Shane Ross


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Locals Increase Pressure to Re-Open Glenalbyn Pool

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Archive for the ‘Social Partnership’ Category

Farewells and the feelgood myth

LAST weekend I met a weeping widow. The middle-aged mother of three had just returned from Dublin Airport. She had bade farewell to her last daughter, heading for Australia. There was no job for her daughter in Ireland, so she was following her two siblings Down Under.

Challenging Nama at the PAC 20 12 13

Higgins, not SIPTU, is the inheritor of Jim Larkin

This year’s commemoration of the centenary of the Lockout has tanked into farce. The most convincing eulogy of the two workers’ leaders came from none other than Joe Higgins, speaking on his own Dail motion marking the events of 1913.

Stage Now Set for Rise of the New Political Order

The Irish people are thinking for themselves. How very inconvenient for the Government. Yesterday’s referendum should have been a walk in the park for the Yes side. Few arguments could have been easier to make: a rotten, elitist, unelected House was offered for the chop. Nothing was more obvious than that the disillusioned Irish people would send all those overpaid, irrelevant senators packing. (more…)

Bloodbath in the Boardroom

NOT all beards bring bad news. Normally the bushier the beard, the greater the threat of its bearer to the economy. So Siptu’s Jack O’Connor looks marginally more menacing to Ireland’s fragile finances than ICTU’s David Begg.

The sight of a Jack O’C-type beard taking over at the Health quagmire sent those of us with whiskerphobia heading for the hills. What would the new whiskered one do with his big budget?

Beards Out, Bundestag In

THE baton of power has passed. The changing of the guard has happened seamlessly.

No, not from Brian Cowen to Enda Kenny, although there will be a theatrical show of democracy when Enda swaps seats in the Dail chamber on Wednesday.

Real power has already passed from the beards to the Bundestag.

Two events last week exposed the awkward reality of Irish economic power.

Shall We Storm Liberty Hall?

DO you have the mobile phone numbers of cabinet members? You don’t?

Funnily enough, nor do I. And me a senator, to boot!

Last week, I did a spot check on a few members of the Oireachtas. I asked them if they had cabinet ministers’ mobile numbers. Funnily enough, the responses were overwhelmingly negative.

It was soon obvious that no self-respecting minister would honour the average TD or senator with a mobile number. Such access for representatives of the people is out of the question.

I will wager a week’s wages that Michael Lowry and Jackie Healy-Rae are exceptions to the rule. They are key power brokers, not lobby fodder. Michael and Jackie have all the right mobile numbers.

And guess who else has been important enough to be honoured with hotlines to the ministers?

Partnership Beast Rages On

The darker side of partnership is suddenly surfacing. Do not believe that partnership is dead. There is plenty of life left in the damaged doctrine.

Two weeks ago, the appointments to the board of the Central Bank were announced.

There was Mike Soden the banker, John Fitzgerald the economist, Max Regling the one-time director of the IMF and Blanaid Clarke the corporate law expert.

And then there is Des.

CIE no-shows Should be Fired

NOT a good week for the NEDs.

The NEDs ?

Yes, the NEDs.

First, the Bank of Ireland hid its NEDs from its shareholders.

Then CIE hid its NEDs from the public.

NEDS are the best buried bodies in Ireland.

We’re Not On Obama’s Radar


My last day of a week in Boston. I switch on CNN to hear Barack Obama fingering Ireland as one of the countries to which the USA exports labour.
He specifically brackets us with India and the old Eastern block. Ominously, he is answering a question about where he will raise money to fund his middle class tax cuts. Corporate taxes are his target. Ireland is specifically in his sights.
I freeze, but I cannot blame Obama. He owes Ireland nothing and has done little to court the Irish vote. A president without Irish baggage is not good news for us. Any move by Barack to coerce US multinationals home could be devastating for Ireland. The first leg of the Celtic Tiger — construction — is already amputated. The removal of the second leg — multinationals — would cripple Ireland. If Barack is elected tomorrow, Brian Cowen should take the first aeroplane to Illinois.
On the plane home I read John Murray of RTE’s hilarious new book on business jargon. It will make a great Christmas present. It takes pomposity apart. It pokes fun at captains of industry by name and takes lumps out of all the social partnership waffle.