A shrewd observer once noted that probably the two most successful organisations in the country are the GAA and the Tidy Towns competition. What they have in common is that they are largely volunteer-driven, and are intensely local.
The 1916 Proclamation of the Republic is an impressive document, written and endorsed by brave men and women, but it is not an oracle. Even so, it is trotted out with extraordinary frequency for today's issues, with the clear implication that its sacred text points the way.
Even a groundhog might get bored. Nurses striking for pay, huge overruns on a major capital project, day-to-day spending up by 7pc. Haven't we been here before? If we have, a shrewd investor could time the next national bankruptcy.
On the Ballyogan road, in the foothills of the Dublin mountains, there is a fine illustration of the past and future of housing. On one side are the houses built a couple of decades ago - the typical semi-detached, vaguely mock Tudor job, with garden front and rear.
A welcome present in my Christmas stocking was 'Ernest Blythe in Ulster', a new book which reveals that the Easter Rising plotter and finance minister in the new Free State government was also a member of the Orange Order.
To quote you know who; despite everything, it is still not clear whether this is the end of the Brexit business, the beginning of the end or, heaven help us, perhaps only the end of the beginning. There seems to be a way to go yet on the UK learning curve.
Maybe it is time to start thinking about life after a soft Brexit. It would not be nearly as nasty and brutish as a hard one, but it would still be a peculiar, difficult arrangement beset with unknowns - known and unknown alike.
It is hard to escape the conclusion that there is something very EU about the Irish backstop. Much of the Union's development has been built on the method of establishing an economic reality in the belief that the politics, however difficult, are bound to follow.
It is impossible for an Englishman to open his mouth without making some other Englishman despise him. There has never been a pithier description of the British class system than George Bernard Shaw's in 'Pygmalion'. But what of the Irish class system - if indeed there is one?
During the depths of the crash, before the bailout, rumours swept the country that the Central Bank was printing punts in its Sandyford mint. Like many others, probably, I met a man who'd met a man who'd seen them.
We financial journalists know our place. We tip our metaphorical caps to the sports writers, with their legions of avid readers. We defer to the political correspondents' knowledge of the corridors of power. But we don't mind - because we do the important stuff.
The new Garda Commissioner is inevitably on a very steep learning curve, but there is one area in which Mr Harris has all the necessary expertise - the endless search for money. In fact, he may find his new job easier in that regard, but very, very different.
If you really want to get on these days, you need a catchy word or phrase. Something like 'pre-distribution' - a clever play on the more common redistribution. It was coined by Yale University economist Jacob Hacker back in 2011 and has become quite the thing among governments and social economists. This is not to decry the merits of Dr Hacker's insights - quite the reverse. Pre-distribution might have been invented with Ireland in mind.
HOW very odd. There was a huge fuss and to-do in Britain recently for - not a wedding, or a funeral, or a birthday - but the anniversary of the National Health Service. Does any other country have a national commemoration for the creation of its health system?
OVERHEATING? Economists, trying to be helpful, will tell you that, while there is a business cycle, it is not possible to say where it is at any particular time. In the case of a small, open, distorted economy like Ireland's, it is really, really not possible.
'Lyrics by Paschal Donohoe; to a traditional tune.' That might be a good label for the seasonal entertainment that is the summer economic statement. There are a lot of fine words in this year's production, but many echoes of years gone by.
The European Union is fundamentally a political project. This is the explanation commonly given when the economics behind policy look dubious, and certainly it is true. Behind it lies the idea that politics can override economics - but that presumes the politics work.
A retired Department of Finance official once paraphrased the old Schleswig-Holstein joke to me this way: "Only three people understood the national accounts; a secretary-general who has gone to the central bank, an assistant secretary who is deceased, and myself - and I've forgotten all about it."
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