Articles: Irish Independent %


April 24, 2017

There’s nothing better than a glass of sugary coca cola the chilly morning after too many Côte du Rhônes to clear the head. I’m in Paris about to head south to Marseilles trying to make sense of this fascinating French election and, more to the point, trying to understand why financial markets are — up to now — so sanguine, given the enormity of what is at stake. More

April 17, 2017

So the first one hundred days of Donald Trump have nearly passed and there seems to be a sense that, despite all his initial maverick positions, the country feels like it’s under a typical Republican President. More

April 10, 2017

The 2pm train from Heuston to Cork is hurtling through Tipperary on a glorious Friday afternoon in April, and I am struck by just how empty the country is. With a better transport system, such as French-style fast commuter trains, most of the main conurbations of Ireland could be accessed east to west and north to south in less than an hour. French TGVs travel at an average speed of 200 miles per hour meaning that Dublin to Cork, a distance of 157 miles, could be done in about 45 minutes. Belfast to Cork could be done in under an hour and half, while Dublin to Galway would be just over 30 minutes. More

April 5, 2017

The upcoming Brexit negotiations will be the most important negotiations that any Irish representative has been involved in since Michael Collins went to London. More

March 26, 2017

For those of us who love all things French, one of the most beguiling aspects about French-ness is what the French themselves call “French exceptionalism”. This is the notion that France is an exception. More

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

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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