Eamon Delaney: 'Sadly, 'sorry' seems to be the hardest word for the TDs who excoriated Angela Kerins'
Members of the Political Accounts Committee owe Angela Kerins a full apology.
Members of the Political Accounts Committee owe Angela Kerins a full apology.
Like him or loathe him, Donald J Trump is president of the United States, a long and stalwart ally of...
So exhausting and stressful was the arrival of my first-born child that I really relished that pint of Guinness at the end of a draining day. So I had a fond smile when I heard that the makers of the...
I remember it well. I was sitting on a rush-hour bus in Dublin when a fellow student held up the front of the Evening Herald. "What do you think of...
In his fine introduction to this book - Being New York, Being Irish: Reflections on Twenty-Five Years of Irish America and New York University's...
We keep being told that all resources are being marshalled to deal with Brexit, described as the greatest political and economic change to face Ireland since its independence. With the distractions of our ministers in their 'new politics' arrangement, we are told that behind the scenes our officials, diplomats and overseas agencies are busy working to get the best deal for Ireland and 'special...
A provocative new book argues against the prevailing view that the harsh treatment of Germany in the wake of the First World War was to blame for the rise of Nazism.
John Hurt was a great actor, a memorable character - and a wonderful friend of Ireland. Like many bawdy, but sensitive English souls, he 'got' Ireland and at one stage, in the Who Do You Think You Are? genealogy TV series, he even seemed to have found his Irish roots, somewhat to the surprise of his many friends!
There is something very poignant about the fact former diplomat, Dermot Gallagher, has passed away on the very weekend the two parties in Stormont have collapsed their power-sharing agreement and possibly the whole Northern Ireland peace process.
Calls for Gerry Adams to step aside as Sinn Féin leader, so that the party can maturely prepare for Government, are wide of the mark. In fact, it is worth having Mr Adams still there as a reminder of the incredible ability of the party's double think. Not just on economics where the party implements Tory policy up North but is somehow a left-wing down South - but also on the thing that produced...
Are there no end to the books on Winston Churchill - soldier, world leader, writer, and stubborn defender of colonialism and then of democracy? The shelves heave with the tomes and volumes...
Tim Fanning's new book paints a vivid picture of the string of Irish emigrants who left lasting legacies across the continent, from the 'Queen of Paraguay' to the founder of modern Chile.
European Union leaders met in the beautiful Slovakian capital of Bratislava to plan the EU's future in the turmoil of Brexit, high unemployment and an ongoing refugee crisis.
Ian Davidson examines whether the French Revolution sparked a major powershift or just created another more populist form of tyranny, writes our reviewer.
Reading Ulysses for about the third or fourth time, it is extraordinary how much more easily it moves along. It helps, of course, if one has a knowledge of Irish history and is living on Dublin's northside, in the midst of 'Joyceland', as I now am.
A new book offers a suitable riposte to the clouds of xenophobia in Europe and celebrates our own openness towards immigration.
A new book doesn't shy away from home truths of cruel Civil War's long-lasting repercussions.
An interesting proposal was recently made at the Citizens' Assembly by UCD economist Micheal Collins. In a discussion on the elderly, Dr Collins suggested that people of a senior vintage with assets of over €200,000 should be levied a special tax so as to contribute more towards the public purse, and including presumably their own care.
An impressive book tells the story of the women in arms who had the steely will to be cold assassins in a game of ballistics chess
The controversial election of Saudi Arabia to the UN Commission for Status of Women is a fascinating snapshot of the realities of international diplomacy and realpolitik.
Our reviewer on a wonderful book that charts the incredible drive and humanity of one of our forgotten heroes.
I was at a summer school in the North once, where a gathering of academics and historians were discussing the Republic's neutrality during World War II. There were a few trendy media people there (Channel 4, the 'Guardian', etc) and you could see their boredom as the debate noodled on about national identity and 'the Irish struggle'. Until someone mentioned about how Eamon de Valera had signed the book of condolences for Adolf Hitler in 1945.
How many of us many of us remember the Wanderly Wagon on RTÉ TV in the 1970s? Many of us, I'd imagine. Judge the Dog, Crow - living inside a cuckoo clock - and Fortycoats, the amiable tramp.
These are scary times. After the Government's concession on Garda pay, a raft of public sector unions have immediately made similar demands and along with lower forecasts on economic growth, the Brexit threat and rising living costs, it looks like our whole recovery could be unravelling.
With the closure of the Calais 'Jungle', there is much criticism of the French and British authorities for their apparently harsh attitude on the question of migrants and refugees.
While the heroism of 1916 has been well documented, Ronan McGreevy provides an absorbing insight into the often ignored sacrifice of Irishmen during the Great War.
Despite some recent reports, Ireland has generally been a welcoming place for immigrants, and that is probably because we were ourselves were so often immigrants. Likewise, we have a reputation for giving generously to charities. Again, this is undoubtedly due to our troubled past and the trauma of large-scale famine.
Three years ago, I wrote in these very pages about Turkish leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan and how his authoritarian tendencies were threatening not only Turkey but also the Near East and the country's application for EU membership. 'Imperious Leader has gone too far with his strange edicts' was the prescient headline. Well, now we will find out just how far Erdogan will go.
The phrase about rearranging the deckchairs on the Titanic as a metaphor for pointless activity at a time of crisis is often overused, but there is no better way to describe the current Irish political scene as we blithely gaze down at the icebergs and wreckage of Brexit.
The decision of Rory McIlory to pull out of representing Ireland at the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, ostensibly on health reasons, is not just a blow to golf and sports fans but also to those of us who'd like a moving on from contentious flags and emblems on the island of Ireland. And in both islands - yes, even in the week of a Brexit vote!
The iconic British Prime Minister had a long, intimate and often affectionate relationship with this country, says our reviewer.
News that Ireland comes a very high fourth place in a new survey of 'Nanny State' culture across the EU will not come as a surprise to those who criticise the increasing level of paternalism in our government policy, and the growing official appetite to intrude into more and more aspects of our consumer and social behaviour.
I went to Berlin last week and expected on my return to see progress made on a new government. But far from it: the shadow boxing continues and Fianna Fáil's Billy Kelleher sounds terrified by his own party's mandate and by having to take any responsibility. The 'cute hoor' dithering has become tiresome and, quite frankly, the resistance of Fianna Fáil to going into a coalition with Fine Gael is not only selfish and dangerous, but not at all in the national interest.
During the 1916 Rising, people relied on the newspapers of the day to give them detailed and vivid accounts of the Easter Rebellion. This is why most of the newspapers are now issuing souvenir 1916 supplements reproducing these exciting and memorable reports.
Yes, the two Civil War parties are still intact, and yes, the hard Left and Sinn Féin did not make as big a breakthrough as they expected. But make no mistake - the old political system is broke and the people are crying out for change.
Never mind the mini-drama of who might dance with Michael Lowry in a future coalition. The real drama building up this week is the prospect of grand alliance of the left and who will dance with Sinn Féin. This is not so much because of its former paramilitary association - which is usually the objection of the bigger, more 'bourgeois' parties.
In an era of author interviews and book publicity, Aidan Higgins, who has passed away at the age of 88, was the very opposite: content in relative reclusiveness in Kinsale, beavering away on a new project and rarely courting the glare of modern attention, except for his occasional broadside at Irish nationalist foibles and political vanity, especially through the artists' body Aosdána.
Hardly has the party season ended, but our politicians are back with their rash and populist promises in the run-in to next year's election.
This is the time of year when those of us who have young kids enjoy not only the magic of Christmas and Santa Claus but also the school rituals of nativity plays and carol singing.
So many books are coming out on the nation-building period of 1916-1921, that one almost wished they were emerging at a less-crowded time. One such is this fine, detailed and substantial biography of Arthur Griffith.
Among the political casualties of the awful events in Paris is the most powerful political leader in Europe. Normally so sure-footed, critics believe the German Chancellor Angela Merkel has been caught out badly in her hasty call for Europe to take in all of the migrants on its borders, and has been further embarrassed by the report that one of the Paris terrorists apparently used the cover of the refugee influx to get into Europe.
Seán Moncrieff's new book examines an enduring phenomenon - the utter contradictions in the Irish character and psyche. That we are both friendly and guarded, that we are both open and closed, or that we are incredibly positive but also historically depressing, and that we have had an inferiority complex, or used to, but now seem to have a superiority complex. Sure, we're...
At a time when authentic old Irish boozers have become a rarity, John Kavanagh's pub next to Glasnevin cemetery on Dublin's north side is the real deal.
'Wherever I go, whether to Australia or some island, I will always be the political prisoner of my father's name." Such was the lament of Svetlana Alliluyeva, whose life sentence it was to be the only daughter of Josef Stalin.
Today is the 40th anniversary of the death of Éamon de Valera, surely the most controversial and divisive figure of Irish history, and a man who personified Ireland and its struggle for international recognition. Forget Bertie Ahern and Brian Cowen, this is the man (and another former Fianna Fáil leader!) who really gets the pulses racing.
This week, the Government abandoned its Certificate of Irish Heritage after it turned out that fewer than 3,000 people had taken it up. The certificate was given to foreigners who did not fully qualify for Irish citizenship and an Irish passport. The State had tightened the rules on Irish passports and so this was seen as a consolation prize.
A possible Fianna Fáil coalition with Sinn Féin, or with Fine Gael; Enda Kenny saying he won't go for more than another term; Renua setting out its stall on various policies. It's been a busy month for politics, and a busy summer indeed. But you wouldn't know it from our national broadcaster, RTÉ, which is on its customary seasonal shut down.
I was recently on a media panel where, before we went on-air, we discussed the week's events including some conservative utterances of Ulster Unionist politicians. A dismissal of DUP statements on gays and abortion soon descended into a dismissal of Ulster Protestants in general, as backward, confused, 'not really British or Irish' and, in many ways, basically half-Scottish!
News that Irish embassies abroad are worth a small fortune is not surprising. Many of our 'Missions Abroad' have been long established in the most prestigious of foreign addresses and, with rising international property prices, they have become an enviable asset. On Avenue Foch, near the Arc de Triomphe, the Irish Embassy in Paris, housed in the gilded plasterwork of a 'hotel particulier', is worth an estimated €45m - making it the most valuable diplomatic property abroad owned by the State.
A week after the horrendous terror attack in Tunisia, serious questions remain about the atrocity itself but also about how we should deal with visiting such locations.
It used to be that the phrase 'a breach of human rights' meant someone being killed or tortured, or getting locked up unfairly.
The highway into Istanbul bears the chaos of the Turkey's economic boom. A two-lane highway, going both ways, it hugs the shore of the Bosphorus which separates Europe from Asia, and is jammed full of impatient, glossy cars. A 40-minute journey in from the airport took two hours going out, as rush hour descended.
I once stood by an elevator in New York with Senator George Mitchell. I wanted to congratulate him on his work on the Northern Ireland peace process, but I didn't want to intrude. "Nonsense," said a friend, "he's a politician: he'd be well used to people coming up to him."
It was once said of the Palestinians that they never missed an opportunity of missing an opportunity.
One thing you won't hear about in this week's Spring Statement is any change in, or examination of, our overseas aid budget.
The death of German novelist Günter Grass, at the ripe age of 87, sees the passing of one of the great European novelists and thinkers who acted as a conscience for all things political and historical. If you were a backpacker going across Europe in the 1970s or 80s, or indeed the West of Ireland, it would be hard to miss those battered copies of his classics The Tin Drum (1959) or The Flounder (1977) being clutched by progressive travellers, and usually adorned by the author's own distinctive drawings.
This is an ambitious attempt to tell the full history of Ireland's posh title, from its foundation in 1859 right down to the present day. It thus also charts the history of the country, and indeed of wider world affairs.
It was a major battle in the war between the conservationists and developers in 1960s Dublin, a key struggle between those who wanted to save Georgian Dublin and those who felt modernity should run its course. It was also a battle that the conservationists lost, after a Fianna Fáil Minister rushed through last-minute legislation. And in 1965 the ESB got to replace a façade of 16 Georgian houses on Dublin's Lower Fitzwilliam Street with a long and boring office block.
It is no surprise that UCD historian Diarmaid Ferriter has written this impressive account of the momentous events which led to the formation of the State. He has been to the forefront of scholarship of this particular period of our history and, through frequent media appearances, has brought vigour, detail and honesty to the often vexatious debate around events of this time.
The passing of veteran Unionist leader James Molyneaux at the ripe age of 94 is a reminder of how things used to be in the North. A slow and wary communicator, Molyneaux, who led the Ulster Unionist party (UUP) from 1979 to 1995, resembled a Sphinx and behaved accordingly.
With the centenary of the 1916 Rising coming up, it is worth asking what the 50th anniversary was like in 1966? The answer is a complex one and getting more complex by the day as we approach the anniversay in a year's time.
Originally from the beautiful Lismore in Waterford (where she founded a now thriving travel writing festival), Dervla Murphy is a gifted author who has been writing travel books for decades and is best known for titles such as Full Tilt - Ireland to India with a Bicycle (1965) and A Place Apart, about Northern Ireland in the 1970s. In 1979, she published a memoir entitled Wheels within Wheels and, at the age of 83, she is still travelling and recording.
With all the fuss about the centenary of the 1916 Rising, it is easy to forget about the tens of thousands of Irishmen fighting in the trenches of World War 1, dying and being wounded and traumatised in the very week of the Easter Rebellion.
The 1916 Rising has been described as the "triumph of failure", in that a clearly doomed revolt led to a resurgent nationalism and independence struggle. But the phrase also refers to the somewhat chaotic nature of the Rising's planning, the reliance on trenches in St Stephen's Green (!) and the fact that the insurrection was actually cancelled by Volunteers' leader Eoin MacNeill, before he was secretly overruled by Fenian militants.
Seventy years ago this week, three powerful men representing the Allied powers, sat down in the Crimean coastal port of Yalta and rearranged the post-world war landscape, carving Europe into power blocs, creating the United Nations and deciding on the fate of the soon to be defeated Germany.
Just when the Government had pulled the fat out of the fire on Irish water they used yesterday's deadline for registration to sow more confusion and give a sense of leniency which will be seized upon by the opposition and by the marchers who came out last weekend. Admittedly, they were out in lesser numbers, but in their thousands nevertheless. Remember: well over half a million people have yet to register.
There is no end of great stories about the migration of the Irish to the United States. Given the sheer numbers of the migration - almost two million between 1849 and 1899, alone - and the extraordinary opportunities which that vast and adventurous land offered, there was never going to be a shortage of stories of adventure, success and transformation.
'Do you not think it's time that we moved on from the bank guarantee?" a radio interviewer recently asked Colin Murphy, the author of a screenplay about the fateful night when Ireland underwrote its failing banks. To which most listeners responded: how can we ever move on from the bank guarantee that loaded €64 billion in debt on to the backs of the Irish people?
Last week, three Filipina women who were working for the Ambassador of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) Khalid Nasser Rashed Lootah in Dublin were awarded €80,000 each in compensation by the Employment Appeals Tribunal in another dismissal claim which heard allegations that they had to work in 'horrific conditions'.
Last week, Bob Geldof rightly invited ridicule for telling a London court that he came "from a poor Irish, not particularly well-educated background!"
In many ways, Ireland is only playing catch-up. The rise in the vote of Sinn Fein and the hard left parties, and the swelling protests against austerity, with some of them becoming militant and disruptive, are only a mirror of what has been happening for some time in the rest of Europe.
If Catalonia breaks from Spain, what will it mean for tourists?
In the past few weeks we have again seen examples - at least one with tragic consequences - of gangs using high-powered cars to speed up and down the motorways of the country doing multiple burglaries in towns and villages and remote areas far from the capital.
Among the many strange aspects to the debate around Sinn Fein's handling of the Mairia Cahill case is that the party might be in danger of losing its 'feminist credentials.' The point was typified in a column in the Irish Independent last week by Martina Devlin, which was much Tweeted by our new media feminists.
Tom Foley - the US Ambassador to Ireland from 2006 to 2009 - is involved in a bitter battle to become Governor of Connecticut. Foley, the Republican Party candidate, is neck and neck with the Democratic incumbent, Dannel Malloy. However, the race has been complicated by the entry of a third candidate, Joe Visconti, specifically standing on the issue of gun rights. Although, Connecticut is a historically liberal state, the entry of Visconti will draw conservative votes away from Foley.
Dublin has always been famous for its street characters - Bang Bang, Zozimus, the Diceman. It may seem curious to think of a gruff, lanky policeman in this company, but that is the legacy of Jim 'Lugs' Branigan, a ubiquitous presence on the streets of Dublin for many decades, plodding the beat, tackling gangs and dishing out instant justice, on the spot, with his big fists. The same fists also served him well as a prize boxer, who even fought for Ireland against a Nazi team in a 1930s tournament.
He was the gruff but genial giant who ruled Germany for over 16 years, and who oversaw its transition from a truncated West Germany to a reunited world power at the heart of Europe. Since his retirement in 2000, the wheelchair-bound, Helmut Kohl (84) has been living in retirement, only emerging to receive plaudits for bringing down the Berlin Wall and work on his memoirs with his biographer, Heribert Schwan, a process that involved over 600 hours of taped interviews.
It is a grim irony that Ian Paisley has died in the week that both Unionist and Nationalist party leaders in Northern Ireland have described the current Stormont power sharing arrangement as unworkable and no longer fit for purpose.
So David Franks, the Irish Rail boss, returned early from his holidays in Mauritius to deal with the crippling rail strike which has caused misery to tens of thousands of commuters.
In June 1914, a young Serbian radical called Gavrilo Princip emerged in the Balkan city of Sarajevo and shot the Archduke Franz Ferdinand, heir to the throne of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, which dominated Eastern Europe.
IT is one of the ironies of the peace process that it seems to have reinforced partition. With the end of The Troubles, the two parts of the island have sadly drifted apart, political and culturally.
The seventh Duke of Leinster, Edward FitzGerald, lost Carton House and ended up in a one-room Westminster flat where he died in 1976. Eamon Delaney on a fascinating book about Ireland's premier aristocratic family.
Three young men were recently jailed for a vicious attack on two brothers on the same day they arrived in Dublin from the US. The brothers were in Temple Bar when they saw the men mugging a man on the ground.
Right now, thousands of Christians are being driven out of Iraq and Syria and from places where they have lived for almost 2,000 years.
It is difficult now to appreciate just how bad poverty was in Ireland in the recent past, especially in Dublin. In the capital, at the time of the First World War, children could be seen barefoot around the city centre and Georgian tenements were filled with the poor.
The latest report by Social Justice Ireland about poverty contains revelations that are shocking and yet not so surprising. It claims 170,000 more people are living in poverty since the beginning of the recession and one in five children live in households with incomes below the poverty line. But the really damning statistic is that 16pc of adults living in poverty are actually working. Indeed, it is...
Is there a more devastating assassin in history than Gavrilo Princip, the young Serb who stepped out a hundred years ago today in Sarajevo and shot the Archduke Franz Ferdinand?
Before the last election we were promised a ‘bonfire of the quangos' and a cull on the plethora of State-funded bodies, institutes and authorities that grew up in the boom years, many of them competing and overlapping and all of them invariably calling for more Government money, such is the nature of these bodies.
With all the focus on the big personalities in our State's creation, like Michael Collins and Eamon de Valera, there is a tendency to overlook other very influential figures.
THERE will be many books on the Irish independence movement in the run-up to the 1916 centenary, and beyond, but it would be hard to do better than this as a succinct and clear assessment of the events and forces of those years.
This week's revelations in the Irish Independent about the salaries and often huge expenses of our city and county councillors are a depressing reminder that, despite all the talk about reform, we still have a system of entitlement as regards the public purse. Worse still, this is happening at a local level, where public representatives are supposed to be close to the people. Indeed, we may well have been looking too much at Leinster House and not enough at our councils, and all their myriad boards and overlapping authorities, for the real waste and dysfunction in our political system.
Now that the dust has settled on the Gerry Adams arrest and a file is being prepared for the Northern DPP, it is worth standing back and reflecting on a bigger aspect of the case. And this is the dangerous disengagement of the Irish Government – and British government – from the Northern Ireland situation.
'Ambassador, you're spoiling us', goes the famous Ferrero Rocher ad, but in the case of the United States Embassy in Dublin, it's more a case of 'Ambassador, where are you?'
They say the Irish are the most conservative revolutionaries. We may have a reputation as upstarts and rebels but in reality we will work the terms of the bailout and pay our water charges. In which case, our artists are a perfect reflection of us.
1916 is back in fashion. New books and films on the Rising are flowing and will continue to do so up until the centenary in two years' time. A young generation has coming afresh to accounts of this momentous event and are understandably struck by the heroism and drama for the first time. For an older generation, looking back from our recent economic crisis, the selflessness and idealism can only impress.
News that former Fianna Fail minister Noel Dempsey is to head up an agency to revitalise the somewhat tawdry Temple Bar area is enough to make the heart sink.
Joan Burton is not a minister shy of giving her opinion but she has a point when she says that the Labour Party could benefit if the party leader left his Foreign Affairs job and assumed a ministry in domestic and economic matters.
It was once said of Michael D Higgins that he would "go mad in government". As it happened, he didn't, as an Arts Minister. But our diminutive President may well go mad with pleasure next month when he is taken by horse-drawn carriage to Windsor Castle as part of his UK visit. His itinerary has been released for the first official state visit there by an Irish head of state and there is no doubt that he, and by extension we, are truly getting the Royal treatment.
The world of history and commemoration was in shock at the sudden death of the conservationist and resident historian at Glasnevin cemetery, Shane MacThomais, aged just 46. MacThomais was a son of Eamonn MacThomais, the chronicler of Dublin history and urban folklore (author of Me Jewel and Darlin' Dublin) and continued his father's legacy with his own role in the transformation of Glasnevin cemetery, in north Dublin.
Just when we thought that all the excitement had gone out of the garda whistleblower controversy and the row had run into a bureaucratic fudge, then along comes Transport Minister Leo Varadkar to blow it all back into life.
Christine Buckley was one of those who lifted the covers on an ugly chapter in Ireland's history and forced the country to confront the reality of its reputation as a Republic which protected children and the vulnerable.
A weekend opinion poll shows significant gains by Sinn Fein at the expense of all the main parties. It also suggests Fine Gael has been damaged by recent ministerial controversies, not least the ongoing row about garda whistleblowers.
Maigread Murphy who has passed away aged 94 in Cork, had a unique position in the world of Irish art and sculpture. She was the wife of Seamus Murphy (1907-1975), Ireland's pre-eminent post-war sculptor and the daughter of Joseph Higgins (1885-1925) who had an equal standing in the world of figurative and memorial sculpture.
CAMPBELL Bruce was not just an accomplished painter, but a significant and influential figure on the Irish visual arts scene for almost 40 years.
They're always telling us what a truly unique event St Patrick's Day is, but how unique is the spectacle of 28 government ministers all leaving the country at the same time? The only comparison one can think of is that of a 'fall of Saigon' situation, with a hapless government fleeing its besieged country and bailing out to the four corners.
THERE is oft-quoted line from Carol Reed's famous movie, 'The Third Man', which mocks the boredom of stability and celebrates the creativity of instability.
WHEN Pat Kenny joined Newstalk and the station prepared to reprise his mid-morning slot on its own wavelength, a big ad campaign was rolled out with the slogan 'Move the Dial'.
There is no doubt that the Presidency is not what it was. It used to be entirely ceremonial, with an affable figurehead cutting ribbons and signing bills.
This week's uploading online of a huge cache of personal material and records relating to military pensions of the 1916-1923 period, thus covering the 1916 Rising to the subsequent War of Independence, is a wonderful tribute to our archival skills and will make up for Ireland's once lamentable archival record.
The prospect of the worldwide security and services company G4S getting centrally involved in the Government's back-to-work programme is a very interesting one that could revolutionise our welfare system.
The farcical events in Shannon where Jennifer Lauren, the niece of mega-fashion designer Ralph Lauren, was taken off a transatlantic flight and fined for abusive air-rage epitomises the modern phenomenon of well-connected people behaving badly in public and expecting to get away with it.
It is worth saying, repeatedly, as we go into a hopeful economic recovery, that we produced Celtic Tigers in this country long before we actually had a Celtic Tiger. That is, real Celtic Tigers: business figures and pioneers with the drive and imagination to realise their dreams, enrich themselves and enrich many others, as well providing much-needed employment.
The new year is upon us and already the political parties have been busy setting out their stalls for the year ahead. But with the country striving to build on our painful recovery and hoping that the so-called 'green shoots' will be enough to stop our young people from continuing to emigrate in droves, what is the top priority for Labour leader Eamon Gilmore? Gay marriage.
It was revealed earlier this month that the Catholic-based marriage agency Accord has issued an email to staff saying it should decline giving relationship advice to a gay couple.
It's an annual ritual now. At this time of year, every year, the Irish state papers are released, after the 30-year hold back, and they usually heavily feature the actions and thoughts of Charles J Haughey, the most controversial politician of our modern era. And, inevitably, these revelations are damning, with more stories about attempts to rail-road civil servants and reward cronies, but they can also be positive, with Haughey revealed to have shown an imaginative quality in dealing with the economy and with Northern Ireland.