News Brendan Keenan

Wednesday 7 December 2016

Brendan Keenan: Once again, Ireland finds itself a mere pawn in a much bigger game

Published 10/09/2016 | 02:30

European Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager with Minister for Finance Michael Noonan during a visit to Dublin Castle in 2013. Photo: Mark Condren
European Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager with Minister for Finance Michael Noonan during a visit to Dublin Castle in 2013. Photo: Mark Condren

William or James; Wellington or Napoleon; King or Kaiser? The story of Ireland often seems to be that of a long-suffering pawn caught in the struggles of great powers. It feels a bit like that again.

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It is not a comfortable feeling. Reading Irish history is often uncomfortable for a modern Irish citizen. No democrat could be on the side of the Stuart autocrats or the Prussian militarists but they were our enemy's enemy, and therefore our friend.

By that measure, if the EU Commission's competition arm is the enemy of Apple, does that make Apple our friend? Ever since the ruling was published, many Irish people have been writhing in discomfort at that thought.

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