Maurice Hayes: Church needs to throw away the mould to regain moral authority
It has been the sort of year that the best individuals and groups in Ireland can do is to echo the French Revolution theorist, Abbey Sieyes, and claim the triumph of mere survival.
Oddly enough, on the test of where they were this time last year, the Government has done better than most. It has sorted out the banks through NAMA, it has got back into Europe's good books, through Lisbon, and it has carried not one, but two swingeing Budgets. After looking as if it might not last the year, it now look reasonably safe for another, and perhaps for a full term.
In the North the Executive has survived, but mainly it seems by a form of hibernation, in which nothing is agreed, little substantial is done, and the main parties emerge from time to time for a mutual slagging match. The danger is less of a return to violence than a universal turn-off from politics, of apathy and the disillusionment of young people.