How much has changed in Ireland since the economic collapse?

This article originally appeared on RTÉ Brainstorm Opinion: a decade on, there is much to learn about how Ireland reacted to the financial crash and its aftermath Ireland’s dramatic economic collapse in 2008 began with the infamous bank guarantee. It was initiated by then Minister for Finance Brian Lenihan against the backdrop of an imperilled domestic banking system and an… | Read on »

John McCain: the life and strife of a political maverick

This article originally appeared on RTÉ Brainstorm Opinion: assessing the career of John McCain must take account of both his remarkable bravery and regrettable political mistakes The death of John McCain has led to a remarkable memorialisation in America. There has been non-stop discussion of two-times presidential candidate on news channels, replete with appreciations, stories of his exploits, barbs and friendships and reflections… | Read on »

How Martin McDonagh’s work became part of the establishment

This article originally appeared on RTÉ Brainstorm Opinion: high-profile unrisky summer runs and the casting of celebrity actors like Aidan Turner and Pat Shortt show the playwright’s work has come a long way One of the hottest theatre tickets in London this summer is for Martin McDonagh’s Lieutenant of Inishmore, a darkly provocative satire about an Irish… | Read on »

How Amlo became Mexico’s new president

This article originally appeared on RTÉ Brainstorm Opinion: Monumental challenges lie ahead following Mexico’s decisive vote for a president and government committed to social and political change It is difficult to overstate the significance of Mexico’s election results and the sense of possibility that they promise. Mexicans voted for a president and a government of… | Read on »

A short story about bookshelves

This article originally appeared on RTÉ Brainstorm Opinion: the history of book storage is not as straightforward as you might think  I am rearranging my library. Yes, I am. The scene described at the outset of Walter Benjamin’s seminal essay, “Unpacking My Library,” arose from his peripatetic lifestyle, not from a bout of home décor. We join the German… | Read on »

America’s problem with guns

This article originally appeared on RTÉ Brainstorm Opinion: mass shootings in the United States have sadly become all too common in recent times yet measures to address this malaise are rarely enacted. Just how did we get to this point? We have been here many times before: America convulsed by a mass shooting in which… | Read on »

What next for Hillary Clinton?

This article originally appeared on RTÉ Brainstorm, on September 29th, 2017. Opinion: she may have made history as the first female nominee of a major US party, but Hillary Clinton will long be haunted by her loss to Donald Trump in last year’s US presidential election, as her new book shows The gulf between winning… | Read on »

How should Liam Cosgrave be remembered?

Tributes paid to Liam Cosgrave, the former leader of Fine Gael, 1965-77, and Taoiseach, 1973-77, have, following his death, stressed his sense of public service and his commitment to the institutions of state. Praised by, among others, the President of Ireland, former Taoisigh and a Catholic Archbishop, Cosgrave’s longevity in politics (he was first elected… | Read on »