April 2021

Super League Activism

The two day life span of the supposed Super League, was a particularly stressful time for fans of the sport all across the world. The very identity and survival of the sport they loved so dearly seemed to hang in the balance, as new owners from a variety of backgrounds seemed unable to properly understand the more than century long history of the Football League.

Read more »

Carphone Warehouse Closes All of Their Stores in the Republic of Ireland

On Wednesday The 21st of April, 2021, Carphone Warehouse Ireland made an announcement early that morning to it’s staff that it was closing it’s doors to the Irish mobile phone market. The news was being reported by media news outlets a short time later where almost 500 employees of the Dixon Carphone owned company would now face redundancy/ unemployment in the midst of a pandemic that has caused disastrous shocks to all types of retail industries.

Read more »

The Pawn's Gambit: Taiwan's Defiance of China

In recent decades, China has become an economic powerhouse and an increasingly confident player on the world stage. As a result of its growing power, it now seeks to resolve many of its long-standing grievances which, until recent years, it has not been able address.

Read more »

The Cost of Luxury: How the Luxury Watch Industry is Slowly Killing Itself

The quartz crisis of the 1970’s saw the creation of the first mainstream battery watches. Before that, watches were made by teams of skilled watchmakers, requiring years of training and experience. The advent of the quartz movement meant that watchmakers could now mass produce cheap, yet exceedingly accurate watch movements. Almost 75% of Swiss watch houses were forced to close their doors by the early 1980’s as a result.

Read more »

Gloomwood Review

Currently at the moment New Blood Interactive seem to be establishing themselves as the Christopher Nolan of the Indie market. That being if you load up one of their titles you can be sure it’ll be at worst an extremely well put together game and at best it’ll capture the imagination of the player with a compelling gameplay loop and on occasion narrative.

Read more »

Rural Regeneration and Country Cottages

The regeneration of rural Ireland has been a campaign promise for many parties through a number of general elections. Not so long ago a well known rural TD said that he did not want a countryside that was full of “briars, badgers and bullocks” but rather “ full of people, of families” .These comments come as the government launched a new rural regeneration programme “ Our Rural Future,Rural Development Policy 2021-2025”. 

Read more »

A Super League for The Super Wealthy

There has been widespread criticism and dissent from many soccer fans and spectators around the world at the newly proposed idea of a European Super League. According to RTÉ, ‘six English clubs have agreed to join a controversial breakaway European Super League… The bombshell plan, announced on Sunday, saw United join Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City, Tottenham and six other European clubs in creating a rival competition to the Champions League’. The other six European clubs are Real Madrid, Barcelona, Atletico Madrid, Juventus, AC Milan and Inter Milan. 

Read more »

Nord Stream 2: The Pipeline Causing International Upset

Nord Stream 2; Germany and Russia’s infamous construction project, has been a hot topic of discussion among many EU and NATO member states. The EU have already made it clear that it does not need the pipeline for its energy security. In autumn 2020 the EU parliament passed a resolution which called for the construction to stop, which was ignored. 

Read more »

The Super League - The End of European Football?

Over the last few days, more and more details have emerged as to the potential creation of a breakaway European Super League. The circumstances of this situation have been unprecedented and unparalleled in modern sport, and seem likely to rock the foundations of the sport. To the extent that the future of European Football as a whole seems to stand on a knives’ edge, in a period in which the sport particularly its lower echelons had already been struggling financially.

Read more »

Booze in Ireland and Minimum Unit Pricing

The alcohol consumption, alcohol-related harm, and alcohol policy in Ireland for 2021 has been published. Ireland is a nation of drinkers; the new report places Ireland 9th in the world ranking for alcohol consumption. This report, along with many statistics and data presentations based on previous years, give a clearer picture of the trends occurring and developing within Ireland.

Read more »

Is a SocDem-Labour Merger Going to Happen?

Quite simply, no. This is the short answer to a question that requires unpacking and analysis. On paper, it makes sense for these two centre-left parties to merge into one party. They share similar policies and two former Labour Party TDs were involved in the foundation of the Social Democrats in 2015. One would think it would be pragmatic for the two parties to merge.

Read more »

Should Social Welfare Payments Should Be Increased?

In the last few days, it has emerged that there is support for social welfare payments being increased from €203 to €250. This view has been expressed and supported by Green Party Minister of State at the Department of Rural and Community Development with special responsibility for Community Development and Charities, Joe O’Brien. According to Newstalk, Minister O’Brien has said that ‘social welfare rate should be increased to €250 over the next few years’. O’Brien also said that ‘he’d challenge anyone to live comfortably solely on the current rate of €203 a week, the standard rate of Jobseeker’s Allowance’.

Read more »

SpaceX are Putting Humans Back on the Moon

Only 24 humans have ever set foot on the Moon, with the last to do so landing in 1972. Now, NASA is planning to bring that number up to 26 with the help of SpaceX. NASA launched the Artemis program in 2017 with the goal of returning humans to the moon by 2024, and this partnership marks a significant point in that journey. SpaceX has landed the contract to develop the Human Landing System (HLS), which will transport two of the four astronauts from the Orion spacecraft in orbit to the lunar surface. From there they will explore the moon’s surface, collecting samples and performing scientific experiments for a week, before returning to Orion aboard the HLS.

Read more »

Joe Brolly and the Freedom of Expression

In what has since become a popular area for social media discussion in the past few weeks, Joe Brolly was recently removed from a panel discussion relating to the future of the North. More importantly this involved a debate as to the role the DUP would play in any such future, along  with the extent to which their views and outlook would be incorporated in to any such solution or arrangement. 

Read more »

The Past and Future of Japan's Evolving Role in World Affairs

Japan is a country with a long memory and a complicated history. Its relations with its neighbours have long been fraught with tension, oscillating between periods of increased hostility and restrained détente, occasionally punctuated by armed conflict. This complicated history still has a profound effect on the way in which Japan interacts with its East Asian neighbours and how many of them perceive Japan, thus making it worthy of examination.

Read more »

The 15 Minute City - Pipe Dream or Modern Necessity?

The Covid-19 virus arrived in Ireland in February 2020. Within weeks, the Government had taken extensive action to try and control the spread and prevent the health system from being overwhelmed. This culminated in an almost complete shut down of society on the 24th March with the imposition of stay home orders. 

Read more »

The Anti Conversion Therapy Coalition

This Tuesday, the Anti Conversion Therapy Coalition was launched, a cross-party all island group who have called for the termination of the practice of conversion therapy in Ireland and Northern Ireland. The Coalition has been set up to let the Government’s of the Republic and Stormont know that the cruel and inhumane practice must end. 

Read more »

Sony and PlayStation: Trouble in Paradise?

Despite the company’s issues with meeting consumer demand of PlayStation 5s, Sony Interactive Entertainment had one of its most successful years in 2020, recording $8.4bn in revenue and $762mn in profit. This was not only due to the PS5’s launch success, but also from its sales of blockbuster titles including The Last of Us Part II and Ghost of Tsushima among others.

Read more »

The Nightingale: A Post-Colonial, Must Watch, Period Drama, With Deep Connections to Ireland

Directorial debuts tend to be the focus of up-and-coming film makers, but often, it is their sophomore efforts that manage to impress even more: Quentin Tarantino with Pulp Fiction, Robert Eggers with The Lighthouse, Ari Aster with Midsommar, Alex Garland with Annihilation, Jordan Peele with Us, Denis Villeneuve with Incendies, and David Fincher with Seven. Jennifer Kent joins these ranks with the resonating and powerful The Nightingale.

Read more »

The Putin Game: Playing Politics, Polls and Empty Pockets

With parliamentary elections around the corner, Putin’s "United Russia" (UR) is polling at record low levels,  and Putin’s individual approval ratings aren’t any better. The economic consequences of the pandemic and the sanctions are having their effect on the country and subsequently ordinary Russians are starting to feel it in their pockets. 

Read more »

Texas Wind Power Bill Attacked by Wall Street

In February of this year, the state of Texas suffered a major power crisis which came about as a result of three severe winter storms. A massive electricity generation failure lead to shortages of water, food and heat, and left more than 4.5 million customers with no power. In order to prevent incidents like this in the future, on April 8th the Texas House of Representatives debated a bill that would force wind and solar plants to pay for grid services essential to keeping supply and demand in balance.

Read more »

Criticism of Turkey’s Decision to Withdraw from the Istanbul Convention

There has been widespread criticism of Turkey’s decision to pull out of the Istanbul Convention on preventing violence against women and children in March 2021. According to the BBC, one of the main reasons that Turkey pulled out of the Istanbul Convention in March 2021 was because it encouraged divorce and could lead to an increase in gay marriage. This decision led to an outbreak of protests in Turkey by various groups that campaign for gender equality.

Read more »

China Continues Crackdown on Alibaba with Record $2.8 Billion Fine

Chinese regulators have dealt yet another monumental blow to Alibaba, the largest e-commerce platform in China. This comes in the form of a $2.8 billion fine, after the company was found to have been abusing its dominant market position since 2015. Chinese regulators launched an anti-monopoly probe in December 2020, to try and crackdown on Alibaba’s shadier strategies.

Read more »

Red Lipstick, in this Economy?

Can you remember what you wanted to be in life when you were child? Was it the Disney-like clichés of being an Astronaut, President of something, or an Olympic Athlete that came to mind? Were you one those early lucrative kids with a strange clairvoyance that you were just going to end up in Finance or Law like your Mom or Dad? The answer is probably none of these.

Read more »

Poland Bids Farewell to its Music Legend: Krzystof Krawczyk

Krzystof Krawczyk, Poland’s own Johnny Cash, passed away on Easter Monday at the age of 74. He contracted Covid-19 few weeks ago, even though he was fully vaccinated and won the fight two days after coming back home from the hospital he felt unwell, lost consciousness and was rushed to hospital where he passed away as his heart and lungs stopped working. 

Read more »

The Social Democrats: A Party on the Rise

The social democrats have received a large influx of new members over the past few months. The small party is just under six years old but had been growing steadily since its inception.The social democrats are known for being in tune with what the public are thinking and engaging in productive, positive politics.As the left of politics in Ireland grows and more parties emerge what is attracting people to this young, socially democratic party.

Read more »

Orban, Salvini and Morawiecki: The Right-Wing Populists of Europe Unite

Last Thursday the heads of the EUs most dominant right-wing populist parties; Mateo Salvini, Viktor Orban and Mateusz Morawiecki met in Budapest for exploratory talks. After which they concluded that Europe must return to its traditional values. It’s hard to define what the three men mean by ‘traditional values.' The closest we can get to the definition of "Traditional Values" are comments made by the Polish Primeminister who stated that “We cannot forget the roots of European integration. Freedom, sovereign states and the family are core values.”  Salvini, Orban and Morawiekci also announced that they will cooperate closely and focus on forming a broad document which will propose their solutions for the future of Europe. The three have already announced that they hope to meet again in May, this time in Warsaw. 

Read more »

Why Guyana is the Fastest Growing Economy in the World

Guyana is a South American country on the North Atlantic cost, defined by its dense rainforests. With a population of only 782,766 according to the World Bank, it doesn’t necessarily seem like the place in which business would thrive. Present day Guyana reflects its British and Dutch colonial past; it is the only English-speaking country in South America. Since its independence in 1966, Guyana’s main assets have been its natural resources, which include rainforests, sugar plantations, rice and gold.

Read more »

Cranky Old Bat: Batman at 82

The caped crusader turned 82 last Thursday, having made his first appearance in Detective Comics issue 27 in 1939. A year later the Dark Knight would get his self-titled comic line, Batman. Created by Bob Kane and Bill Finger, at 82 the world’s greatest detective is going strong; a new movie, “The Batman”, directed by Matt Reeves and starring Robert Pattinson, is slated for release next year. In addition, Ben Affleck and Michael Keaton are reprising their past performances as Batman for an upcoming Flash movie.

Read more »

An Rabharta Glas - A New Green Party

It appears that we are on the verge of welcoming a new political party into the vast, complex world that is Irish politics. Following the leak of official documents in recent weeks, it seems that a new Left-Green splinter group is about to emerge from an unexpected place.

Read more »

The Effect Covid-19 has on Rural GAA Clubs

For years, the hospitality sector has been a great source of sponsorship for the local GAA team in their municipalities however, 2020 saw the hospitality industry short changed and suffering huge losses. What might this mean for the stream of revenue local GAA clubs have been dependent on for so many years?

Read more »

Climate Justice: The Green Party’s Turn - Climate Action and Low Carbon Development (Amendment) Bill 2021

You’d be forgiven for focusing your attention on Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil in the coalition government. After all, they are the bigger parties in power and have (rightfully) dominated most media coverages related to the government. COVID-19 recovery means action on finance, public health, enterprise, employment, and foreign affairs. But now, we see what the Green part of that equation entails. After all, they did also sign the programme for government.

Read more »