David Quinn: Sexist employers are not to blame for gender pay gap - children are
The row over the gender pay gap at RTÉ obscures a wider truth; nothing will finally eradicate the gender pay gap in society short of social...
The row over the gender pay gap at RTÉ obscures a wider truth; nothing will finally eradicate the gender pay gap in society short of social...
Media bias is the functional equivalent of fake news. Fake news is intended to deceive and mislead the public. Media bias may not seek to deceive but it has the same effect of misleading...
It is time to put the Catholic Church "in the dustbin, where it belongs", left-wing TD Bríd Smith announced in the Dáil last week. There are strong echoes here of former US president Ronald...
The big winners in the battle over the new National Maternity Hospital (NMH) are the doctors and accountants on the board of the St Vincent's...
For a very brief period after the election of Donald Trump - it lasted for about a nanosecond - the liberal establishment paused to reflect on whether it had lost touch with a big portion of the electorate.
When Enda Kenny and the rest of the Cabinet fanned out to the four corners of the world to represent Ireland on St Patrick's Day, some journalists raised the concern that no senior politician would be here in Ireland if British Prime Minister Theresa May triggered Article 50 that same week, thereby formally beginning the Brexit process.
Bishop Eamonn Casey has received mostly positive coverage since his death earlier this week.
Attitudes to unmarried mothers and their babies have changed back and forth over the centuries. The historian Ivy Pinchbeck says that in medieval England, children born outside of marriage were not viewed as being as much of a problem as later and were absorbed into their mothers' communities and worked on the farms like everyone else.
When we are debating issues like housing, schools, jobs, wages, hospital places or welfare spending, we never seem to factor immigration and its effects into the debate.
There is absolutely no debate to speak of in this country about immigration. That is typical of us. No debate is permitted about many things.
My father was in school at the same time as Desmond Connell. I remember him telling me once that it was the opinion of the other boys in the school that the young Desmond Connell would become either an academic or a priest. Even then he was studious and serious-minded.
How low will 'The Late Late Show' go in its search for ratings? Very, very low it turns out. Last Friday night it aired a Valentine's Day special that made your average episode of 'Big Brother' look...
The Licensed Vintners' Association and the Vintners' Federation of Ireland are back with their annual campaign to get rid of the rule that bans the sale of alcohol on Good Friday. They are most likely...
In terms of its policy agenda, what is the difference between this Government and the last one? It ought to be a pertinent question because the last government had Labour in it and this one does not.
For the first couple of years of my time in Australia, the premier of Queensland was a fellow by the name of Joh Bjelke-Petersen, the head of the conservative National Party. He was a populist to his fingertips and quite like Donald Trump in many ways.
When did you first hear of the 'alt-right'? It might have been during the US presidential election, or else in the last few days following the appearance of someone defending the alt-right on 'Claire Byrne Live' on Monday night, an American by the name of Nicholas Pell. Or maybe you still haven't heard of it.
The new year publication of selected State papers from 30 years before is an annual invitation to us to look down our noses on our recent past. We're invited to look back in horror at the battles of only a few decades ago over the likes of contraception, or sex education, or in this latest round, divorce. That's because 1986 was the year of our first divorce referendum.
The coming year will mark the fifth centenary of the start of the Reformation. In 1517, the German monk, Martin Luther, hammered his 95 'theses' to the church door at Wittenberg objecting to various practices within the Catholic Church, not least the sale of indulgences.
Even if you view Jesus Christ simply as a human being, not the Word Incarnate, on Christmas Day we still celebrate one of the most epochal events in world history; his birth. However you look it at, the birth of this man was the start of an immense, culture-changing series of events that have resonated through history, and in almost all parts of the world down to the present day.
It is now two years since Jonathan Corrie was found dead in a doorway near Leinster House. The incident caused much hand-wringing over the homelessness problem in Ireland. There was a call for more hostel beds.
France's "Zombie Catholics Have Risen - and They're Voting", says the headline in the American journal, 'Foreign Policy'. The writer isn't best pleased about that. Clue? His use of the word 'zombie'. But his displeasure is kind of beside the point. The point is that in very secular France, millions of Catholic voters have suddenly emerged from the woodwork, or their graves if you prefer, and helped to make Francois Fillon the Republican party candidate and current favourite in next year's presidential election.
People love Pope Francis to comment on politics when it suits them. The Pope was in Mexico earlier this year, not long after Donald Trump made his infamous remarks about Mexicans and "rapists" and building a wall. Speaking to journalists on the plane back to Rome afterwards, quick as a flash, Francis was asked to comment on Mr Trump's remarks.
We're told we live in a 'post-truth' age in which the facts are no longer sacred. Actually, we have been living in that era for a long time now and it is one to which the mainstream media has made a signal contribution.
What happens to political correctness when its ability to bully everyone into silence comes to an end? The Donald Trump victory signals that it is coming to an end. Strange as it may seem for someone like me to say, if it came to a complete end, that would be a bad thing because the basic instinct of political correctness is good; protect minorities.
The decent thing to do now is to bury the conventional wisdom. Bury it in a marked grave as a reminder and a warning to others. Again and again it has led us up the garden path, again and again it has got it wrong.
What I don't get is why it is that young children looked after during the day by granny should exhibit slightly fewer behavioural problems than children looked after by mammy.
When my mother died, she was cremated. That's what she wanted even though my father thought there was something a bit impersonal about a funeral ending not with the burial of the coffin in the family grave, but with the coffin disappearing into the crematorium.
Political analyst Shane Coleman wrote the following in this newspaper in July: "Nobody in Leinster House is in any doubt that [the Citizens' Assembly] will result in a referendum on the Eighth Amendment."
Budget 2017 discriminates against every parent of young children who does not use day care. That might mean you. Contrary to what you often read, only a minority of parents put their children into day care and only a minority want to. But the child-care plans outlined in yesterday's Budget are aimed exclusively at those who use day care and no-one else.
When my father died last year, his will was split between his four children. Divided evenly among the four of us, the proceeds of his will came in well below the ceiling that would have triggered inheritance tax.
This week, I was in Poland for the first time, Warsaw to be more precise. Walking around the city centre a few things struck me. First, there were hardly any McDonald's, Starbucks, Pizza Huts or any of the other similar global mega-franchises to be seen. Maybe they're somewhere, but I saw very few.
Most of the time, Ireland doesn't really 'do debates'. There is no debate about the EU, for example. We react to decisions made by the EU, like the recent ruling against Apple, but we don't seem to have any vision about the kind of EU we want to be in because we never have a debate about that.
Some children are deprived of a mother through death. Others are deprived of a mother because the mother has walked out. We always consider that the child in this situation has suffered a tragic loss. But what of the child who has never had a mother? That is to say, the mother has never even existed?
Should parents feel guilty about putting their children in day care? The broad answer is no. Does this mean the Government should promote day-care? Again, the answer is no.
If I was not Irish, I think I would applaud the ruling against Apple by the European Commission. In general, I'm a supporter of lower taxes but I also believe that everyone should pay their fair share, whatever that may be. The same goes for companies. Apple does not pay its fair share in my opinion.
Here is how the annual Rose of Tralee festival describes itself on its website: "The Rose of Tralee International Festival is one of Ireland's largest and longest-running festivals, celebrating 57 years in 2016. The heart of the festival is the selection of the Rose of Tralee, which brings young women of Irish descent from around the world to Kerry, Ireland, for a global celebration of Irish culture.
If Ireland is no place for old people, it's no place for young people either. The fates of the two generations are, in fact, linked.
Our new Health Minister, Simon Harris, gave a speech this week at the Parnell Summer School in which he attacked those who attack political correctness.
The Olympic games and the Catholic Church are two institutions beset by scandals of one sort or another.
Seminaries have been part and parcel of the life of the Catholic Church only since the 16th Century.
Following one official report after another into the disastrous handling of clerical child abuse scandals by the Catholic Church, Pope Benedict XVI, at the end of 2010, announced an 'Apostolic Visitation' to Irish dioceses, religious orders and seminaries.
The murder on Tuesday of Fr Jacques Hamel was an attempt to "set the French people against each other, (to) attack religion in order to start a war of religions". So said the French Prime Minister Manuel Valls in the immediate aftermath of this terrorist atrocity.
A friend remarked to me during the week that "there is more chance of time travel than there is of a united Ireland".
Enda Kenny has been snubbed by two women in the last few days; first by Northern Ireland's First Minister, Arlene Foster, and then on Tuesday by the German Chancellor, Angela Merkel.
A few days ago, a UN committee issued a report condemning Britain's spending cutbacks for allegedly violating its human rights obligations. Granted, the British body politic has a lot on its mind at present, but even if Brexit was not dominating the agenda, there is no way the British government would react to this report with anything other than mild disdain at best.
Leo Varadkar's announcement that fathers are to receive two weeks' paid Paternity Leave is broadly to be welcomed. Justifying the measure a few days ago, Varadkar said: "There is plenty of evidence showing the vital role that fathers as well as mothers play in the life of newborn babies and young children. The more time fathers can spend with their babies - the better. I hope that the...
If you want to know one reason why the obnoxious and abominable Donald Trump is so popular with very large numbers of Americans, look no further than the refusal by US President Barack Obama to publicly criticise radical Islam following the massacre at the gay nightclub in Orlando last weekend.
Tom Curran, partner of the late 'right-to-die' campaigner, Marie Fleming, has stepped up his campaign to have assisted suicide legalised in this and other countries.
All over the country, children are being looked after full-time by their grandparents. This happens when the parents of the child are not in a position, for whatever reason, to be the child's primary carers. The grandparents, in many cases, do not become the legal guardians of their grandchild but they do become their grandchild's de facto parents. The arrangement is informal and flexible.
Irish politics is often a form of virtue signalling. It has probably always been so, but given how tyrannical political correctness has become, the ways in which politicians are now allowed to signal their virtue has become more and more constrained, and more and more subject to censure when they step out of line.
Is it really so surprising that Sabina Higgins has weighed in to the abortion debate? She and her husband - our First Citizen - have been using the prestige given to them by the office of the presidency to advocate for all sorts of points of view.
Since Alan Shatter resigned as Justice Minister in May 2014 following the publication of the Guerin Report, he has been fighting a lonely battle to vindicate his reputation. That is both unfair and unjust. As subsequent reports have shown, he did not deserve the battering he received from almost all quarters in the weeks and months leading up to his resignation.
There is a dispute of some kind going on between the managements of the National Maternity Hospital (NMH) on the one hand, and the St Vincent's Healthcare Group (SVHG) on the other. I can't pretend to fully understand it, but somehow or another, the nuns of the Religious Sisters of Charity have been shoved to the front of it.
Like the tragic, ill-fated Blanche Dubois in 'A Streetcar Named Desire', Enda Kenny and Fine Gael must now "depend on the kindness of strangers" if they are to have any hope of clinging to power for long.
The very first Christians lived in a world that was alien to their values. One way in which it was alien was in its attitude to divorce. Both Jewish society, from which the first Christians emerged, and the Roman society in which Christianity took root, allowed divorce and remarriage. Men in particular could discard an unwanted wife very easily.
Environment Minister Alan Kelly has suggested that the country is in need of yet another constitutional referendum, this time aimed at weakening the rights of property owners and therefore supposedly allowing the State to do more to alleviate the crises in the housing and rental sectors.
In a speech delivered at an event in the Mansion House on Monday night called 'Remembering 1916', President Michael D Higgins warned his audience of the risk that a "commemoration might be exploited for partisan purposes". Having rightly delivered that warning, he then plunged on and became deeply partisan in his own 'remembering' of 1916.
Schools around the country held ceremonies this week to mark the 1916 Proclamation of Independence. In many cases this involved drafting proclamations of their own. To judge from some of these proclamations, the men and women of 1916 died for better public services.
The premature death of Supreme Court Justice Adrian Hardiman is a huge loss to Irish public life because Adrian Hardiman was that very rare thing: a true liberal. By this I mean someone who believes first and foremost in personal liberty and in setting down limits on the power of the State, rather than in the choking, stifling political correctness that passes for 'liberalism' today.
A diplomat recently expressed wonderment to me that there are no right-wing parties in Ireland. He wasn't thinking primarily of the likes of Geert Wilder's anti-immigration Party for Freedom in the Netherlands, although he did have it in mind. He was also thinking of centre-right parties like Nicolas Sarkozy's Republicans in France.
Both Fine Gael and Labour need to ask themselves why their enthusiastic championing of a liberal/left social agenda earned them no electoral dividend.
If I lived in, say, Germany, I would have a party to vote for. If I lived in northern Germany I would vote for Angela Merkel's Christian Democratic Union, and if in the south most likely for the Christian Social Union.
Much more interesting than our dull election campaign is the 'revelation' that Pope John Paul II had a close friendship for more than 30 years with a married Polish academic by the name of Anna-Teresa Tymienecka. This story touches on sex and love and men and women. How does your average election campaign compare with that?
Politics to a certain extent is a cartel. In most countries, there are long-established parties and it is extremely hard for new parties to break into the system. This is especially true in countries that don't have proportional representation.
It is a very sad fact that the start of the election campaign will now push the foster care scandal far down the news agenda to the point where it may never again receive the attention it deserves.
At the Fine Gael ard fheis last weekend, one TD declared with great enthusiasm: "It's an extraordinary time. The country is in very safe hands. Another two years and the country will be on such a trajectory we will be unstoppable."
In the years after independence, Ireland did its utmost to remove every visible trace of British rule from the land. For the last few decades, and with growing intensity over the last few years, we have been doing the same to our Christian heritage. The latest target is the restriction on alcohol sales on Good Friday.
Over the past two years, a string of child sex abuse scandals have come to light in the UK. I am not referring to those involving celebrities such as Jimmy Savile, or to the clerical abuse scandals, but to scandals centred on towns such as Rotherham in northern England.
The coming election is extremely challenging for those voters who hold positions that are not in step with the views of 'Official Ireland' on issues like abortion, marriage and the family, education, the place of religion in society and so on.
Liberalism, like all dominant ideas, is tremendously self-reinforcing. It continually highlights whatever seems to confirm it, attacks or ignores what does not, demonises its critics, congratulates itself on its ' 'enlightened' nature and having achieved one victory, then seeks its next.
Today is St Stephen's Day, but I wonder how many people know anything about St Stephen, despite the fact that he has a day named after him?
Donald Trump has become the latest American politician we love to hate. Since the departure of George W Bush from the landscape that is a space that has needed filling and Trump is now filling it just fine. He seems to go out of his way to be hated, just so long as he is hated by the sort of people his own supporters hate in their turn.
In its latest bid to curry favour with a certain section of its voters ahead of next year's General Election, Labour's Education Minister Jan O'Sullivan has announced the abolition of a rule that offers protection to the ethos of faith schools.
The extent to which this country really cares about child protection remains very much open to question. In 2012, a report was produced that reviewed the deaths of children who were either in the care of the State, or who were known to the State's care services, and why they died.
Since 1983 this country has had three referendums on the nature of marriage and three on abortion and the right to life. It now seems very likely that we will have a fourth referendum on abortion within the next three years or so.
In his speech in the Dáil this week dealing with the murders in Paris, Taoiseach Enda Kenny did something that was surely unique in all the speeches delivered by all the politicians in all the world on this topic. He, or rather his speech-writer, managed to work a reference to the Knights Templar into his address.
Is it true that 82pc of Irish third-level students have tried illegal drugs? That's a massive figure. It comes from a study called the National Student Drug Survey.
One would be forgiven for thinking that this Government has little time for religion, and even less time for the Catholic Church.
We think of ourselves as an emigrant country and for a long time that was one of our chief defining characteristics. Ireland became severely depopulated because we could not look after our own people.
If you conducted a poll of RTE staff it would be interesting to know how many would favour retention of the Angelus. According to the head of religious programmes at the station, Roger Childs, research has indicated that two-thirds of those who watch RTE want the Angelus retained. Would as many RTE producers, presenters, researchers and so on be of the same view? Highly doubtful.
There is a Synod on the family currently taking place in Rome. It has been convened by Pope Francis and it is really a continuation of a Synod (or meeting) on the same topic that took place in Rome this time last year.
At their annual conference recently in the UK, the Liberal Democrats voted in favour of a motion calling for the removal of the terms 'male' and female' from official forms. This was done out of concern for transgendered or intersex people who might otherwise feel 'discriminated' against when confronted with gender categories they believe they don't fit in to.
When the World Meeting of Families, that may or may not include a visit by Pope Francis, takes place in Ireland in 2018, will we by then have repealed the protection that our Constitution gives to the unborn? The way things are going at present, the answer might, just might, be yes.
Pope Francis, currently in America, is flavour of the month. But if he was a teacher in a Catholic primary school in this country that might not last too long.
The headline in the 'Daily Telegraph' on Wednesday declared "Corbyn snubs Queen and country". A comment piece, also on page one of the paper, was headlined "Obstinately, he stood in silence staring ahead".
The Catholic Church now has a job ahead of itself explaining to people its new annulment procedures. I've never heard the circumstances under which a marriage may be annulled formally explained. I doubt if very many others have heard it explained either.
The influx of the refugees into Europe is the greatest issue the continent has faced since the start of the financial crisis in 2008. Depending on how we respond to it, the refugee crisis has the potential to transform European politics, to transform the welfare state and to transform the societies in which we live.
The founder of the Ashley Madison website, Noel Biderman, is himself married. He says he has never had an affair. His website is, of course, based on encouraging married people to cheat. Its tagline is: "Life is short. Have an affair".
Every year, VE Day and VJ Day come and go and they pass us right by. Why? Because we were not a combatant in World War Two. We should have been.
A huge amount of EU time has been spent dealing with the Greek crisis. Rightly so. But much more time needs to be spent discussing how best to deal with the refugee crisis.
Ruairi Quinn, writing in this newspaper yesterday, said: "If the Catholic Church was a commercial company operating in the Irish economy, the Competition Authority would order it to divest itself of at least half of its urban schools."
When my parents married in 1958 they got married in the morning, had a lunch-time wedding reception for a few dozen people and were gone by mid-afternoon. My mother didn't wear a wedding dress. Instead, she wore a white suit consisting of a skirt and jacket. Apparently, it was common back then not to wear a wedding dress on your wedding day.
Our latest political party, the Social Democrats, has expressed admiration for the vaunted "Nordic model" and thinks Ireland should adopt it. The Nordic model encompasses high taxes, but in return for excellent public services and low rates of poverty.
When former Conservative party leader and British Foreign Secretary William Hague addressed the European Business School in France in 1998 to warn against the euro, against Britain joining the euro and of the drastic consequences that would befall some of the countries that did join the euro, all of the great and the good in Europe were appalled.
Last autumn, CNN released the results of a study it conducted into which countries foreign jihadists fighting in Syria were most likely to come from. Top of the list was Tunisia. According to the study, approximately 3,000 Tunisians had left their country to fight in Syria. That's revealing in light of the atrocity in Tunisia last week.
Free GP care for children under six is one of those things that seems like a good idea until you look a little closer. Everyone likes the idea of something for free. But of course it's not free, is it? It will have to be paid for out of the public purse. So that's the first thing that's wrong with it. It's not what it says it is.
Ireland is not really a sovereign country. It only appears that way.
Neither side in the marriage referendum campaign is happy with Fianna Fáil right now. The No side isn't happy with them because the party officially supported the Yes side. The Yes side isn't happy because the party wasn't enthusiastic enough.
Almost 750,000 people voted against the redefinition of marriage and the family last Friday. This is not far short of the popular vote won by Fine Gael in the General Election of 2011. It represents 38pc of all those who voted.
Imagine the scene. A Catholic secondary school has 'a Catholic Week'. Every pupil must take part. Every pupil must pin a crucifix to their uniform. Every pupil must write an essay extolling the virtues of Catholicism. A few students object. Their teachers chastise them.
Cards on the table. I can make no sense of some of the answers Judge Kevin Cross, head of the Referendum Commission, has been giving in response to certain questions about the marriage referendum on various radio stations.
The Catholic Archbishop of Armagh, Dr Eamon Martin, has said that if we legalise same-sex marriage on May 22 the Catholic Church may stop recognising religious marriages as civil marriages as well. This would mean couples would have to have their religious marriages separately recognised by the State as civil marriages also.
The Iona Institute, which I founded and head up, currently looms large in the minds of some of our Government ministers. This is because of the marriage referendum coming up on May 22, and because for the last number of years we have been the most high-profile organisation in the country defending the family of mother, father and child based on marriage.
This comment posted online last week probably sums up what quite a lot of people are thinking to themselves in the run-up to the marriage referendum on May 22.
When you reach the age of 65 or so, you fancy you've earned the right to put your feet up and relax. Your children are probably raised. You've paid off the mortgage. You've finished your career. The nest might be empty.
The 'Road to the Rising' is going to be a long one, I'm afraid. It will be tortuous and full of politically correct pieties. It already is.
Enda Kenny was on 'Today with Sean O'Rourke' on Wednesday. One of the topics that came up was the forthcoming marriage referendum. O'Rourke did what few other presenters on any station has done to date; he asked a campaigner for the 'Yes' side a question that showed a proper understanding of the 'No' side's point of view.
The Dublin Rape Crisis Centre has recommended that 11-year-olds be taught the difference between rape and consent.
Renua Ireland will be delighted that, according to one opinion poll at least, a quarter of people would consider giving the party a vote in the next election. If it can win half of those on the day, that would be a very considerable achievement.
When Enda Kenny took up the office of Taoiseach four years ago this week, those of us with 'traditionalist' views knew we were in for a bumpy ride, but we never anticipated it would be as violently bumpy as it has been.
The most radical piece of family law reform in the history of the State is currently before the Oireachtas. It is being rushed through our parliament on the nod with the full co-operation of the Opposition.
In the utopian dreams of our PC overlords every school in the country would have an absolutely representative number of children from every single community or group in the country.
BBC2 recently aired 'The Vikings are Coming'. It's not what you think. It wasn't about Vikings. Instead it was a documentary about Denmark's thriving export market in the sperm of Danish men.