he saw, in the distance, Vasco De Gama’s tiny Portuguese ship sail round the Cape of Good Hope, heading out towards the Indian Ocean in search of profit. More

July 31, 2017

All over the world, central bankers have hinted that the great 10-year period of very low interest rates is coming to an end and all over the world, millennials are complaining that they can’t make a decent crust. Are these developments linked? If so, what does it mean? More

July 23, 2017

Dublin property investors had better hope that Brexit happens soon. More

July 17, 2017

This week’s Time magazine has an interesting interview with Leo Varadkar. Whether or not you are a fan of the new Taoiseach, being profiled in Time is good for the country. The value of this type of international publicity is difficult to overstate. Contrast the image of Mr. Varadkar talking to the world about tolerance, centrism and the future with the Orangemen up the road talking to themselves about intolerance, tribalism and the past. More

July 10, 2017

Ireland had better start building more retirement homes than primary schools. Ireland is getting old. While not quite at Japanese levels, where last year more incontinence adult nappies were sold than new-born babies’ nappies, Ireland is growing old quickly and we’d better prepare for it. More

July 2, 2017

What could be more damaging to the Irish economy — Brexit or the European Central Bank (ECB)? More

June 27, 2017

County Down is one of the most beautiful counties in Ireland. It’s a pity so few of us head up the M1 to witness the hauntingly empty beauty just a few miles to the north. Sitting in the Slieve Donard Hotel, Newcastle as the sun is going down behind the vertiginous Mournes, it’s difficult to imagine a more peaceful place on the island. However, this being the North, I can hear in the distance the local Orange pipe band practicing ahead of the “Glorious 12th”More

June 19, 2017

Allegedly, the next election and the one after that and the one after that will be fought for the hearts and minds of the “people who get up early in the morning”. Therefore, the battleground is a massive geographical arc of new estates and houses stretching from on the coast at Drogheda out west to Mullingar, down to Portlaoise, sweeping down to Carlow and then finishing up at the sea again in Arklow. This is where alarms go off well before six-thirty in the morning. For these commuters, RTÉ’s ‘Morning Ireland’ is in reality ‘mid-Morning Ireland’ because they are up and out well before 7am. 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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