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Category Archives: Nation-building

Life outside Dublin

Anomie in Éire

Mishmash of values and rules at the root of suicide – Irish Times Desmond Fennell – Thursday, November 17, 2011 I first came across Desmond Fennell some years ago, when I received a copy of his book, State Of The Nation, after the death of an old Gaeilgeoir. The book struck a chord with me, [...]

The problem

Ireland finds itself in an economic and political cul de sac every twenty years precisely because there is no conception of what Ireland is supposed to be, no vision for how we want to live.

Thoughts on civil society in Ireland

This post is an experiment in “stream of consciousness” writing without correction or editing after the fact. Here be mixed metaphors! Snow brought us to with inches of collapse, another failure on top of all the others; no transport, alternate shortages of salt and water. No-one cared quite enough to really do anything, but the [...]

What is so difficult about a secular state?

This Saturday’s Irish Times contains the following snippet under in its column In Short. The High Court has reserved judgment on a challenge to the constitutionality of a provision of the Charities Acts which outlaws the sale of Mass cards except through an arrangement with the Catholic Church. Thomas McNally, head of Mass card producers [...]

Ireland’s rail network

The first railway in Ireland opened in 1834. At its peak in 1920, Ireland had 5,600 km (3,400 miles) of railway, now only about one third of this remains. The War of Independence and Civil War did a lot of damage to the Irish rail network, but nowhere near the damage done by the fledgeling [...]