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Saturday 30 March, 2013

Aaron McKenna: Is this the new party we’ve been waiting for?

Running in its first ever election, Direct Democracy Ireland came fourth with 6.5 per cent of the vote in Meath East, which could show the Irish people desire for a real change in how the country works, writes Aaron McKenna.

Saturday 23 March, 2013

Column: The UK is exploring its shale gas future, we should do the same

Fracking is an emotively driven environmental issue – but the Irish government could do worse than follow the UK in opening up the market here for exploration, writes Aaron McKenna.

Saturday 16 March, 2013

Column: If you want to eat fatty foods go ahead – but you should pay for the consequences

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg had his proposal to outlaw big sugary drinks shot down – but the incident has nevertheless raised questions about where personal freedom ends and government obligation begins, writes Aaron McKenna.

Saturday 9 March, 2013

Column: Chávez was a charismatic leader - but his economic legacy should be a warning

We’ve lost a colourful world leader who genuinely seemed to have the best interests of his people at heart. But the facts don’t lie – Chávez’s economic legacy is a warning against statist socialism, writes Aaron McKenna.

Saturday 2 March, 2013

Column: Croke Park II underlines the need for a unilateral approach to public sector reform

The success of Defence Forces reform could serve as a blueprint for correcting excesses in the wider public sector system, writes Aaron McKenna.

Saturday 23 February, 2013

Column: The correct handling of the promissory note savings is vital for Ireland

The knowledge that there is now €1 billion of wiggle room on the table could promote further reluctance to change, writes Aaron McKenna.

Saturday 16 February, 2013

Column: Industrial action by gardaí is unacceptable - and here's why

Cuts to garda pay and conditions are shameful and short-sighted – but officers have a civic duty that overrides any option of industrial action, writes Aaron McKenna.

Saturday 9 February, 2013

Column: Magdalenes deserve the respect they were denied for so long - and a proper apology

The link between the State and the Magdalene laundries is clear – and survivors should be granted redress so they may have some comfort in the autumn of their lives, writes Aaron McKenna.

Saturday 2 February, 2013

Aaron McKenna: This apology for Jerry McCabe’s death should not be slated

You may not agree with Sinn Féin, but criticising Gerry Adams for apologising is pure political point-scoring.

Saturday 26 January, 2013

Aaron McKenna: Waiting 25 hours to be taken to hospital? It’s quite normal

Those with mental health problems do not deserve the indignities they suffer – but they have always been the poor relation in our system.

Saturday 19 January, 2013

Aaron McKenna: Our nearest neighbour may leave the EU. Here’s why.

The bureaucracy, waste and profligacy of the EU repulses many people, writes Aaron McKenna – so is it any surprise the UK might want to exit?

Saturday 12 January, 2013

Aaron McKenna: Regulate social media? No – we need a free speech law

There are troubling restrictions on our free expression in Ireland. We should follow the US and give it explicit protection – even if that means some vitriol.

Saturday 5 January, 2013

Aaron McKenna: Changing the car reg plates is a good idea if it saves jobs

If it persuades people not to put off buying a car in 2013 – either through superstition or vanity – it will be a worthwhile exercise, writes Aaron McKenna.

Saturday 22 December, 2012

Aaron McKenna: Gender pay gap is a major problem… for all of us

And the solution is far more complex than equal-pay legislation – it goes to the roots of our social system.

Saturday 15 December, 2012

Aaron McKenna: Plight of nurses exposes futility of the Croke Park deal

We’re breaking the hiring freeze to staff our health service – and the new entrants will be taking the pay cuts nobody else wants.

Saturday 8 December, 2012

Aaron McKenna: Where will Ireland be after two more Budgets?

The opposition’s reaction to Budget 2013 has been standard stuff. Will any party be credible the next time Ireland votes?

Saturday 1 December, 2012

Aaron McKenna: Another tough Budget… but do the numbers add up?

With another €3billion in austerity on the way, the Government’s economic forecasts are starting to look more like fairy tales.

Saturday 24 November, 2012

Aaron McKenna: As usual, Ireland only acts when we’re shamed into it

The death of Savita Halappanavar shows once again that we delay proper action until an international outcry forces our hand.

Saturday 17 November, 2012

Aaron McKenna: Large pay packets aren’t an injustice – they’re a reward

Controversy over generous pension arrangements for executives means we risk throwing the baby out with the bathwater.

Saturday 10 November, 2012

Aaron McKenna: We need a robust civics education if we want informed citizens

CSPE should educate on how the economy, government and tax fits together, rather than just how proportional representation works, writes Aaron McKenna.

Saturday 3 November, 2012

Aaron McKenna: Should we turn off the tap of Irish aid to other countries?

So €4m in Irish aid may have been misappropriated in Uganda. Can we afford to keep giving – or can we afford to stop?

Saturday 27 October, 2012

Aaron McKenna: The Constitution is ours – so why aren’t we writing it?

Real people power would look very different to this fiction of engagement.

Saturday 20 October, 2012

Aaron McKenna: We know Ireland has talent – why stop it from growing?

Ireland’s ‘knowledge economy’ is actually waiting to happen, writes Aaron McKenna.

Saturday 13 October, 2012

Aaron McKenna: Ireland used to have an opposition. Where is it now?

Fianna Fáil is hobbled and Sinn Féin aren’t credible – so Irish politics isn’t working properly.

Saturday 6 October, 2012

Aaron McKenna: Enda is the darling of Time – but there’s trouble in Fine Gael

A proxy war is under way against the Taoiseach from within his own party, writes Aaron McKenna.

Saturday 29 September, 2012

Aaron McKenna: How we all missed the week’s biggest story

Roisin Shortall’s resignation dominated the news this week – which may be a relief for some in Government.

Saturday 22 September, 2012

Aaron McKenna: What are we paying for the Dáil’s pointless pantomime?

Much Dáil business is an empty stage show – but there is a way we could make it better.

Saturday 15 September, 2012

Column: The property tax shows our leaders are banking on another bubble

Our Government appears to be depending on another round of runaway price inflation, writes Aaron McKenna – but where does that leave us?

Saturday 8 September, 2012

Column: Let’s get real – Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil should be in coalition

Labour isn’t happy in Government and Fianna Fáil merely snipe, writes Aaron McKenna. Why shouldn’t our two historically opposed parties get together?

Saturday 1 September, 2012

Column: Have we lost the ambition that put a man on the moon?

These are financially difficult times – but that doesn’t mean we should abandon the big projects that advance human knowledge, writes Aaron McKenna.

Saturday 25 August, 2012

Column: Airport debacle shows how unions have lost touch with workers

Irish unions have an auspicious history – but many have lost touch with the reality of the modern jobs market, writes Aaron McKenna.

Saturday 18 August, 2012

Column: Should the rich give back their benefits? No – it’s the wrong question.

This idea is a cover for the Government’s ineptitude, writes Aaron McKenna. Have we forgotten the point of social welfare?

Saturday 11 August, 2012

Column: Our obsession with ‘insults’ against Ireland is a waste of energy

There was anger when Katie Taylor was ‘claimed’ as British – but such a reaction exposes our insecurity, writes Aaron McKenna.

Saturday 4 August, 2012

Column: Unemployment stats mislead us – our ‘jobs plan’ is a dud rocket

With 200,000 long-term unemployed we’ve still got our heads in the sand, writes Aaron McKenna.

Saturday 28 July, 2012

Column: Yes, booze causes problems – but why tar us all with the same brush?

Proposals to hike the minimum price of alcohol are penalising moderate drinkers for the sins of those who have bigger problems, writes Aaron McKenna.

Saturday 21 July, 2012

Column: Call that a stimulus? What we need is a tax cut.

The ‘stimulus’ announced this week won’t even move the needle, writes Aaron McKenna. So what should be done?

Saturday 14 July, 2012

Column: Yes, we need a banking inquiry – but we can’t let politicians do it

Have you ever seen our TDs in action? They’re hardly the people to investigate this complex – and untrustworthy – industry, writes Aaron McKenna.

Saturday 7 July, 2012

Column: Centra’s gaffe isn’t the real problem here – our welfare system is

It’s not news that some benefits are spent on alcohol, writes Aaron McKenna. Time for a simple change to the system.

Saturday 30 June, 2012

Column: We need a whole new type of Budget for Ireland. Here's how to do it.

It is ridiculous to plan an incredibly complex €50 billion budget in less than six months – but there is an alternative, writes Aaron McKenna.

Saturday 23 June, 2012

Column: Ireland will never care for its people until we admit our own guilt

Revelations over child deaths are just the latest in a long line – and nothing will change unless we move beyond scapegoats, writes Aaron McKenna.