By David Vance On August 26th, 2011 at 5:42 pm
I see that Ireland had the biggest house price collapse among all reporting countries in the Global Property Guide survey over the past year.
House prices were down by nearly 15pc, an even worse decline than the 12pcl fall the previous year. The only European countries which experienced weaker performances than the previous year include Netherlands (-4.07pc), Slovak Republic (-6.49pc), Croatia (-6.55pc), Spain (-8.43pc) and Athens, Greece (-9.88pc). In Britain, average house prices were down by 5.33pc year-on-year, after rising 6.04pc the previous year.
Ireland should celebrate. This is sanity SLOWLY returning. The ludicrous property bubble is still deflating.
By David Vance On August 23rd, 2011 at 8:45 am
Interesting to read that Irish Finance Minister Michael Noonan is challenging backbenchers and Opposition TDs to “put up or shut up” when he delivers a three-year plan to cut welfare and increase taxes in advance of the Budget.
He is expected to abandon pledges made by the Taoiseach and Tanaiste, who just two months ago promised there would be no income tax hikes or cuts in welfare payments. His stance marks a U-turn from Enda Kenny and Eamon Gilmore’s earlier promises on taxation and welfare cuts – made at a press conference in June – on the Government’s 100th day in office. Mr Noonan wants to publish a programme of swingeing cuts alongside new charges and tax increases in October.
It will be interesting to see just how “swingeing” these cuts will really be. The evidence is that despite the rhetoric, the Irish public sector manages to get on quite well despite the inflammatory language from Leinster House. Naturally there should be severe cuts but how can we take an Irish Government seriously on the issue of financial austerity when it has hiked the minimum wage back up to one of the highest in Europe? Smoke and mirrors will not suffice and I am less than impressed with the new Government which strikes me as not much better than the previous one.
By David Vance On August 18th, 2011 at 8:15 am
I found this a remarkable tale of government incompetence! The Department of Education in Ireland cannot pinpoint the schools where second-level students are being taught maths by teachers with no qualifications in the subject.
The lack of information emerged last night as the Government’s chief scientific adviser added his voice to concerns aboutLeaving Cert maths and science results. As many as half of second-level maths teachers are not qualified in the subject, but department officials do not know where they are currently working. A department spokeswoman said it was a matter for the Teaching Council to register teachers, while schools had responsibility for hiring teachers. But after another year of poor maths and science results, pressure is mounting for Education Minister Ruairi Quinn to take rapid action
One could ask where has the Education Department been for the past decades? The very fact that up to half of Maths teachers are unqualified is a bit disturbing given the technical nature of the subject.
By David Vance On August 17th, 2011 at 6:55 am
Here comes the new Irish Government – every bit as weak and spineless as the old one.
The latest move to harmonise tax rates puts that issue back on the European agenda, to the likely annoyance of the Irish government. Last night Mr Michael Noonan said all countries, including Ireland, would have to agree to any tax harmonisation. He said that Ireland had already signalled it was going to constructively engage on this issue. “That remains the case,” he added.
What this means is that the current Irish Government will engage in a process that will ensure that the low Corporation Tax level it enjoys will be sacrificed to the gods in Paris and Berlin, that’s the deal. Noonan is talking out of both sides of his mouth. On the one hand he is telling the public that Ireland will “defend” its low CT rate whilst simultaneously “constructively engaging” in a process designed to remove that tax advantage. It makes you wonder why anyone ever bothers to vote when those who are elected so obviously take little heed of the wishes of the voters.
As someone said “Stop voting, it only encourages them”.
By David Vance On August 16th, 2011 at 8:36 am
I’m sure the Irish people will be touched;
A “Loyalist” terrorist group leader has described President Mary McAleese‘s husband as the “perfect candidate” to take over from her. Senator Martin McAleese got the ringing endorsement from Ulster Defence Association leader Jackie McDonald, a controversial loyalist leader he helped bring in from the cold. ”I think it would be perfect for everybody concerned if Martin was to take the position,” he said. Mr McDonald praised the work of Dr McAleese, who played golf with him and other loyalist leaders in locations such as the K Club in Kildare. It was part of Dr McAleese’s efforts to support his wife’s “bridge-building” initiative by breaking down the distrust loyalists held for the Irish Government.”
The UDA is a most repulsive group of criminal thugs with a hideous pedigree and it is to the shame of McAleese that he has so openly cavorted with the likes of McDonald. Ronald McDonald has more credibility than Jackie McDonald.
By David Vance On August 7th, 2011 at 9:47 am
I read that Professor Ray Kinsella also said that Ireland should now withdraw from the eurozone -- which many political and financial analysts worldwide believe to be at “serious risk” of collapse.
These experts also say that the only alternative to a eurozone break-up is closer fiscal union which, they predict, will herald even more severe austerity measures. The more the crisis develops, the more it has become evident that there has been a failure of political leadership at the heart of Europe and worldwide. Last night, UCD professor Morgan Kelly predicted that Ireland’s debt will reach €240-€250bn by 2015 – compared to the Government estimate of €200bn
It’s a conundrum. If Ireland stays in the Eurozone, it will flounder. If it leaves the Eurozone, it will eventually return to growth. But the entire political strata is rabidly pro-EUSSR and that is why the debt mountain forced upon it is sold as a virtue when it is a vice. Ireland cannot possibly hope to escape the transgenerational austerity heaped upon the people by the spineless politicians but how to get out when they all want to stay in?
By David Vance On August 4th, 2011 at 7:32 am
How does President Dana sound? Unlikely, I suggest, but not impossible.
There was speculation today that Dana is to mount a challenge for the Irish Presidency. Earlier this year the former MEP, Eurovision winner and All Ireland Talent Show judge said she was not interested in running, but didn’t categorically rule out the option. But today sources close to her are suggesting she has reconsidered following Senator David Norris’ dramatic withdrawal yesterday. In 1997, Dana received the nominations of five county councils and finished third in the contest – polling over 175,000 first preferences votes, or 14pc of the vote. She came third behind current president Mary McAleese and Mary Banotti
Has she a chance or is this merely more ego-tripping but our Rosemary?
By Mike Cunningham On August 3rd, 2011 at 3:34 pm
A book was touted and discussed on the Today Programme upon which for the life of me I cannot make my mind up.
The stories are about the five-odd thousand Irish servicemen who left their posts to join with British Army, Navy and Airforce operations during World War 2. It seems as though they were all treated as deserters when the War ended and were court-martialled, dead or alive, and when released, they continued to be ostracised from Irish life, as were their children.
Many of the children were placed in ‘Industrial Schools’ which were of course run by? Who else but the Catholic Church, and we all know what happened to a whole bunch of kids who were ‘under the protection of the church’.
But my query is simply this, was the ultra-strong reaction of the Irish State towards the returning deserters because they were deserters, or was it because they had left to join the Forces who were fighting against Nazi Germany, the deep and true friends of many in the upper echelons of the Irish Government?
By David Vance On August 1st, 2011 at 9:24 am
Fascinated to read that Israel is getting the blame for the wheels coming of the campaign of Irish wannabe Presidential David Norris;
ISRAEL was last night forced to deny any involvement in the controversy that has left Senator David Norris‘s presidential campaign in tatters. His hopes were badly hit over the weekend after it was revealed he wrote a letter seeking clemency for his former partner Ezra Yizhak Nawi, who was convicted of having sex with a 15-year-old boy. Despite the furore, Mr Norris promised to continue his attempts to gather the 20 nominations he needs to enter the presidential race. But many of his backers were silent last night and key members of his campaign team have quit. Key supporter and Independent TD Maureen O’Sullivan said Mr Norris had been “targeted in a particularly nasty way”. As the internet went wild with claims of Israeli involvement in publicising the case, the Israeli embassy in Dublin intervened to deny involvement.
Ah, blame the Jews, the default argument for all too many in Irish politics.
Thing is, it was Mr Norris’s former gay lover who was found guilty of raping a 15 year old boy. That pesky detail seems to be overlooked by some as they rush to conjure up all sorts of anti-Semitic fantasies. Norris chose to use his position to try and get this convicted rapist off that charge and it is this which is the inconvenient truth that some would rather we ignored. In a sense I couldn’t care less who the Irish elect as President but Norris – the darling of the liberal left – is out of the running now.
By David Vance On July 31st, 2011 at 12:26 pm
Senator Norris, aspiring President of Ireland, has a few problems;
The Sunday Independent today publishes a letter which was written 14 years ago by Senator David Norris to the judges of the High Court of Israel in which he pleaded for “mercy” for his then 45-year-old former lover who had been convicted of the statutory rape of a 15-year-old male.
The letter, which was give to the Sunday Independent by Senator Norris on Friday, is written on Seanad Eireann notepaper.
In the letter, Senator Norris, then 53, stated he himself had been mentioned at the time, 1997, as a possible candidate to be President of Ireland
To the chagrin of the left, this means Ireland will not be getting it’s First openly gay President. Seeking clemency for male rapists is not the conventional route to the Presidency.