Finance, Ireland, NAMA to Nature, Politics, Uncategorized

Paradise Papers, ‘Regulatory Capture’ and Democracy

We may fulminate against a corrupt nexus connecting multinational capital and a deep state, but identifying clear illegality is more difficult. The collapse of the Anglo-Irish trials shows ‘white collar’ crime is difficult to prosecute. This is because much of what is widely considered immoral behaviour falls short of criminality. The generally accepted distinction here is between tax evasion and …


Ireland, NAMA to Nature, Politics, Uncategorized

Fine Gael did nothing to stop ghost estates

Fine Gael has launched a poster campaign featuring a picture of the ghost estate of Keshcarrigan in County Leitrim. Under it runs the caption: Don’t Let Fianna Fail Come Back to Haunt Us. But such negative advertising reflects an ideological confusion stemming from the failure of a generation of Fine Gael intellectuals in the 1960s and 70s to assert a …


Blight of ghost estates remains three years on

(Published in the Irish Times 9/4/15) We rose before sunrise. A consternation of alarm clocks calling us to action. The first glitch appeared when the motor on the boat intended to ferry us across the lake stubbornly refused to start. Most of the group of about 20 would have to proceed by car. I enthusiastically volunteered to row the short …

From hardcore to hardwood

(Published in thejournal.ie 19/3/12) On the wall outside ‘The Waterways’ Keshcarrigan, Co. Leitrim a series of images with the caption ‘Boating from your back door’ survive. It features families frolicking on marinas and an overhead picture of how the estate will look. This could easily be the work of an artist lampooning the Celtic Tiger. But there is no irony …