The recent release of new economic growth measures has prompted once again again a debate on regional, from which we can generally read urban versus rural, development in Ireland. To listen to some commentators you would imagine that beyond the M50 ring-road or beyond Blarney there is an economic wasteland, with those few people remaining in their 90s and an infrastructure barely out of the 18th-century.
Recent discussion on university funding has been on the basis of the Public Accounts Committee report. This, along with the RTE Prime-time Investigates program, has led to a perception of a state funded sector out of financial control. Both of these are wrong.
Ireland has an opportunity to position itself as a leader in an emerging technology, or perhaps a reemerging one. All it takes is political vision, a willingness to face down some entrenched local vested interests and a desire to make a change. This of course means it wont happen, but we can dream!
With each day that passes and the ramifications of Brexit become evermore entwined. leaving aside the damage that is being done to the UK’s economic and political reputation, we now see the stirrings, deliberate and calculated, of a pot of debate on a putative Irexit, an Irish exit from the European union. Like it or not this debate will continue, and to ignore it is neither politic nor possible. That it is ridiculous and risible is obvious to even a casual analysis, but we have seen with Trump and Brexit that mere foolishness does not deter a polity from a course of action.
A very common statement being made now is “well, the UK is Ireland’s largest trading partner therefore…” . Usually this then segues into why we should irexit/cleave to the mother ship of the UK/ act on their behalf as they walk from the EU etc.