Bruce Arnold

Chief Critic of the Irish Independent, writing about art, theatre, music and politics

Given Denis O’Brien’s significant shareholding, it is time the Independent board acted in unison so the group can become strong and united again

The star of success or good fortune in Denis O'Brien's firmament is in the ascendant. He has suffered unparalleled abuse and misrepresentation, of calumny and adverse opinion in the media, coming through it without a finger being laid on him.

The only comparable figure, suffering in recent years a totally undeserved assault by the media, and notably by RTE, associating him at one point with gang warfare and murder, was Declan Ganley. The attacks were biased, relentless and agenda led. Read More...

We are about to strip ourselves of all remaining control over our sovereignty and our money. We should think again

There is growing concern about further diminishing of our sovereignty in the referendum at the end of May. Other EU legislation provokes even greater alarm. In practical terms this involves money and huge further surrender of state control over our fiscal resources affecting our wealth and our well-being.

We face a future where the more successful we are in getting ourselves out of the debt we were plunged into by the 2008 bank guarantee, the more we will be made to contribute to enormous and growing debts in the euro-currency area. Italy and Spain, whose financial difficulties dwarf ours, will help to soak us dry. These are the details. There are two relevant treaties, the ESM Treaty -- which is not an EU treaty but which we still have to ratify -- and the Fiscal Compact Treaty, which we vote on in the May referendum. Read More...

This referendum is illegal and voting 'Yes' is madness

The legality of what the State proposes in the referendum on May 31 has always been an argument and must now become an issue. In expectation of this being recognised, I attended the meeting in Dublin last Thursday of the National Forum. The four high-profile speakers were Michael McDowell, Eamon O Cuiv, Brian Hayes and Declan Ganley. All gave spirited addresses. None referred to the constitutionality and legal correctness of what is being proposed. Read More...

How household charge is likely to go down drain

The following story concerns a roundabout at Albert Road in Glenageary. In the past six months more than €250,000 has been wastefully spent on a foolish local authority project to 'improve' safety by restricting the movement of traffic, contrary to the essential theory and practice of roundabout use.

Set against the theory and practice of the household charge, it makes complete nonsense of Environment Minister Phil Hogan's repeated declarations about 'urgent services at local authority level' being paid for by the charge. He stands over a myth that the money is badly needed and will be prudently spent. It won't. Read More...