Bruce Arnold

Critic of Public Affairs, writing about art, theatre, music and politics

It's time to steer a course away from euro chaos

The following is a deliberate simplification of the options facing this country, putting them into three categories that should be readily understood by all men and women concerned about Ireland's sovereignty, Ireland's future and Ireland's relationship with Europe.

The whole country accepts that it is in our best interest to remain part of Europe. All Irish people respect the value of the European Union now and in the future, and the huge benefit membership has been to us in the past. Read More...

We must stop bickering and accept painful cuts

The assessment that we should now be making about last week's government announcements is a complex one. The range of change and reform is extensive.

Huge courage is needed to stick with the programme in the face of inevitable argument and criticism. And skill in presenting it to the public is a vital part of the approach.

I remain both optimistic and confident about the men and women in government who are working as a team under sound leadership and should be supported in the days ahead. Read More...

Higgins's grand ambitions hindered from the start

President Michael D Higgins starts out on a difficult road. He does so with considerable confidence and the inspiring use of language. He has put an optimistic shape on his own future and offered it to the country to follow as best they can. Some will do so with hope in their hearts. Others will be more sceptical.

He has rightly confined himself to the future since the past hardly bears consideration. In the immediate past, we have come through the worst presidential campaign the country has ever seen. Behind a patina of almost ludicrous politeness during the candidates' debates there lurked dishonesty, misrepresentation, concealment and a diet of platitudes. Read More...