There is perhaps nobody as significant to the story of collecting Ireland’s oral folk tradition as Séamus Ennis, who was born a hundred years ago this May.
Anne: It's Time to Build the Supervised Injecting Facility
Addiction is an illness, not a moral decision, and people suffering through it deserve dignity and proper healthcare, writes Anne Buckley.
The Central Government Is Treating Councils Shamefully
The Department of Housing’s changes to rules on building heights are yet another attack on local democracy. Maybe they should stop all the meddling and just build some homes, writes a DIT lecturer.
Remembering Marjorie Hasler, a Window-Breaking Suffragette
Marjorie Hasler didn’t live to see women vote in a general election for the first time. But she was at the heart of the activism that brought it about.
Paul: On Dublin, Amazon, and the "Secret Region"
Even if there is no data from the US or other foreign governments in Amazon Web Services data centres in Dublin, Ireland has become a significant actor within the international infrastructure of AWS. That comes with responsibilities.
Ebun: How Reaction GIFs Perpetuate Racial Stereotypes
“Being an anxious liberal I worried about whether there is a fine line between wholesome giffing and, well, minstrelsy,” a reader wrote. There is, writes our advice columnist.
Sam: Separating The Right Sort from The Wrong Sort in Court Reporting
The Irish courts are in the midst of making changes that will make it easier for those they consider The Right Sort to report on cases, and make it harder for The Wrong Sort.
Sinéad: Precarious Work Risks Stunting a Generation
Banning “if-and-when” contacts would be one major step to take.
Agenda-Setting Report on White-Collar Crime Welcome, but Not Without Flaws
The report proposes the establishment of a new independent Corporate Crime Agency with its own statutory mandate to investigate corporate offences, writes a UCD law lecturer.
Andy: Let's Talk About Dublin's Ties to the Saudi Regime
If Shannon is the obvious fulcrum of Irish collusion with Saudi human rights abuses, Dublin’s financial services may be a less obvious, but no less important, one, writes a UCD political economy lecturer.
Niamh: Did the Media Give Peter Casey Too Much Coverage?
Michael D Higgins may have won the race to the Áras, but Peter Casey took the podium in the media, garnering the most coverage of any candidate, writes a media analyst and DCU researcher.
Sinead: You Might Be in Precarious Work and Not Even Know It
Figures out there for rates of precarious in Ireland work vary wildly, because there’s no agreed definition of the term. Something needs to be done, writes a researcher for the think tank TASC.
Niamh: How Should Courts Handle the Rise of Citizen Journalists?
How can the state give space to citizen journalism to take different approaches from the mainstream media, and provide counternarratives and challenge authorities, while imposing some accountability?
Andy: Irexit? That Would Be Economic Self-Harm
Irexit would generate even worse economic outcomes than Brexit alone, research from two economists suggests.
Ebun: On Irish Drinking Culture, Assimilation and "Passing"
A reader asked to what extent Irish drinking culture is something non-Irish need to adopt in order to integrate. Ebun offers some advice.
Donal: A Game for Countrymen?
How could it be that the Irish capital, with its population advantage over the rest of the island, has failed to challenge at the top level of hurling in the same manner that it has come to dominate Gaelic football?
Niamh: How Well Has the Media Covered the Take Back the City Protests?
An analysis of articles from nine major news outlets from 9 to 24 September, by a PhD researcher at DCU School of Communications.
Paul: The Plan-et Dublin Quiz
In the fourth and final part of this series, Paul Kearns challenges readers to his Plan-et Dublin Quiz.
Andy: Ireland Is Still Open for Business ... in Tax Avoidance
Recent research finds that large pharmaceutical companies shift profits to and through Ireland to cut their global tax bills. It isn’t fair, writes UCD political-economy lecturer Andy Storey.
Alyson: The Public Have a Right to More Information About An Garda Síochána
Only reliable data will help us assess whether An Garda Síochána is meeting its obligations to protect human rights.
Joseph: Tech Firms Could Help Tackle the City's Housing Challenges
Other cities are waking up to the connection between tech growth, inequality, and housing – and looking at how companies can step up to help.
Emmett: It Should Be Easier to Empathise with Those Called Homeless
“Without empathy, thousands of our fellow citizens who are homeless will become irretrievably, permanently other. But they are not other.”
Paul: The View of the City from Spaceship DCC
“It’s a truism that if you work too long in any large organisation, your understanding of reality gradually warps,” writes a former council planner.
Máirtín: Dublin's Street Names Offer Clues to the City's Culinary History
For some of the food-related place names, the move from Irish to English has masked their resonance and origins, writes a DIT lecturer and chef.
Paul: On Sausages, Laws, and Planning Decisions at Dublin City Council
How can seemingly similar planning applications get very different responses from the council? In part two of our insider’s guide, an ex-Dublin City Council planner explains.
Donal: Olaudah Equiano’s Irish Friends
During his Ireland tour, the author and former slave found “receptive audiences keen to link their own political aspirations to his”.
Paul: An Insider’s Guide to Plan-et Dublin
Advice on how to navigate the Planning Department of Dublin City Council, from someone in the know.
Ciaran: A Quick Guide to City Composting
“I have been known to litter-pick toilet roll inserts and hot-drink holders to take them home for the compost heap,” writes our guerilla gardening columnist.
Evgeny: My First Pride Parade Wasn't Quite What I'd Hoped For
“It was odd that we had to wait for two hours for corporations’ advertisements – that they were given priority,” writes asylum seeker Evgeny Shtorn.
Joseph: How Dubliners Could Benefit from the Pricey Property Along the Luas
“It is time to connect the dots, and stop the long arm of property assets reaching into the pockets of citizens,” writes Joseph Kilroy.
Ciaran: How to Water Your Plants During a Heatwave, or Not
While you’re trying to save water you might still be wondering how to look after those wilting flowers in your garden or windowsill, writes guerilla gardener Ciaran O’Byrne.
Eoin, Marco, Beth & Sean: You'd Likely Save Time If You Cycled into Town
An analysis from University College Dublin shows that the average Dublin city-centre commuter could save 86 hours a year by switching their car for a bicycle.
Donal: Rebel Bookseller
Patrick Byrne was a purveyor of incendiary ideas on eighteenth-century Grafton Street.
Odran: Dublin's Going to Keep Growing, Let's Deal with It
The solution to Dublin’s infrastructure woes isn’t to try to move people elsewhere, it’s to invest in the city, writes DIT local-development and planning lecturer Odran Reid.
Éilis: Don't Destroy Herbert Simms's Public Housing
The proposals to pull down this historic public housing mark a new low in the social cleansing of our city, writes Councillor Éilis Ryan.
Odran: Changes on Ballymun's Fringes Highlight Stagnation in Centre
Dublin City Council looks set to sell lands near IKEA to a big-box retailer, which could bring more jobs to Ballymun. While welcome, the move again highlights the stagnation of the suburb’s centre.
Emmett: On the Unexpected Influence of the Phibsborough Shopping Centre
As the neighbourhood changes, what can this grey monolith show us about the connection between people, buildings and the place they share? asks an architect.
Odran: On Tackling Dublin's Water-Supply Problems
Water is key to development, to industry, to house building, and to food production. So here are some suggestions for how to solve our supply problems, writes DIT lecturer Odran Reid.
Mick: Landlords Aren't Fleeing the Market in Droves
It’s a common refrain, but the figures just don’t bear it out, writes Mick Byrne of the Dublin Tenants Association.
Odran: The Latest Plan for Ballymun Is One the Council Will Regret
The area needs a greater mix of incomes, and building a Lidl and a six-storey student accommodation won’t help with that, writes DIT lecturer Odran Reid.
Christine: On the Brutality of Life in One of Dublin's Homeless Hostels
“What’s often overlooked in the broad sweep of articles and statistics about homelessness is that homelessness itself is a trauma,” writes Christine O’Donnell.
Mick, Michelle and Anna: Our Housing Policy Is Built on a False and Dangerous Premise
The idea that large social-housing developments are doomed to dystopia is rarely challenged. But it is wrong, write three housing experts.
Christine: Nina Raine's "Tribes" Challenges Media Stereotypes of Psychosis
The portrayal of psychosis in “Tribes” was sensitive, contextualised and humane. Unfortunately, this is generally not the case.
Eoin and Philip: Who Has Their Eye on the City as a Whole?
Private businesses shape Dubliners’ lives in fragmented ways. Local government needs more power so it can mould the city’s overall form and feel, argue two geographers.
The Write Life: On How the Arts Are Meaningful
“I get to see how creativity and expression can have an effect on the lives of people living life on the edge of society, and help them somewhat in their struggle,” writes poet Karl Parkinson.
Mick: Perhaps the Government Doesn't Want to Fix the Rental Sector
“If we look at the major policy initiatives over the last two years, it is hard to draw any other conclusion,” writes Mick Byrne.
Christine: How I Ended Up Homeless
“I naively believed my support system would carry me through any fallouts and it would never come to that,” writes Christine O’Donnell.
Alicja: Low Wages Ignore the Many Demands of Bar and Hotel Work
Pay for people working in hotels, bars and restaurants is half the national average. But this can be hard, physical, sometimes dangerous work.
The Write Life: Body and Soul
“The coach unpiles and I am in my first Portaloo queue of the day, and thank the holy spirit it’s clean…” A poet’s journey to perform at a summer festival.
The Write Life: Another Bloomsday
I’ll go the shop, into the butchers, need chicken for the dinner, a fella asked me once how many chickens do you think get eaten everyday, think about it he says, like you’ve chicken in so many things …
Chris: Beware Bungled and Exaggerated "Welfare Fraud" Stats
Researcher Chris Lowe says some figures going around about “bogus disability claims” are exaggerated, and others are just wrong.
The Write Life: Art in the City
“I always see myself in paintings, former me, me now, as a child, me not yet alive, the all inspiring I in the us,” writes Karl Parkinson, in this saunter through current Dublin exhibitions.
Mick: The Residential Tenancies Board Is a Good Idea, Flawed in Practice
Ultimately, the RTB is based on the logic that the most vulnerable actor within the rental sector – the tenant – should be tasked with ensuring landlords play by the rules. This simply does not work, writes Mick Byrne.
Robin: How Bello Became the Typeface of Protest
For the last year or so in Ireland, a particular typeface has become associated with protest and politically progressive movements. How did that come about?
Alicja: We Need to Keep an Eye on Work Conditions in ICT and Finance
While average pay is still high, there appears to be a creeping two-tier system, with many employees on fixed-term, low-pay contracts doing routine work, writes researcher Alicja Bobek.
The Write Life: On the Events of Literature
Life among the hip, smart, cool, transy, funky poet children, the sons, daughters and othered of Walt Whitman, Allen Ginsberg and Patti Smith.
Philip and Thomas: RTÉ's Redevelopment Is Missing a Trick
We should be much more imaginative about how we could use this land to tackle wider social and economic problems, write Philip Comerford and Thomas Legge.
Emma, Alex and Eoin: Where Are the "Water Wasters"?
We have mapped 106 locations we believe have residential swimming pools, writes UCD geography lecturer Eoin O’Mahony and two of his students.
Alicja: The Cranes Are Back, but Working Conditions Aren't
Far more construction workers today are self-employed than before the crash, which means they’re getting lower wages and fewer protections.
The Write Life: On the Distractions of Dublin
In his monthly column, poet and performer Karl Parkinson will reflect on arts and the city. Here’s the first installment.
Mick: Austerity Has Left Our City's Infrastructure Creaking
The scaffolding of our city is suffering from systematic disinvestment, writes Mick Byrne, a researcher at UCD’s School of Social Policy, Social Work and Social Justice.
Alicja: As the Hospitality Sector Thrives, Workers Deserve a Cut
The low-wages and flexible hours in the hospitality sector are good for employers, but not for employees. It’s time the benefits were passed on, writes Alicja Bobek.
Krzysztof: On Being a Fake Irishman
The better you get to know a culture, the better you get to know informal ways of communication, the more you realise you’re an outsider.
Nicky: Why Didn't the Garda Come When I Called?
When Nicky Daly called her local Garda station to report racist harassment by a man with a baseball bat, she was told somebody would come along. Why didn’t they?
Thomas: Let's Consider Moving the Oireachtas from Kildare Street
Moving the seat of government to a purpose-built complex somewhere else could allow Kildare Street to flourish as the vibrant cultural quarter it was meant to be, writes Thomas Legge.
David: For More Productivity, Dublin Bus Must Look Beyond Workers
Dublin Bus wants more productivity out of its workers. That will require less congested roads, and an updated route map, says transport lecturer David O’Connor.
Liz: Politicians Need to Stop Talking at Us Like We're Idiots
“It’s not easy – I know, I’ve been working in this field for years. But communicating with us is your job,” writes Liz Carolan.
David: The Dublin Bus Strike Isn't Just About Pay
It’s also about strategic positioning and posturing as Dublin’s transport network faces a potential transformation, writes DIT transport planning lecturer David O’Connor.
Sam: If Newcomers Can't Be Irish, What Can We Be?
There is no word for someone who’s not white Irish who settles here, which marks them as part of the community of Ireland. Does that mean they’ll never feel at home?
Frankie: Why Are People Obsessed with "Gangland"?
Gangland exists for two reasons: prohibition and inequality. Those who profess an urgent desire to address the situation are determined to tackle neither.
Mick: Housing Inequality Means Eternal Renting for Some, Profits for Others
Today, tenants in the private rented sector again find themselves at the sharp end of housing inequality, and again ignored by those whose decisions create that inequality.
Dara: In Dublin's Art Spaces, Our Voices Are Getting Louder
The arts, although saturated with middle-class voices, are getting an infusion of working-class blood. It’s an exciting moment for our society.
Mick: We Are Selling Off Social Housing and It's Madness
Most debates about the housing crisis lead back to one place: the acute shortage of social housing. Tenant purchase schemes are making that shortage worse.
Dara: We're Broke But We're Funny and Smart
Rising rents mean single parents are being forced further and further away from those who can support them. They are “austerity nomads”.
Dara: Every Addict Has the Right to a Better Life
With every meal, every class of tai chi, every day I don’t pay some dickhead €20 to feel like a human being, I’m reclaiming my right to pride and dignity.
Frankie: It's Not Just a Dublin Accent, It's a Dublin Dialect
People comment on what they call my “strong Dublin accent” a lot, a phrase that belittles how I speak, because it’s not just an accent, it’s a dialect – one with a rich history, one I’m proud of.
Dara: On the Sound of Fighting for Your Own Culture
When you isolate people, they start to form their own societies, receiving legitimacy from each other instead of the dominant culture. Enter Dublin hip-hop, writes Dara Quigley.
Mick: How Finance is Shaping Dublin's Ongoing Housing Crisis
What has been driving the housing crisis in Dublin is the absence of credit within Ireland’s financial system – in other words, from Irish banks, writes Mick Byrne, a researcher at UCD.
Enid: Councillors and TDs Are Paid More Than You Think
When your TD calls this month looking for your vote, ask why they should have their travel costs to work paid when you have to pay your travel costs out of your taxed income, which is much less that the TD’s salary of €87,258 per year.
Dara: With Deprivation Rising, the Community Has Stepped Up to Help
The government lacks the self-awareness to realise that Minister for Social Protection Joan Burton should be turning up at the closings of food banks, not the openings.
Dara: 6 Years Suffering the Violence of 1,000 Economic Cuts
These days – the poor, the working poor, the working class, the middle-class – almost all of us are screwed. The wealth is trickling upwards to a very few.
Dara: Without Money to Spend, Dublin's City Centre Is a Hostile Place
Dara Quigley asks why, for those with little spare cash, Dublin’s centre is so unwelcoming. And why do we put up with it?
Mick: Why Aren't We Building More Housing in the Docklands?
We are witnessing another round of finance-driven urban development, a fact which speaks to the current poverty of imagination and ambition among those who hold the levers of power.
Nasir: Why So Many Pakistanis Are Headed to Ireland and Elsewhere
Nasir Jamal, chief reporter for the newspaper Dawn, gives the view from Pakistan on why many of his countrymen and women are leaving to chase their dreams in Europe.
Kieran: We’ve Made Progress on Housing, but What’s Next?
Dublin City Council senior planner Kieran Rose explains some of his past housing policy successes, and asks how we can build on them in the future.
David: What's Good, and Not Good, About Dublin's Draft Transport Strategy
Could this be the first transport plan in decades that just might lead to a genuine improvement in quality of life for Dubliners?
Bob: To Ease Homelessness, We Need Rent Certainty
Until we build more homes, we need to raise the rent supplement, introduce rent certainty and make several other changes, writes Bob Jordan, chief executive of housing charity Threshold.
Alison: How We Build Homes Is as Important as What We Build
Developers are not the only option in town when it comes to building houses, particularly on local authority-owned land.
Lorcan: For Source of Dublin's Housing Problem, Look to the Country
Dublin’s housing problem stems from this: at a state level, housing policy is dominated by a politically motivated rural ideology.