Ireland Callingby John Spain
- "Greed is good", especially in Ireland it seems with pillars of society on the take
- Vintage pamphlets offer a glimpse at the rules of 50s-era Irish Catholicism
- A leap of faith by Ireland, the exit from the IMF/EU bailout
- A temporary detour from ecomic issues to Irish soccer madness
- Give Britain a break after decades of Irish emigration to the UK
Back in the mid-1990s he was the minister for communications when Ireland's second national cell phone license was awarded to a company led by the businessman Denis O'Brien.
O'Brien subsequently sold the business and made over €200 million, which became the basis for the billion dollar fortune he has made from phone businesses in the meantime. But there were allegations right from the beginning that Lowry had influenced the selection process which gave the license to O'Brien's company rather than other applicants.
Kenny is good in that kind of situation ...he's personable, relaxed, good company, he can tell a joke and deliver a speech. So back here we're not surprised that he carried it off so well and so effortlessly.
That kind of intimate, friendly setting is where he shines. His speech was poetic, moving and inspired (take a bow whoever wrote it), cleverly linking the experience of the slaves from Africa and the destitute Irish immigrants after the Famine and their joint role in building America.
The customary thing here is for the media to give an incoming administration a honeymoon of a week or two to give them a chance to settle in. But this time it’s different. This time there can be no honeymoon.
Like many newly married couples in Ireland these days, the new coalition partners did not really expect to get one. Given the crisis we face, the country cannot afford the time.
My old teacher and his catchphrase kept coming to mind over the past week as the dust settled after the election and it became clear how desperately eager Fine Gael and the Labor Party are to grasp the reins of power.
They're so eager they could not even put on a show of disagreement and brinkmanship as they held talks to hammer out an agreed program for governing the country over the next five years.
Journalists are fond of throwing around the word historic, but really there is no other word to describe what has happened. Ninety years of Civil War politics has come to an end.
Fine Gael, the party which grew out of the side that won the Civil War and established the Irish Free State, only to be dumped a few years later, has regained its rightful place as the dominant force in Irish political life.
For decades Fine Gael has been the weaker twin of the pair of parties that emerged from the ashes of the Civil War. Fianna Fail, with its anti-Treaty "republican" ethos and its core demand for the immediate reunification of Ireland, has been a cancer in the Irish body politic ever since de Valera led it to victory in 1932.
Since then it has been the dominant political party in Ireland, in power for most of the time. It positioned itself as the only party that was "sound" on the national question.