Wheel-spinning EU leaves Juncker stuck in the mud

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  By Cormac Lucey It was once said that the Irish peace process was like a shark: it had to keep moving forward or it would die. EU treaty law assumes the same for the European Union when it commits its members to “ever closer union”. But it is doubtful where such a basic metaphor conveys any lesson for the … Read More

Our US ties are more important than we realise

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By Cormac Lucey With all of the discussion about Brexit and its implications for our continuing membership of the European Union, it is easy to overlook the importance of Ireland’s relationship with the USA. It’s all the easier to underestimate the importance of our links to America at this time of the year when they can be reduced to a … Read More

One man saw it coming….

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   By Cormac Lucey At a recent meeting of the Statistical and Social Inquiry Society of Ireland, Frank Barry looked back at the 1990s debate on joining the euro. Barry, who was one of the UCD economists who queried the merits of joining the single currency, had unearthed a great quote from the Belgian economist Paul de Grauwe from February … Read More

Dole payments should be cut, not increased

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By Brendan Burgess Last week the dole was increased by €5. Cue the usual howls of protests from the poverty lobby deploring the paltriness of this increase. But let’s look at a few facts. The dole in the Republic of Ireland is €193 per week for a single person. The dole in Northern Ireland is the equivalent of €90. That … Read More

A seamless and frictionless border?

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By Cormac Lucey On a visit to Dublin last month, the British prime minister Theresa May said that Dublin and London want the continuation of the common travel area, and a “seamless, frictionless border” between Dundalk and Newry. Two factors are central to the effective disappearance of the border as a practical impediment. First, both the UK and Ireland are … Read More

An ageing planet : technology, immortality and pensions

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By Cormac Lucey Living to 90 may become the new normal, a study of longevity trends in 35 industrialised countries suggested this week. The study, by scientists from Imperial College London in collaboration with the World Health Organisation, was published on Wednesday in The Lancet, a medical journal. The report showed that people in all countries can expect to be … Read More

Ignore the left — we’re more equal than ever

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By Cormac Lucey One of the enduring political battlegrounds between the left and right is equality. Karl Marx, the founder of communism, proclaimed a century-and-a-half ago: “From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs.” The theory, in the Marxist world view, was that free access and distribution of goods, capital and services would be made possible … Read More

Ireland’s apple-licking response to Trump

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By Cormac Lucey Many years ago I heard Professor Declan Kiberd describe the Irish as “apple-lickers”. Imagine if the Book of Genesis had featured Paddy and Eve in the Garden of Eden, instead of Adam and Eve. Paddy and Eve would have been free to eat from any tree in the garden except the tree of the knowledge of good … Read More