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Space to Think, a new book celebrating ten years of the Dublin Review of Books More Information 

The Forgotten Frontier

Darach MacDonald
A border can be a bridge on which to meet, wrote Claudio Magris, or it can be a barrier of rejection. Both Dublin and Belfast have tended to try to forget the people who live around Ireland’s border, but this looking the other way may not be sustainable for much longer.
May 6, 2017, 16:23 PM

Changing Direction

Frank Barry
Economic stagnation in the Ireland of the 1950s persuaded many that a different economic course must be tried out. The name of TK Whitaker is intimately associated with the new departure, but the changes that occurred did not exactly match the recipe he initially offered.
Mar 7, 2017, 11:42 AM

Poisoned Apple

Martin O’Malloney
Claims that the European Commission is picking on little Ireland in the Apple taxation case fail to take into account that we are talking about the richest company in the world. Ireland will also ignore at its peril the rising tide of popular indignation over wholesale tax avoidance by multinationals.
Feb 9, 2017, 09:44 AM

The New Souperism

John Horgan
Irish parents are often forced to have their children participate in a form of religious observance in which they themselves do not believe in exchange for educational and social benefits. We once called this souperism. And the current shabby compromise designed to confuse the unwary could best be described as souperism lite.
Feb 9, 2017, 09:28 AM

Not So Very Different

Kevin Hjortshøj O’Rourke

There can at times be an attention-seeking particularism about Irish writing - look at us, and at how unique and how very interesting we are. But in terms of our post-independence economic history we are much like many comparable peripheral European states, with similar failures.

res and similar successes.

Jan 5, 2017, 19:36 PM

Steady As She Goes

John Mulqueen
From 1987 to the intoxicating highs of the Celtic Tiger, peaking in 2008, then crashing, there would be one political certainty in Ireland: most voters would choose a mainstream party in a general election. Even in 2011, the three established parties still dominated the scene.
Jan 5, 2017, 19:16 PM

Knock, knock

John Bradley
Politicians sometimes consider that facing up to the consequences of their mistakes entitles them to be regarded as brave. But in the case of the Irish crash the warnings were there long before 2008. Hell was at the gates and the banging getting louder, but no one was listening.
Jan 5, 2017, 19:09 PM

Ghost Frequencies

Bryan Fanning
Immediately a man dies for what he believes, Robert Lynd wrote after the death of Pearse, everything he has said or written assumes a new value and his words seem mysteriously laden with meaning, a ghostly bequest in regard to which we do not feel quite free to play the critic.
Jan 5, 2017, 19:02 PM

Cold War Art

Brenda Moore-McCann

The Rosc art exhibitions, which ran in Dublin for twenty years in the second half of the last century, opened up Ireland to the experience of modern and Modernist art. But did the impulse for them come from the Congress for Cultural Freedom, and its ultimate paymaster, the CIA?

Jan 5, 2017, 18:45 PM

Bunker Days

Witness Seminar
In December 1985 a number of Irish civil servants bedded down in a bleak office-cum-living quarters in Belfast, their job to oversee the implementation of the Anglo-Irish Agreement. With protesters howling at the gates, they lived under siege, but gradually established good relations with many of their political and security partners.
Dec 7, 2016, 14:32 PM

Making the Jump

Frank Barry
A ‘hard Brexit’ will undoubtedly create grave difficulties for Irish-owned businesses and ‘tariff-jumping’ foreign direct investment will come to seem an obvious response. Irish firms will establish operations in the UK, as Jacob’s, Guinness and Carroll’s have done in the past.
Dec 7, 2016, 14:28 PM

Beyond the Failure Narrative

Philip O’Connor
A version of independent Ireland’s economic history which ignores the unfavourable starting point and then goes on to compare our performance with states whose circumstances were clearly different is more in the nature of a myth than a balanced historical account.
Dec 7, 2016, 11:57 AM

Money with Morals

Seán Byrne
Ireland’s reliance on multinational investment puts it in the demeaning position of having to constantly adapt to the changing needs of multinational companies. Meanwhile, our fiercely defended low rate of corporation tax is under severe threat now that our main ally in defending it is leaving the EU.
Nov 9, 2016, 11:35 AM

At the Apex

Donncha O’Connell
A major new study of Ireland’s highest court brilliantly tells the story of the people ‑ judges, lawyers and litigants ‑ that shaped its institutional personality, the doctrinal battles that ended up there and the impact of its decisions on politics and society.
Nov 9, 2016, 11:20 AM

Door Into The Dark

David Wheatley
Proponents of the ‘best are leaving’ theory of emigration deplored the losses but were wary of the suggestion that providing a basic standard of living was any business of the Irish state. Anti-materialists feared prosperity could weaken the racial stock by making life too easy.
Oct 4, 2016, 19:02 PM

Enabling the Future

Neil Buttimer
Having devoted an amount of absorbing scholarship to exploring how regressive much of twentieth century Ireland became, Tom Garvin is astonished at finding a fellow countryman of consequence in the person of the Gaelic scholar and diplomat Daniel Binchy.
Aug 30, 2016, 08:48 AM

Small is Beautiful

Siniša Malešević
Much of the rhetoric of Irish nationalism focused on the idea of a small nation, oppressed by a larger one. The nationalism of the Balkan states, in contrast, tended to emphasise the idea of ‘greatness’, though in many important senses these were smaller polities than Ireland.
Jul 13, 2016, 08:34 AM

Out of the Rut

John Horgan
The 1960s saw Ireland escaping for a few years from the glumness of the previous decade before crisis returned in 1973. It was a happy time to be middle class and young. However, the good times were differentially distributed and not everyone’s memories are happy.
Jun 9, 2016, 22:59 PM

Not Our Fault

Sean Byrne
A senior official of Ireland’s Department of Finance concludes that all the officials he worked with in the run-up to the country’s economic collapse were dedicated, hard-working and of the highest intellectual ability. If this were the case why did they not see the crisis coming?
Jun 9, 2016, 17:34 PM

The Analyst as Eeyore

Tom Hennigan
Fintan O’Toole’s narrow focus allows him to portray Irish public life as suffering a grave malaise, a condition one could almost say was unique to our society. His closely cropped view allows him to denounce our public services as “squalid”. But squalid compared to what or to where?
Apr 1, 2016, 11:12 AM