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These past few weeks have been a surreal experience for the people of this country. At times it almost feels like the stuff of fiction with, at one stage, Taoiseach Leo Varadkaar’s return to medical duties drawing comparisons with President Whitmore in that 1996 blockbuster Independence Day.
Next year the age at which a person qualifies for a state pension will increase to 67. Each year’s increase in the pension age costs a worker €12,911 a year. So, next year, the Irish state will save €25,822 for every worker in the country.
While voters in the Republic of Ireland go to the polls on February 8, it may be instructive for us to cast our minds back to December and the general election in Britain, as that contest contained a warning for the Irish Left that it would do well to heed.
The Castlebar Local Electoral Area is the most crowded of all the areas for today's election with 17 candidates looking for the seven seats up for grabs.
Fifty candidates are competing for 18 seats across the city's three electoral wards, but in reality, only half that number can truly be considered contenders. While the city is not expected to make sweeping changes to the make-up of its local government representation, some new faces are likely to feature when the new council meets in June.
Joe Daly, the local election candidate for People Before Profit in the Castlebar district, has called for the broadband infrastructure to be nationalised and rolled out by the ESB.
The centre cannot hold. We are almost a century from Yeats penning those words, and again the political and social climate of the continent - and the broader world - is in turmoil. "The best lack all conviction, while the worst//Are full of passionate intensity."
Labour Party leader Brendan Howlin made a whistle-stop visit to Galway last week, during which he sat with the Galway Advertiser and candidly reflected on Labour’s recent electoral travails while looking forward to restoring the party’s fortunes.
For many years, Galway East was derided for its predictability – ‘the boring constituency’ guaranteed to return two FF and one FG TD and with no doubt about who the individuals concerned would be.
Councillors at Monday’s meeting of Westmeath County Council (July 24) praised the county’s stretch of Greenway as the best Ireland has to offer, but said more development is needed in order to realise the amenity’s full potential.