New ideas needed to tackle city's traffic problems - and time is running out

Thu, Apr 20, 2017

Insider read recently how the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, Paschal Donohoe, was calling for public submissions to advise him on how to spend the extra €2.65 billion available to him on infrastructure in this year's Mid-Term Review.

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Who will run and who might win Galway West at the next election?

Thu, Apr 20, 2017

Theresa May's decision to call a snap election in Britain - following numerous pledges that she would do no such thing - took political watchers by surprise this week, especially here in Ireland where there has been an ongoing, daily, assumption that our current Government will fall any day now.

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New ideas needed to tackle city’s traffic problems - and time is running out

Thu, Apr 20, 2017

Insider read recently how the Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, Paschal Donohoe, was calling for public submissions to advise him on how to spend the extra €2.65 billion available to him on infrastructure in this year’s Mid-Term Review.

The €2.65 billion represents additional money to be added to the Government’s €42 billion 2015 - 2021 Capital Plan commitments. My colleagues in the Galway City Council might consider looking for a share of Paschal’s largesse to help them resolve some of the city’s most intractable infrastructural problems.

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Stop blaming Brussels for our own failures

Thu, Apr 13, 2017

The rise of the alt.right across Europe, the election of Donald J Trump as US president, Britain triggering Article 50 and Brexit really getting under way - all of which must be particularly exciting from Vladimir Putin’s perspective - has led Insider to ask, what really is the case with the European Union and Ireland?

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Voters get what they deserve

Thu, Apr 06, 2017

For the first time in Insider’s memory, most of his non-political friends are uncertain of who they will vote for in the next General Election. Of course, some are certain who they will not vote for, but a clear majority are undecided and Insider has never seen such disillusionment.

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Challenges and opportunities for Ireland's four main parties

Thu, Mar 30, 2017

This time last year Irish politics was in a state of paralysis; the most inconclusive general election result in the State’s history was followed by 10 weeks of protracted negotiations to form a government. One year on, and with a sense the next electoral test may not be far away, Insider has been considering the shape the various parties find themselves in and their battle plans both locally and nationally.

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Alternative facts, fake news, and plain old lies

Thu, Mar 09, 2017

We have certainly been spoilt for choice when it comes to aphorisms that sum up the challenges for contemporary politics, particularly when it comes to the role of the media.

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The year will not pass without a general election

Thu, Mar 02, 2017

The air in political circles is dense with anxiety these days. Having been pulled back from the brink of a cliff edge which was heading straight into the depths of an election nobody wanted, TDs remain cautiously hopeful that more time can be had before facing the electorate.

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The centre that is not holding

Thu, Feb 16, 2017

Insider notes with amusement that the past three years have been catastrophic times for what, in the fantastic place that is the mind of the average Irish Times or Guardian journalist, passes for the 'the political centre'.

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It's time we talked about a post-capitalist society

Thu, Feb 09, 2017

When Donald Trump was elected on a platform of far-right populism, many thought that, once in office he would soften his cough a good bit, or at least the “checks and balances” of the American political system would go some way to restrict his more madcap proposals.

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Parkmore traffic chaos and the need for wider planning reform in Galway

Thu, Feb 02, 2017

Insider recalls a recent decision of An Bord Pleanala, where it reversed the Galway County Council's grant of permission for a new access link road and junction at the IDA's Parkmore West Business Park.

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There is one good thing about Trump's election

Thu, Jan 26, 2017

First things first: Trump’s election was greeted by wild rumours in Galway that all the US multinationals would be forced by the new president to re-locate to North America. This did not happen under Obama, as was initially feared, and it will not happen under Trump.

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What we can expect from politics 2017

Thu, Jan 12, 2017

The festive period is behind us and already people’s thoughts are turning to what the political year ahead will bring, and already we have drama in the North and the usual post-Christmas crisis in the hospitals.

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That was some year

Thu, Dec 22, 2016

What a tumultuous political year it’s been! It began with a sense that despite much turmoil and insurgency across the globe voters would shy away from the radical choices and that something akin to the ‘status quo’ would prevail. It ended with Madonna with no sense of irony berating the President-elect of the USA for engaging in sensationalist acts and rhetoric in order to generate publicity.

When we look at the three seismic events that dominated political discourse in Ireland during 2016 – Brexit, the US presidential election and our own General Election – there seemed good cause at the outset for thinking ‘safety first’ would prevail. After all in the previous 18 months we had seen Scottish voters shy away from independence and a late swing returning the Tories to majority government in the UK.

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Take me to your leader

Thu, Dec 08, 2016

Were Clint Eastwood to ride into town on a steed, canter across Eyre Square, before a final gallop up College Road to City Hall, stride in and demand of the first official he meets, "Just who is Fianna Fáil's man in this town?", what answer would he get?

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May you live in interesting times

Thu, Dec 01, 2016

Do you remember the late 1990s and early 2000s, that hubris filled era of post-Communism, new Labour and Blairism, the Celtic Tiger, and the free reign of unregulated, laissez faire capitalism, in short 'The End of History', and the seeming utter triumph of the Centre-right?

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Trump's election - the aftermath and the challenges

Thu, Nov 17, 2016

When Insider agreed to write a post-mortem on the US presidential election, he thought it would provide an opportunity to reflect on the many shortcomings of electoral politics in the second-largest democracy on earth, and that it would also offer some catharsis, some closure, at the end of a gruelling 18-month campaign.

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Ireland - a country its rulers think should not exist

Thu, Nov 10, 2016

Insider thought she lived on an island called Ireland and in a state called the Republic of Ireland. However, Insider recently realised she is wrong. According to The Marian Finucane Show, His Excellency John Bruton, and sundry officially sanctioned happenings - from Enda Kenny's Brexit gas-passing shop to events celebrating Irish classical composers - Insider now realises she in fact lives on an island called Island.

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Good politics, bad politics - you decide

Thu, Nov 03, 2016

Insider has been observing developments in the US Presidential election with increasing alarm, and is concerned our own political system is vulnerable to a significant shift in light of what is happening in other countries.

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Brexit could be the Republic’s chance to bale out of the EU

Thu, Oct 27, 2016

Sinn Féin’s Pearse Doherty was in fine form during the Budget debate. Particularly enjoyable was his contrasting the Cabinet ‘s bellyaching over when to pay the miserly €5 extra to pensioners with the carefree approach to dishing out another €4,000+ per annum to ministers.

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