June 2020

Reopening churches in Ireland: finding religion again

Churches, Mosque, Synagogues, and other places of worship in Ireland are set to reopen on June 29th with some restrictions. For the Catholic church in Ireland the association of catholic priests has called for more clarification on what they can expect their religious gatherings to look like.

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The Most Ambitious Crossover since Infinity War? Will the Programme for Government flop at the box office, or take home an Oscar?

From debating chamber to the student bar it’s a rare occasion that James and I are not debating and evaluating various governments Ireland has seen since her incarnation as a free state in 1921. Its interesting to see the rural Kerry man’s opinion juxtaposed to that of an urban south dub, and naturally we don’t always see eye to eye over what would be considered “Pressing Issues” in society. The same could be said for the programme for government, where the viewpoints of Fine Gael, Fianna Fail and the Green Party differ on many issues, including the agricultural industry and decentralisation of Dublin. In this article James and I will attempt to explain one of the most ambitious cross over since Marvel’s “Infinity War”. This Article is divided into two parts; In Part One, I explain some of the policies in the government programme, whilst in Part Two James gives his analysis from a rural perspective.  The question remains, will the Fine Gael, Fianna Fail and Green coalition flop at the box office, or will it take home an Oscar?

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Rebels without a Cause…? - How the rise of Right-Wing and Eurosceptic Youth impacts European Integration

Although Euroscepticism has existed since the creation of the European Union, a curious yet troubling trend has developed. Recent elections, such as those in Italy and Poland, uncovered a strong youth element amongst the support base for the “Far-Right” and Eurosceptic parties. This coupled with the recent surge in support for Eurosceptic youth movements such as “Generation Identitaire” in France and the “Identitarians” in Germany and Austria, demonstrates that a demographic known for its traditionally left leaning political views is undergoing radical change. These are not isolated cases. Euroscepticism is no longer a taboo amongst European Youth. Rather, it is now marching on the streets, blocking migrant boats from reaching Europe and building makeshift border walls. As you can guess, this presents “somewhat” of a problem for future Integration into the European Union.

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Mr Justice Peter Kelly retires on this day as President of the High Court (2015-2020).

Born in 1950 in Clontarf, North Dublin, Kelly pursued a law degree at UCD and graduated with first class honours at King’s Inns. Rather than commencing his devilling to become a barrister, he became an administrative officer in the Civil Service and was allocated to the Department of Justice. Flying back and forth between Amsterdam and Brussels upon Ireland’s entrance into the EEC in 1973, Kelly excelled in administrative matters in European law.

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Protests: Past and Present Tiananmen Square, Hong Kong, Civil Rights and Black Lives Matter

The Tiananmen Square protests left a lasting stain on Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP). The Collective Action to have rights such as the freedom of speech and press imposed ultimately failed and lead to further restrictions and a severe death toll. The Hong Kong protests in recent months have been reminiscent of the events in Tiananmen Square nearly 20 years previously, only this time collective action succeeded. Similarly, this essay will examine the impact of collective action during the civil rights movement in the USA, specifically the Montgomery Bus Boycott, and how this led the way to the ultimate success of the civil rights movement, and now the Black Lives Matter protests in the wake of George Floyd’s murder.  There are many factors as to why these failed and succeeded, however, the pressure of public and international scrutiny is arguably the key factor.

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Hong Kong’s Fight for Democracy: Protests, Police, and Finance.

The proposed marriage of Hong Kong’s capitalist, democratic system with authoritarian Chinese rule has been marred by a stream of mass protests and civil unrest. Modern Hong Kong, the 6th largest financial centre in the world, home of 7.5 million people is fashioned from political, economic, and social influences contrary to the paradigms of mainland China. Until 1997, Hong Kong flourished separately from China, developing under British rule, and associated legal, political, and economically capitalist systems. However, 23 years after the inception of the 50-year transition period to Chinese rule, Hong Kongers fear for the democratic freedoms they once enjoyed. Trust in authority, financial stability, and protection of liberties are under threat in the territory which flourished from its embodiment of these standards.

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EU Ban the Sale of Menthol Cigarettes

Anyone fortunate enough to find themselves in a shop recently may have noticed signs announcing the cessation of the sale of menthol cigarettes. This was most probably immediately discounted by all those but avid menthol smokers but the background to this widely uncontroversial development illuminates the operation of EU law.

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Ireland's Relationship with the rule of Law and Direct Provision

Ireland has always been highly regarded for its legal system in equity. Although revered for its strong foothold in the democratic spirit with an active independent judiciary and emphasis on the right of the person in its constitution, many have come to view the direct provision centres as a stain on that achievement. Amnesty International has called it into question over concerns of human rights and dignity.

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Our Obsession with Dublin is Killing Rural Ireland

“Nothing has been done and there has been a wholesale flight from the land and from the countryside… As far as I can see, Government ministers resident in Dublin consider Dublin as Ireland. They forget that we exist and that there are such places as Kerry”. Although the above remark was made by Kerry TD John Flynn in the Dáil in 1948, it could just as easily have been made in any parliamentary debate on rural Ireland in the last 70 years. What has become a defining feature of Irish political life today is the tendency of some to view Ireland as confined to the capital, a view that is reflected in the policies and beliefs of successive administrations.

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Ireland's Dependent Development

The Irish Republic is considered a relatively new country, gaining independence only one hundred years ago. As a result, Ireland’s development has been extremely dependent in nature, first relying on Britain even after independence from their empire, then enjoying the collegiality of the European project in its first incarnation as the EEC, and more recently a primary reliance on multinational corporations so as to establish Ireland’s position as the ‘Silicon Valley of Europe.’ From continuous economic growth and significant employment opportunities, to continuous funding for development and prospects for both large and small Irish businesses. There are three phases in which we can identify Ireland’s dependent development: we can see this through our dependence on Britain post 1921, our continuous reliance on the European Economic Community which subsequently became the European Union, and finally our attachment to multinational corporations.

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Designer handbags: symbols of materialism or solid investments?

With prices never dropping below four figures, it goes without saying that designer handbags are a luxury that only a small minority of the population have the means to enjoy. With celebrities such as Victoria Beckham and the Kardashians regularly sporting Hermès and Chanel bags, these designer brands have become synonymous with affluence and status. However, it’s no longer solely stylish celebrities who are interested in purloining these bags; in recent years, a new breed of business savvy investors has emerged amongst their consumer base.

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