Articles: Irish Independent %

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

December 22, 2016

The latest Apple tax revelations mean that Ireland is now on a collision course with the EU Commission and by extension with the EU itself. In a narrow sense — and this might be the only sense that matters — this is a win/win situation for Ireland. More

December 15, 2016

Imagine Simon Coveney in a translucent, skin-tight leotard, high above the political swamp, walking the tight-rope between the social reforming objective of rent control and the hard commercial reality of dormant housing supply. Get the picture? This is the minister’s position. More

December 8, 2016

It is almost certain that there will be another euro crisis in 2017. The last time we had a euro crisis, the focus of attention was Greece; today the vortex is Italy. More

December 1, 2016

I love the word ‘bedlam’, meaning insane or totally out of control. It comes from the Royal St Mary Bethlehem Hospital in Bishopsgate, London. The Royal Bethlehem was an asylum dating back to the 15th century where poor creatures suffering from seizures and other afflictions were remanded to end their days roaring and screaming, packed away out of sight. Bethlehem was abbreviated to Bedlam and the word bedlam fell into common usage. More

November 24, 2016

‘Stunning façades are finished in a unique glass cladding by Lithodecor, the reflective finish breaks down visual barriers to deliver a magical interplay between landscape and architecture.’ More

November 17, 2016

The Bangladeshi selfie-stick hawkers are doing a brisk trade outside the Colosseum. Local chain-smoking lads dressed as gladiators prey on vulnerable tourists, while portly priests on their annual visit to Catholicism’s corporate HQ take time out from soul-searching. More

November 10, 2016

We all now know what has happened in America, but the big question is not what has happened, but why it is happening? In order to answer this question, we have to look much deeper into the campaign, the insults and the upsets. We have to explore the economic, demographic and political forces that have come together in a perfect electoral storm in the land of the free. More

November 3, 2016

The main reason the public-sector unions are on strike is the price of housing. Sort out housing and we begin to sort out lots of things that are problematic in the economy. Unless the State gets to grips with the fact that middle-ranking workers can’t find a place to live in this country, there will be higher and higher wage demands. More

October 27, 2016

What should we do with the iconic Central Bank building on Dame Street? Imagine if we did something creative. Rather than sell it off to be turned into a hotel (which is the plan), why not turn this fantastic site into a start-up hub, offering extremely low rents to start-up companies, right in the centre of the city? 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?