| 12.3°C Dublin

Ireland can learn from English riots

Our nearest neighbours are this weekend agonising about how a protest in London could turn into a rampage of rioting and looting that shook the country -- and Britain's reputation abroad.

Racial tensions, the breakdown of family, youth alienation and plain thuggery have all been put forward as explanations.

These, and other factors, no doubt all played a role in what happened.

There will be investigations and inquiries into how law and order broke down for a time.

We're a very different country and very different society.

But we would be very complacent indeed not to take a keen interest in the forthcoming inquiries.

And we would be foolish in the extreme not to ask ourselves -- could the same thing happen here?