Bruce Arnold

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

Abuse report ignores failure of State to stop the horrors

The main axis of public concern is missing from the report of the Murphy Commission. This is the tie-up between Church abnegation of responsibility for abuse in the Dublin diocese and the State's awareness and response to this.

The State at the highest level, meaning government and ministerial involvement as well as that of the Dail and Seanad, is simply not in the report. Generous investigation and coverage is given to the legal provisions that were in existence and were so callously and dishonestly ignored by the Church. Read More...

Cowen's Dithering on Reform Does Rest of Us No Favours

Despite the fact that almost anything Brian Cowen is likely to do will adversely affect his future electoral prospects, there was one area where this was not the case, that of reforms in the public sector. Wide sections of the public would have approved. And his admission of defeat, last weekend, on this score, was a further sad dimension of his failure.

He took over from Bertie Ahern 18 months ago with reform of the public sector his main priority. Though he did not need it -- since many of the tasks were glaringly obvious -- he reinforced the way forward with the McCarthy 'road map'. All of this has produced nothing, and it was laughable to talk of not being able to do it "overnight" when we have been waiting for 18 months. Read More...

Read Beyond Spats to True Value of McWilliams' Book

It would be a pity if the spats between David McWilliams and the various people who have taken mild offence at his remarks about them in 'Follow the Money' should distract us from the underlying value of what is really the only comprehensive road map through the economic crisis of the past year.

Vast armies of economists have offered their contributions at different stages, their advice and judgments creating conflict and dividing economic wisdom into different camps, factions that often do not hold together. Read More...