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#opinion and insight

# opinion-and-insight - Saturday 18 January, 2014

Column: Living for love, dying because of hate – the rising tide of homophobia in Africa

Jean-Claude Roger Mbebe died an untimely death last week, after his family allegedly prevented him from receiving necessary medical treatment. He had been previously been convicted of “homosexuality and attempted homosexuality” and imprisoned.

Aaron McKenna: We’re a nation of mass dog murderers

About 5,500 dogs are euthanised in Ireland every year – most are perfectly healthy. The only reason they have to die is because otherwise ordinary people are happy to turn a blind eye to the appalling consequences of their actions.

# opinion-and-insight - Friday 17 January, 2014

Column: Can Ireland become a world leader in renewable energy production?

A national renewable energy planning strategy should consider all technologies – not just wind – while proper planning can address fears surrounding adverse local environmental impacts, writes Seán O’Leary.

# opinion-and-insight - Thursday 16 January, 2014

Column: Misuse of isolation rooms shows how badly we're failing autistic children

With class sizes increasing and support services reduced, autistic children are not getting the education or the care they’re entitled to, writes Niamh Deane.

Column: Tragic case of newborn boy highlights unmarried fathers' lack of rights

A Dublin hospital has secured a court order to withdraw life-support from a severely brain-damaged baby whose his young mother died after delivery. As the child’s parents were unmarried, the father was not deemed the legal guardian.

Column: Should PE be an exam subject in schools? YES.

We have the opportunity to develop a course on basic human nutrition, physical education and life skills to young people, other than just playing some games – so let’s take it, writes Steve Doody.

# opinion-and-insight - Wednesday 15 January, 2014

Column: The people should have a say in planning Ireland's energy grid

Rebuilding the grid will take more than a decade and we are still at the start. Now is the time to change the process from an adversarial one to a truly participative project developed in the public interest, writes Ossian Smyth.

Column: Behind the veil – a new era has begun for family courts

The easing of the in camera rule in Irish family courts will see many social issues come to light – many of which may have been hidden behind from the public for generations, writes Katherine Irwin.

Column: Give the Dáil a conscience – let our representatives speak their minds

The whip system denies elected representatives their rights and belittles our democracy, writes Colm Bergin.

# opinion-and-insight - Tuesday 14 January, 2014

Column: There isn't a 'right' way to die. Journalists should recognise that.

Lisa Bonchek Adams was diagnosed with breast cancer seven years ago, and has since publicly chronicled her experiences online. Journalists asking whether this is ‘too public’ are asking the wrong questions, writes Marie Ennis-O’Connor.

Column: Our new in-camera Family Court legislation is a sham

The unlimited powers given by to judges in our Family Courts may continue to prevent the public from finding out what has transpired, writes Gerry Fahey.

Column: Our emigrated youth are still part of this country

As Ireland begins to recover its economy but continues to lose its youth, it’s more important than ever to forge strong ties with our diaspora, writes David Shanahan Burns.

# opinion-and-insight - Monday 13 January, 2014

Column: We are registering a new political party and taking this government to task

With the National Independent Party registering with the Oireachtas tomorrow, acting party chairman Martin Critten writes that this is Ireland’s opportunity for real reform.

Column: The Reform Alliance – should we expect radical change... or more of the same?

The new political alliance espouses reform; however, there appears to be little real questioning of the nature of that ‘reform’ or who stands to benefit from it, writes Rory Hearne.

Column: Will we see a UKIP victory in the European Parliament elections?

The rise of hard right eurosceptic parties ahead of the Euro-Elections is causing some murmurs of concern. But do we really have anything to worry about?

# opinion-and-insight - Sunday 12 January, 2014

Column: Ashes to Ashes, Stardust to Stardust

It’s been said that we are all made of ‘starstuff’. It’s an awe-inspirining statement, but how accurate is it? Conor Farrell explains.

# opinion-and-insight - Saturday 11 January, 2014

Column: Cut the 'fat talk' in front of kids

Discussing diets and weight loss resolutions may seem normal during January, but remember that impressionable young minds are taking it all in, writes Laura Larkin.

Column: The life and times of the great Irish suffragette

Throughout her career, Hanna Sheehy-Skeffington strove simultaneously for national freedom and women’s rights, writes Leah Butler.

Aaron McKenna: Why does government make it safer to invest in houses than jobs?

Capital Gains Tax is a good way of making the rich pay their taxes – but it isn’t only the rich that invest into start-ups. This tax should be treated completely differently for job creation initiatives.

# opinion-and-insight - Friday 10 January, 2014

Lisa McInerney: The rise of personality in Hollywood gives us something to aspire to

We don’t want goddesses to worship. That’s why women like Jennifer Lawrence, Mindy Kaling, Laverne Cox and Melissa McCarthy and are as much loved as they are lauded.

Column: Gentleman and genius - remembering ‘internet elder’ Aaron Swartz

I met Aaron at Harvard when he was 24. It was immediately clear that he was not only a genius, but also a gentleman who was wise beyond his years.

# opinion-and-insight - Thursday 9 January, 2014

Column: Operation Emigration – is the Government trying to give us the shove?

High youth unemployment, education cuts, and JobBridge… am I the only one thinking the Government is trying to get rid of us?

Column: Boston and NYC – a tale of two new mayors

Both New York and Boston have elected new mayors to replace long-term incumbents. Larry Donnelly takes a look at what we should expect to see from Bill de Blasio and Martin Walsh.

Column: The State’s new year resolution should be to cherish all children equally

Cuts introduced since the beginning of the economic crisis have had a devastating effect on lone parent families, writes Louise Bayliss.

# opinion-and-insight - Wednesday 8 January, 2014

Column: Yes, State legal spending is significant – but it’s an investment in our democracy

What distinguishes a democracy from other systems is a fair balance between the might of the State – which has very substantial legal resources at its disposal – and the capacity of citizens to challenge its power, writes Noeline Blackwell.

Column: Why are so many vital services being provided by charities in the first place?

We must – of course – question the behaviour and practises of Irish charities, but should also ask why they are providing so many vital services instead of the State, writes Ruairí McKiernan.

Column: Bi the way… sexuality isn’t just ‘straight or gay’

A frequent misconception when someone comes out as bisexual is that they’ve only stepped ‘halfway out of closet’. This view ignores the fact that human sexuality exists on a continuum, writes Odhrán Allen.

# opinion-and-insight - Tuesday 7 January, 2014

Column: Are these the drones we're looking for?

Machine autonomy has long been a staple of science fiction – but that may be coming to an end with plans to use drones for domestic delivery, writes David Gunkel.

Column: Ireland's rural community is being ignored over wind energy concerns

Ireland’s rural citizens are victims of abusive domestic planning and an externally-driven energy policy from Europe, writes Declan Doyle.

Column: The EU’s Eastern Partnership in tatters – is a fresh energy strategy the answer?

The creation of a vibrant renewable energy sector would not only give the EaP countries energy independence, it would also reduce Russian political interference in their affairs, writes David Moloney.

# opinion-and-insight - Monday 6 January, 2014

Column: From radio to YouTube, advertising is evolving with us

Nowadays many programmes are watched on social media platforms instead of TV, and are often derided as examples of “branded entertainment” – but they’re just newer versions of an old advertising strategy, writes Cynthia B. Meyers.

Column: Having ‘the’ chat with your children… how to talk about sex and puberty

Parents are often unsure about how much to say to their children about sex – and at what age – but a little preparation goes a long way, writes Martina Newe.

# opinion-and-insight - Sunday 5 January, 2014

Column: Limerick City of Culture must not be allowed to fail

The City of Culture is a very important and valuable project for Limerick – and it can still be a success. But there are considerable issues and concerns to be addressed first, writes Sandra McLellan TD.

# opinion-and-insight - Saturday 4 January, 2014

Column: It's wrong to limit the debate over Anglo-Irish relations to partition alone

Gerry Adams is wrong to say that the time for a new Anglo-Irish relationship is now; the relationship has already been changing, writes Ryan Gray.

# opinion-and-insight - Friday 3 January, 2014

Column: Hey, ads! Stop looking at me while I'm on the toilet!

When the ads you never asked to see are so invasive that they even follow you into the toilet, you have every right to take a stand against it, writes Clare Hartwieg.

# opinion-and-insight - Thursday 2 January, 2014

Column: Considering Benazir Bhutto’s mixed legacy, six years on…

Following the sixth anniversary of the the assassination of the former Pakistani Prime Minister, T.V. Paul considers the legacy that Benazir Bhutto left behind.

Column: Failure of Haass talks highlights two serious problems in modern Northern Ireland

The ‘silo mentality’ of Stomont doesn’t solve controversial issues or give the public confidence in politics – and it’s the reason Haass came up against a brick wall when he tried to forge common ground, writes David McCann.

# opinion-and-insight - Wednesday 1 January, 2014

Column: Pope Francis is considering the needs of survivors of clerical child sexual abuse

As yet, the Papal Commission initiative is quite short on details; I see opportunity and hope in this ‘space’ but it will take courage to enter it from both sides, writes Mark Vincent Healy.

Column: New Year's resolutions are dreams – and anyone can achieve their dreams

Thinking of going to Everest as a lady weighing 23 stone probably wasn’t a realistic expectation, but it was a dream. I used my determination to achieve my goal – and you can too, writes Teena Gates.

# opinion-and-insight - Monday 30 December, 2013

Larry Donnelly: Transatlantic Reflections on the Political Year 2013

Obamacare, government shutdown and the Smithwick Tribunal; 2013 was a year of political intrigue both in Ireland and the US, writes Larry Donnelly.