Bruce Arnold

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

Impotent bank inquiry is product of a castrated Dail

When I expressed to a friend my fears for the country and its future, under present political leadership recently, I received a blunt, almost a brutal response. I give it unvarnished.

My fears, he said, were correct, and circumstances were far worse than even I saw them. He then gave a variation on a theme that will be familiar to readers, not just of this column, but of much commentary on the dire state of Irish politics, as is perhaps emphasised in the latest opinion polls. Read More...

Last 12 years has corrupted this country's coming of age

'The Curious Mind' is a collection of sound bites out of John Quinn's career as a broadcaster over 25 years. Lavishly praised in a foreword by Tom Collins, Professor of Education at Maynooth, the book is claimed by him as "a key contributor to the rethinking process which must now begin", with the added assertion that "it is entirely appropriate and timely that this book should emerge now". Read More...

The sooner Brian resigns, the better for the economy

Brian Lenihan has put us in an invidious position that cannot last. At a time of great economic crisis he has pledged himself to the crucial job at Finance while undergoing treatment for a most serious form of cancer, its prospective cure rate less than 10pc. However, he has asked that "goodwill" should not impact on "normal political processes". One of these processes is criticism, so here goes. Read More...

Murphy Report failed to address our absurd laws

Canon Law was a concept affecting Ireland by influence rather than application -- and the influence was huge

When the Murphy report was published, Justice Minister Dermot Ahern made his pithy but pointless remark that "a collar will protect no criminal". He also asked us to reflect on how the culture of deference to the Church came about. He did this, knowing that neither statements would be tested. He also knew that no one in power would reflect meaningfully on the culture of deference.