Comment: 'How dare Irish mums go out in public brandishing their breasts in order to feed their babies'
Damned if you do and damned if you don't. That's the position so many working mothers find themselves in when it comes to trying to hold...
Damned if you do and damned if you don't. That's the position so many working mothers find themselves in when it comes to trying to hold...
I don't think I'm alone in still thinking of the family house where I grew up as 'home'. It's the place where myself and siblings still meet, where we have extended family barbecues and parties,...
Of course, it was never supposed to be like this. When I got married - on February 29, leap year,...
Did you feel all charitable and warm inside last week when you read about the amounts that the public purse shells out in pension payments to our ex-politicians?
It was at one of the dusty stalls, at the end of our tour of the Karnak Temple in Luxor, that we got chatting to the young man with the odd tattoo on the inside of his right arm. It looked like a Celtic cross, but surely it couldn't be - not in Muslim Egypt. And it wasn't. What it was, explained our new friend, was a symbol of his religion, Coptic Christianity.
My heart is bleeding for them. All those Millennials, my own daughter included, whose lives have been destroyed by preceding generations. Generations, as they keep telling us, who are now living off the hog, with mortgages paid and lavish pensions guaranteeing us a retired life of ease and plenty.
Stop. Step back. Take a deep breath… and think. You are still far more likely to be killed in a car accident than by a terrorist in Munich today as you were yesterday.
Thankfully I didn't fall over a cliff or stumble on any dead bodies in my demented search for entities that don't materially exist. Though I did find myself coming to consciousness in the middle of a busy road when an irate motorist alerted me to the imminent danger of my being hit by his Range Rover.
'Grandstanding is one of our weapons," said Labour MP Margaret Hodge, when she chaired the Westminster public accounts committee.
Is it over yet? The sorry, celebrity charade that the murder trial of Oscar Pistorius turned into? Probably not. Word is that the "Blade Runner" may yet be able to compete in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
It was the day after November 24, 1995, that I finally got the courage to say "I will". The divorce referendum had been passed, albeit by a very slim margin, and within months couples in Ireland would finally have a 'get-out clause' when they agreed to stay together "for better for worse, in sickness and in health" and whatever other promises they made in front of the altar.
Theodor Adorno famously wrote that all art is an uncommitted crime. Which sounds appropriately pretentious for a philosopher, but what he meant was simply that by its very nature art...
'When the facts change, I change my mind. What do you do, sir?" is a well known quote attributed to economist John Maynard Keynes.
With one minute to full-time, it looked as if France were about to suffer a humiliating draw with underdogs Romania. Then came Dimitri Payet's stunning shot, sent straight into the top corner with his left foot, leaving goalkeeper . . . Oh, excuse me - what was I thinking?
It's like a cruel version of Groundhog Day. Once again we are wondering how a young, healthy woman in early pregnancy can die in an Irish maternity hospital. Once again we are sending a husband, who has fled abroad to the comfort of his family, heartfelt condolences and promises of an investigation into the death of his young wife in an Irish maternity hospital. Once again we are sympathising with distraught parents about the death of their babies (in Cavan hospital last week), and promising to find out the truth; to do better; to try to ensure that such tragedies are averted...
The video footage is shocking. It shows a number of men, hooded, black scarves covering their faces, attempting to gain access to a private home. To even the most trusting of observers, they don't look as if they can be up to any good.
'They're just shoes," says Glinda to her friend Elphaba in the hit musical Wicked.
'My name is Sandy and I am in mortgage distress," says a woman at the back of the room. She clears her throat and continues: "It was 'my little secret', because I told nobody, I was too ashamed. My friends didn't know, my family didn't know. I felt I had failed and I had made a huge mistake." She pauses, I catch her eye and then look away, embarrassed.
Last week I caught myself in the act of self-censoring. It occurred so naturally, and therefore perniciously, that I wondered how many times I had been ignorantly guilty of it in the past. I had returned from the NUI count centre in the RDS where I had chatted to fellow candidate, Senator Ronan Mullen.
It must be nice to live on another planet. One where everyone is feeling the effects of economic recovery; where homelessness is not at crisis levels; where debt isn't a constant worry and where no one suffers from mental health issues. It's a place where life is so pleasant and uncomplicated that few people suffer from anxiety or stress or depression, let alone terrible things like schizophrenia, manic depression (bipolar) or suicidation. And those few who do? Well, it's made very plain to them that they are causing the nice, contented people acute embarrassment - as well as taking money...
There's a story Graydon Carter of Vanity Fair tells of the late, great Christopher Hitchens's ability to consume alcohol and remain supremely compos mentis. He recounts an afternoon lunch in New York with the author and public intellectual, where "pre-lunch canisters of scotch were followed by a couple of glasses of wine during the meal and a similar quantity of post-meal cognac. That was just his [Hitchens] intake."
Negative equity, debt and depression: First of all let me say that you are absolutely right. When compared with the threat of homelessness, people whose homes remain stuck in negative equity should have little to complain of.
Monday: I wake up. Although, of course, I have not actually been asleep. No, no, my friend. Not in the way that other, mere mortal people sleep. Instead I have trained myself to metaphysicise; I have transmorgorified, I have metamorphisitised, I have fundamentally reimagined a way of resting my body, so that I am consciously wrestling with the inner movements of my muscles, even as my body believes it is sleeping. And while I do dat, my amigo, I am also full of the most beautiful feelings and emotions. My woman, my girl, the future first Lady of Ireland and myself, did go and...
It's probably not an over-generalisation to say that half the country has an Auntie Mary somewhere in the world. Last week, the Hunt Auntie Mary arrived over from Toronto to celebrate the centenary of the Rising with her Irish family. "Do they teach you all this stuff in school?" She asked my kids as they prepared to head into the festivities. Well, yes they did. Not only that but they were delighted to tell her that "real" soldiers, with a flag and a proclamation had arrived into all Irish schools, to tell them about the history of both.
Did you hear what Imam Ibrahim Noonan said?" Joe Duffy asked Dr Ali Selim who had just come on air. "That there is a moral ambivalence in the Cultural Centre in Clonskeagh about what is happening?" Noonan is the Imam of the Galway Ahmadiyya mosque, a sect of Islam seen as heretical by most Sunni Muslims and which is persecuted in many Muslim states.
As far as my Californian friend is concerned, I am not just a neglectful parent, but sometimes a downright cruel one.
Last week I discovered that Gerry Adams had blocked me from following him on Twitter.
About a decade ago we had what could be called a childcare crisis. After five years of spending every spare penny on creche fees, both our children were now firmly ensconced in a local primary school. You'd think things would have gotten easier then, but, as many parents in similar situations will tell you, while full-time creche might be ruinously expensive, at least you don't have to deal with the vagaries of the Irish school calendar. Or the charming way that every other week, there seems to be a reason to celebrate school-life by sending the children home at 12.30 in the...
The teenage daughter is near ecstatic at the sight. "The fridge is full", she sings. "I can't believe it. It's really full... Of food," she adds, in case we make the mistake of assuming that she would be as deliriously happy if it was packed with, say, a decent vintage of Pinot Grigio or a dozen bottles of stout. The fridge is indeed full, of cheap but nutritious groceries purchased at a nearby Aldi, and the fact that she finds this such a wondrous event only adds to the already burgeoning weight of guilt that has been steadily piled upon me in recent weeks. But at least she's talking to me. And she...
Just when we thought this country could not heap any more hurt, horror or torture, on to its women, we hear a tale that makes us weep anew. Last week, Irish parents Sarah and Michael (names changed) shared their story with journalist Ellen Coyne (The Times Irish edition).
What must it feel like? To be a parent of an already vulnerable daughter, and realise that the place of safety which you - by recommendation of the State - had placed her in, turned out to be a torture chamber?
'A plague on all your houses". If I were to honestly encapsulate the impression I'm getting from the electorate at doorsteps into an ancient phrase, it would have to be Shakespeare's ruthless put-down. With more choice than ever before - a huge variety of parties and alliances and Independents to pick and choose from - the prevailing mood seems to be one of mass indecision.
In 1981, German chancellor Helmut Kohl deemed the Irish insistence on retaining neutrality to be an "irrational" one. Notes of a meeting (marked "especially confidential") he had with Taoiseach Garret FitzGerald in December of that year, saw FitzGerald helpfully inform him that "Ireland was emotionally attached to military neutrality" mainly because we were still a "country divided" and "occupied by a another NATO member". He suggested that in the context of a new relationship with Britain over Northern Ireland, things could, perhaps, develop.
This time last year, Ana Pak, an Iranian secular feminist who works in Paris with refugees arriving from the Middle East, went to the Place de la Republique with some friends. They were there in the immediate aftermath of the Charlie Hebdo murders to show support for the journalists who had been killed.
We are quick to judge our own - but we are not so rigorous when it comes to the sins of others, writes Carol Hunt.
Did you get my Christmas card? You didn't? Well, that might just be because I didn't send one. It's nothing personal. Even my mother didn't get one from me this year.
A long time ago, on a continent far far away, a young Egyptian archaeologist scoffed at my attempts to enlighten him about Irish history.
When her helicopter touched down at Knock in 1993 there were thousands ready to greet her. She met everyone who mattered. Taoiseach Albert Reynolds and his wife Kathleen were among the faithful who stood in line to give obeisance to the diminutive, ostensibly humble nun, the famous Mother Teresa. As Christopher Hitchens succinctly put it (C4 documentary, Hell's Angel); "Not many claims made by the Irish clergy are widely or uncritically accepted, even in Ireland, but the saintliness of an Albanian nun, named Agnes Bojaxhiu, is a proposition that's accepted by many...
Suddenly I find that I am surrounded by middle-aged people. Some of them are positively elderly. As in around 50 years of age. Just think of that - 50 years. A whole half-century already gone. The point of no return, when you know that the years you have left will be fewer than those behind you. On my 40th birthday I had a big celebratory bash. Some of you may still remember it. Myself, friends and family booked a hotel in town, hired a magician and a fortune-teller, ate, drank, danced and were very merry indeed.
'Each to their own", is the phrase we use when pointing out that as individuals we're all different, and therefore shouldn't judge each other's practices by our own standards. Difference is good, we're told. It could even be, as writer and broadcaster Kenan Malik put it in an essay on multiculturalism, "the motto of our times".
It may not have won an Emmy this year, but if there had been categories for Cassandra-style prescience and astute political predictions Showtime's Homeland would have swept the boards. This award-winning series has been around since 2011 but I only reluctantly started watching it this autumn. I say reluctantly, because those who recommended it to me did so on the basis that the leading CIA spy character was a blonde, bi-polar woman called Carrie. Seemingly we had a lot in common, which was enough to ensure I mulishly made a point of avoiding it.
Carol Hunt travels the historic road between Thailand and Myanmar.
Carol Hunt’s first bout of depression was the most terrifying time of her life, but she knows its signs now and can keep it at bay
It was quickly dubbed #foodgate. Twenty euro for a burger, a bottle of water, dessert and coffee? That's what a pre-paid voucher would have bought you at last week's Web Summit. Good Food Ireland may have wanted to highlight the quality of Irish produce to the 40,000 plus people who forked out a ton of cash just to attend the famous tech fest, but what got the headlines was the fact that we still see tourists as eejits to be scalped for every penny we can get out of them.
They're women. Bond women. Got it? Call them "girls" and you'll get a belt of a bra from a passing feminist.
Racism. There's been a lot of talk about it this past week. The Oxford dictionary defines a racist as: a person who shows or feels discrimination or prejudice against people of other races, or who believes that a particular race is superior to another. This is the term that has been used recently - by certain politicians, members of the media and hordes of social media warriors - to describe members of a small community living in a modest suburb in south county Dublin.
So what did the revolution ever do for you? If that question is directed to Irish women, the depressing answer would have to be - not a lot. Tomorrow, the film Suffragette opens in Dublin and I'm wondering if we'll be treated to scenes similar to those which occurred at the London premiere last week.
It's every young girls dream, isn't it? Work hard at school, go to college, keep yourself fit and well groomed and with a bit of luck, eyelash fluttering and a steely determination, you might just end up living a life where you're knee deep in pig sh*t every day.
Obviously we can't continue like this. A man confesses to repeatedly raping and sexually assaulting a woman but walks free from an Irish court with his entire sentence suspended? In 2015? You've got to be kidding.
When will those bloody feminists learn to take a compliment? Or a joke? It's something I get asked quite frequently whenever I point out that telling me I have "great tits" or expecting me to laugh at rape jokes isn't kosher. In fact, I'd have to say that I find it downright sexist.
Can we make jokes about abortion? It's something myself and comedian writer and woman of many other talents, Tara Flynn, discussed earlier last week. Last night, an audience at the Electric Picnic were treated to a comedy piece by Tara, entitled Judge, Jury and Obstetrician. It was a provocative look at our medieval abortion laws, followed by a discussion about Irish women My Body. My Rights.
So, your child didn’t get the points for the college place they wanted. Or maybe they’re not even sure exactly what college course they want to do. It’s a dilemma, isn’t it?
What if? What if Irish politics never transitioned from the gun to solely the democratic use of the ballot box? What would our society be like if some of the people who founded our State, in blood, sacrifice and violence, held onto their weapons? Alternative histories are all the rage at the moment, so "what if" the Citizen Army who fought in the Rising of 1916, for instance, just hadn't gone away.
You're on a Dublin street (or any city street in Ireland). On your left you pass two homeless people, cold, tired, desperately begging.
The Italians on the cable car beside us were geared up as only Italians - who know the importance of the "bella figura" - can be.
We're back, baby! Spending is up, unemployment is down, there's cranes in them there skies and the sale of obscenely priced designer bags is at an all time high. Before you know it you'll be buying up apartment blocks in Croatia and trading in the old Toyota for a new Merc. What? You're not feeling it? No trickle down effect? Not even a little tinkle in your waters? Nothing? Ah, come on.
We’ve all heard of it. And many eye-rolling pregnant women have even experienced it up close. It’s called ‘couvade syndrome’, when men supposedly feel the effects of their partner’s pregnancy — both before and after the baby is born.
Remember Father Kevin, the depressed priest from Father Ted, played by Tommy Tiernan? On a visit to Craggy Island, Ted manages to talk him down from a building and cure him with the theme tune from Shaft, only for Kevin's depression to return when the bus-driver on the way home plays Radiohead.
Asthma. Autism. Crap Christmas presents. Missing socks. Serial killers. Failing grades. Obesity. Cheeky teenagers. Naomi Campbell's temper. Megalomaniacs. What do they all have in common? Come on, it's easy. Yes, you've guessed, you can blame them all on mammy.
Tolstoy told us, "All happy families are alike, each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way", but what of the families, the vast majority I suspect, who are a tangled mix of both? What of mothers who are guiltily ambivalent about the role that is thrust upon them by a society that still insists the burden of childcare is their responsibility? Are women like Nora, from Henrik Ibsen's A Doll's House, who leaves her children behind in order to live her life, an anomaly? (When this play was released, it was so controversial that the famous actress Hedwig Niemann-Raabe said she would only play...
In a week when I finally swallowed any sense of sensibility - or pride - and threw my name into the ring for the next general election, my eye caught a witty newspaper piece. Edwin McGreal, of The Mayo News wrote about last Monday's meeting of Mayo County Council and the election of the new Cathaoirleach and Leas Cathaoirleach.
Last summer I wrote a travel piece on the wonders of Tunisia. It was titled: "Discovering culture and kisses in a sun-soaked land of Kaboul-mania". The culture is self evident, Jewish, Roman, European and African heritage; the kisses come from the Tunisian tradition of kissing a friend so many times on each cheek depending on how long it's been since they last met (I counted up to ten between two women) and the "Karboul-mania" described the adoration that so many Tunisians had for their new, young, female, Minister for Tourism, Amel Karboul.
Is the Pope still a Catholic? Up until a week ago the answer would have been a definitive yes. Regardless of the fact that liberals worldwide have gone slightly potty for this, admittedly likeable, Pontiff, not much has changed on the doctrinal front within the Catholic Church. It's not supposed to. That's the point.
It's been called the "death of journalism" and "journalism at its very worst". It happens when journalists and editors are somehow persuaded to give anonymity to government officials to "propagandise the public, then uncritically accept those claims as the truth".
"The reality is that you will grieve forever. You will not 'get over' the loss of a loved one: you will learn to live with it. You will heal and you will rebuild yourself around the loss you have suffered. You will be whole again, but you will never be the same. Nor should you be the same, nor would you want to."
Gay Byrne, as he often does, got straight to the nub of the issue. "This has to do with sex specifically," he said, "and there's a feeling that these girls are getting away with something, [that] this is promiscuity, rampant in our society, and they are being paid to do it." It's 1986 and Gay is interviewing Marianne McArdle, an "unmarried" mother with two children, and Mary Higgins, Information Officer with Cherish (now One Family) on his RTE radio show.
Last year, 25-year-old Hayley went to her local council offices and told them that she and her five-year-old son Paul were going to be made homeless within the next month. Her rent was being put up to €1,000 a month - well beyond what she could afford.
Being born entirely without power, journalist Jenny Nordberg tells us, forces innovation in women, who must learn to survive almost from the moment they are born. In order to do so, some of them become "bacha posh", literally "dressed as a boy". Since the most recent western interventions in Afghanistan we have become used to tales of what the UN describes as "the worst place in the world to be born a woman".
It's dubbed the "woman in the home" clause. Article 42.1 of our Constitution implies quite clearly that every Irish woman should know where her place is in society. And that place is at home, having babies and minding the house. The excellent work of the recent People's Constitutional Convention recommended that the archaic article be amended to provide "gender equality and parity between the sexes".
There are many reasons why a mother may abandon her baby. As the search for the mother of the child named "Maria", who was found in Rathcoole, west Dublin last Friday continues, many of us have speculated on the physical and mental welfare of the mother involved.
'Alex who?" As Nicola Sturgeon stormed her way to that amazing victory for the Scottish Nationalist Party last week, it seemed as if the affable powerhouse had been at the helm for years. She has already more than overshadowed her recent predecessor, Alex Salmond. Sturgeon, it is said, is not just a brilliant politician with a formidable mind, she is also known for her decency, her wit and her kindness.
My ears are still bleeding. I listened to yesterday's Pat Kenny interview with ex-solicitor and property magnate Brian O'Donnell about how bloody unfair it was that the Bank of Ireland took his children's mansion away from them. It was a very, very long interview, because Mr O'Donnell is feeling very, very sorry for himself.
Who'd be a princess these days? What was, in days of old, a pretty cushy number, has now been turned, thanks to the magic of celebrity, into a 24/7 public relations job with no time off for good behaviour.
Are you beach-body ready? The correct answer to this question is, of course, "it's none of your feckin' business" or "have body, show me beach". But spare a thought for our sisters in the UK who have been forced to pass by adverts screaming this question at them as they go about their daily business. Even worse, the words are set beside a picture of an extremely skinny - albeit gorgeous...
"Maybe you can never really leave the past behind you", says the sharp-eyed narrator of Romesh Gunesekera's haunting road stories. "It is in your head and outside your control".
Straight, white males are the "new" oppressed minority. It's true. Just look around you. Even though they seem to be everywhere: controlling our parliament (both houses); in total charge of the church; filling the majority of top posts in just about every sector in society (bar the low-paid ones that they don't want); running the banks; earning more cash then their female counterparts at every turn. But still, our poor men are suffering increasing oppression - if you don't believe me, just look at the recent Battle of Clontarf.
A woman walks down the high street. She goes slowly, head lowered, eyes downcast, hoping no one will notice her. She knows she shouldn't be here. She can sense disapproving stares and hear the odd "tut" of annoyance that her presence causes. She prays no one confronts her. As soon as she can, she takes a quick turn to the left and breaths a sigh of relief as she finds herself on a side-street which has been dedicated to "people like her". She is safe. She is amongst her own kind. She can relax. For now.
Like Eve, I couldn't resist the apple. Unlike Eve, I didn't share it. That's what trying to survive for three days purely on juices will do to you - make you feel guilty for chomping on a nice healthy piece of fruit.
A divine intervention? Well, not quite, but the decision of ex-President Mary McAleese to make a public announcement about why she and her husband Martin will be voting in favour of the forthcoming referendum on equal marriage will encourage many advocating a 'Yes' vote to believe that they are on the side of the angels. No doubt, traditionalists will feel betrayed.
Who knew? Who could have even guessed (on past evidence) that the very first year gender quotas are introduced into Irish electoral politics there would be a veritable avalanche, a deluge even, of brilliantly capable men who now face discrimination as they scramble to get a party nomination for next year's general election.
We knew it would happen. What we didn't know was when. The boyband sword (should that be pen-knife?) of Damocles has been hanging over our family ever since our teen daughter decided that the five boys who had been picked from obscurity by Simon Cowell (despite only coming third in X-Factor) were the most important thing in her entire life. Ever. Okay, I may be exaggerating but only very, very slightly.
The irrepressible Katie Hopkins has engineered another media storm. In the wake of Angelina Jolie's editorial in The New York Times detailing her latest preventative surgeries, Hopkins tweeted: "Angelina Jolie. Smug doesn't even come close. Curating her organs to maximise life expectancy. What's next, fag ash lil? Your lungs?"
Sometimes it can be quite comforting to hold two contradictory opinions at the same time. In psychological language that's known as 'cognitive dissonance', but I prefer the simpler Orwellian political term, which is 'doublethink'.
For Anne Marie Browne, 2012 was "the best and the most difficult year of my life". That's putting it mildly. It was the year Anne Marie found out that she was pregnant with her first baby - and had cancer.
"Do you know what Ireland is?" asked Stephen with cold violence. "Ireland is the old sow that eats her farrow."
It's not a great way to start the week is it? I tend to get panicked when anything from Revenue arrives in the post. It's not like it's ever good news. This was no different.
My heart goes out to Mary Stokes. She is right that the so-called "parent rule" indirectly discriminated against her son getting a place in his local Christian Brothers High School in Clonmel. It has happened to others who have found themselves on the wrong side of the admissions policies of some schools when it come to the "parent rule", the "sibling rule" or the "ethos rule".
How do Irish women view politics as practised in this country? As a privileged boys club: A macho, sexist machine where cronyism and chauvinism work together to keep the women out; as a place where women have to fight tooth and nail to receive what is due to them as equal citizens of this country. This is not an exaggeration.
Two years ago, in the wake of the Savita Halappanavar tragedy, ex-politician Liz McManus wrote an opinion column for the Irish Independent entitled, "Culture of secrecy and silence brought us to this sorry place." In it, she described the slow pace of change in an ultra-conservative Ireland, where matters of female freedoms are concerned - particularly crisis pregnancies. Her second book, A Shadow in the Yard, set in the early 1970s in Donegal and Derry, also concentrates on these themes and how they affect her two protagonists; Rosaleen McAvady and her daughter Aoife.
It's disconcerting to remember that just 20 years ago nearly half of the voting population of Ireland ticked the No box when asked if they wished to repeal the constitutional ban on divorce. Those in favour of continuing the ban warned the rest of us, ominously, that if we voted Yes, marriage as we knew it would be destroyed - women would be abandoned; farms would be split up and as for the children? Well, we all knew what would happen to them: "Hello Divorce, Goodbye Daddy", being the most iconic poster from that period.
A seasoned entertainer once said, " What people are mainly looking for in a live show are things that are not supposed to happen".
Can you divorce-proof your marriage? Is there a way, scientifically, that you can ensure, after you take your wedding vows, that both you and your partner keep to them for the rest of your lives?
Fifty shades of excuses. That's what we got yesterday from those Labour TDs who preferred to go through the humiliation of being publicly whipped rather than follow their consciences and go against the dictates of "The Party". With Augustinian procrastination, they assured us that they really wanted to be good but ... just not yet.
The Meaning of Life with Gay Byrne (RTE1). OCD and ME (RTE1). Abortion: Ireland's Guilty Secret (BBC3).
Minister of State Simon Harris believes that a referendum on the issue of abortion in cases of fatal foetal abnormality is "inevitable". But next Tuesday he won't be supporting Clare Daly's Bill to amend legislation to allow abortion in such cases. Nor will his other colleagues in Fine Gael, and neither will Sinn Fein. Labour are divided and Fianna Fail will give a free vote. It won't pass.
Have you ever sworn to renounce the Devil and all his works? Chances are, if you're godparent to a Christian child, you have. Did you believe it when you promised? Well, if you're anything like me and many of my contemporaries - you didn't. So to all intents and purposes, we would have lied, on the altar, before a God some of us also don't believe in. But does it matter?
Misery loves company, goes the saying. Which is why I'd like - on behalf of myself and my debt-laden generation - to thank the Government and the Central Bank for the new rules on mortgage lending. There are few people of my age - who bought a home during the so-called-boom in order to put a secure roof over our kids - who needed to read last week's Household and Finance Survey compiled by the Central Statistics Office (CSO) to know that we are... I think the correct word is "screwed". We'll be paying off a massive mortgage on a negative equity house for perhaps the rest of our...
No country for young men. That's what the findings of this week's Behaviour & Attitudes Social Poll tell us about what 74pc of our 30-something males think of both the Government and banks' so-called efforts to help them make the most important purchase of their life: buying a home. Lack of effort would be more like it. It's depressing reading.
Even the best laid plans can fall asunder. Like many a person at risk of succumbing to the - now medically acknowledged - illness Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), I usually have a tried-and-trusted plan in place to get me through the dismal darkness of the winter months without falling victim to depression: exercise, good food and lots of sleep.
It's the news every stressed out, cash-strapped Irish parent has been waiting for. Tax breaks and subsidies, it's just been announced, are part of a new Government "childcare affordability" plan to ease the burden of insane childcare costs on "working" parents.
It's not much use saying you foresaw a disaster after it has occurred. Any pontificating "I-told-you-so" merchant can do that. Implicit in such claims is the notion that if only the advice of the aforementioned psychic had been taken, the crisis would have been averted. Bottom line? It's somebody else's fault.
Was it a perfect storm? Increasingly there are many of us who experience depression, insomnia and stress about financial difficulties.
Alcohol and legislation shouldn’t be allowed to mix, argues Carol Hunt.
Where is Christopher Hitchens when you need him? If he was mistaken and there is indeed an afterworld, we should have been able to hear his roars during last Tuesday's Tonight with Vincent Browne on TV3. It's generally accepted now in polite left-wing society that Hitchens got it wrong on the Iraq war. But as one sympathiser said: "His heart was in the right place; too bad he couldn't see that the Bush administration's wasn't. And too bad the Left couldn't tell the difference".
Apologies, I know this may not be in the spirit of the season but if one more person asks me if I am "All set for Christmas?" I may have to be dragged off them, kicking and screaming.
There's a horrific hostage situation taking place nearby; people's lives are in danger, streets have been cleared and police are on site, armed and ready for action. So, what's your immediate response to such a dangerous situation? Do you run for the hills? Do you obey police orders? Do you call around to check that family and friends are okay? For an increasing number of people it's none of the above. Instead, many self-respecting "millennials" (people between 18-35) will get themselves right onto the scene of the crime disregarding all safety orders. They do this so that they can...
Last Wednesday, the Dail, the majority of whose members had spent the day trying to ignore a very large crowd who were outside trying to speak to them, voted unanimously to call on the Government to recognise the state of Palestine.
YES says Graham Clifford - A few months ago I decided to ditch Facebook as a social-media tool and now use it, sparingly, for work purposes only.
'Basically," says Paul, "what we're trying to do here is prevent homelessness. In 20 or 30 years' time, people will look back and realise that what's happening now is the scandal of the century. They'll wonder how it was allowed to happen - why the Government let it happen". Barrister Paul Comiskey-O'Keeffe, without hyperbole or exaggeration but with much frustrated outrage, explains to me how the current mortgage debt crisis in Ireland will eventually lead to people being dispossessed of their homes on a scale not seen since the Famine or the Land Wars.
Last week, I realised that I am a bad mother.
How did you learn about sex when you were a kid? Sneaky peeks at a friend's dad's copy of Playboy? While staring, horrified, at those little bunnies doing funny stuff in the rabbit hutch? National Geographic? Or in intense and wildly misinformed chats with friends in the schoolyard?
So, did you manage to get your hands on a Frozen "Elsa" Glow Doll yet? If not, do you know anyone who was lucky enough to do so? (You may be able to negotiate your yearly salary in exchange for it). Does Santa have any left? More importantly, has Ryan Tubridy and the Toy Show team been able to put their hands on one for tonight's Christmas show (see below left)? And the question on everybody's lips today - will there be one for everybody in the audience?