Category Archives: Ireland, Europe and the world

What the North can teach the South about welcoming refugees

The Irish government seems to be finally and belatedly moving to make its small contribution to tackling the worst humanitarian crisis faced by Europe since the Second World War: the influx of millions of refugees from war-torn countries in the … Continue reading

Posted in General, Ireland, Europe and the world, Northern Ireland, Republic of Ireland | Leave a comment

Flailing around in the fact free zone that is Brexit

We are now in the phoney war period between the Brexit vote and the British government invoking Article 50 of the European Union Treaty to begin negotiating to leave the EU. And nobody – neither citizens nor governments – knows … Continue reading

Posted in British-Irish relations, Cross-border cooperation, General, Ireland, Europe and the world | 1 Comment

Post-Brexit confessions of an anglophile Irishman

So Brexit has happened. Fear, lies and stupidity won the day (although these were not only on the Leave side) and dangerous new forces of right-wing populism and English nationalism were unleashed in the British body politic. It was gratifying … Continue reading

Posted in British-Irish relations, General, Ireland, Europe and the world | 6 Comments

Lessons from Ireland’s great forgotten philosopher: Francis Hutcheson

This August marks the 270th anniversary of the death of one of Ireland’s greatest philosophers: Francis Hutcheson. Who has heard of this County Down-born sage, son and grandson of Presbyterian ministers, today? He ran a ‘dissenting academy’ in Drumcondra Lane … Continue reading

Posted in General, Ireland, Europe and the world, Northern Ireland, Republic of Ireland | 3 Comments

The inspirational volunteers of the Calais refugee camp

It was a surreal scene: a soccer tournament on a sand-covered space which looked more like a rubbish dump than a football pitch; the players (all wearing tops reading ‘We are Human’) drawn from half-a-dozen countries ranging from Sudan to … Continue reading

Posted in General, Ireland, Europe and the world, Views from abroad | 2 Comments

The role of stupidity in local and global politics

Stupidity. I am going to write this month about the role of stupidity in local and global politics. Some of this comes from having read a number of books over the summer in which such stupidity played a central role. … Continue reading

Posted in General, Ireland, Europe and the world, Republic of Ireland | Leave a comment

Why we need to be on the same team as the Germans

Germany is now the undisputed boss of the European Union. Any lingering doubts about this were ruthlessly dispelled during the recent Greek bail-out crisis. Angela Merkel and her finance minister, Wolfgang Schäuble, forced through a package of reforms even more … Continue reading

Posted in General, Ireland, Europe and the world, Views from abroad | 3 Comments