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Dublin: 9°C Monday 30 November 2020

#opinion and insight

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

Column: New year, new you – how to achieve your goals in 2014

New Year’s Resolutions are often broken early in the year, despite good intentions. Here’s how to make them a success, writes Ciara Conlon.

# opinion-and-insight - Sunday 29 December, 2013

Lisa McInerney: Pop culture in 2013 was full of wacky antics, highs, lows... and deceptive depth

Appropriated Twerking, Joffrey Bieber and the Reign of The Selfie… 2013 was full of ostensibly casual moments over which we could bond and track how our society is changing.

Column: Nordic Rebels – The Swede and Finn who fought in the GPO, 1916

The story of the two Nordic recruits to the cause of the Irish Republic remains one of the most remarkable of Easter Week, writes Damian Shiels.

Column: 10 years on, Ireland's human rights act has failed to deliver

The ECHR was introduced as a result of a pledge in the Good Friday Agreement to provide “at least an equivalent level of protection of human rights” in the Republic as in Northern Ireland. Ten years on, we have failed to live up to our promises, writes Michael Farrell.

# opinion-and-insight - Saturday 28 December, 2013

Column: We have harnessed technology to help the creative process

We live in an advanced and constantly evolving technical world, where our children learn to swipe and browse before they can read or write. So how have technological advances changed the world of animation over the years?

Column: On this day in the year 2020 – Irish universities

From an imagined post-2020 perspective, Dr James Heaney, Lecturer in English and Irish Studies, considers how our current third-level education crisis might play out in the near future.

# opinion-and-insight - Friday 27 December, 2013

Extract: Colm McCann on Dublin, Ulysses and friendship

“The book that I return to, when I return to Ireland, is always Ulysses… Death takes away a lot of things, but it can’t ever take away our stories.”

Column: Feeling bloated? Here's your guide to the best, safest way to detox...

Our reliance on processed and convenience food has created eating habits that are having an increasingly negative effect on our bodies. Detoxing in a gentle, sustainable way can be a great way to redress the balance, writes Dorcas Barry.

# opinion-and-insight - Thursday 26 December, 2013

Column: Want to break into the digital sector... but aren't sure how?

Several people working in the digital sector in Dublin share their impressions of the industry – and give some career advice to those wanting to pursue a path in that area.

Column: Just how independent are our independents?

Political epiphany or political expediency? Cllr. Joe Conway explores the reasons behind political candidates opting to go independent.

Column: Earth’s forgotten places – the locations humans have left behind

Take a look at some of the locations on Earth which human beings have abandoned.

# opinion-and-insight - Wednesday 25 December, 2013

Column: What’s it like to be Jewish at Christmas time in Ireland?

This week, as shopping centres heave with last minute shoppers, frenziedly hoovering up iPads and Playstations, clothing and jewellery, to the incessant strains of Jingle Bell Rock, what do the Jews do?

Column: Working as a firefighter over the festive period can be hard – but it’s worth it

Our control centre handles fire and rescue calls for the whole of Leinster, so we’re always busy, but Christmas and New Year can often be when we’re needed most, writes Trevor Hunt.

Column: Nothing guarantees peace on Earth like classic Christmas movie

In the midst of all this joyous chaos, it’s nice to be able to sit back and enjoy a holiday flick… but what exactly counts as a Christmas movie?

Column: What was the Christmas Star?

According to the Bible story, the Star of Bethlehem – or the Christmas Star – led the Three Wise men to the birth of Jesus 2,000 years ago. But was it an actual astronomic event?

# opinion-and-insight - Tuesday 24 December, 2013

Column: My Christmas in the Philippines after typhoon Haiyan

This year I’ll be spending Christmas on the island of Panay in the Philippines, where families have had their homes and their livelihoods wiped out by typhoon Haiyan, writes Clare Ahern.

Column: Uganda’s anti-gay law… what can you do?

The bloated Ugandan political class and their evangelical puppet masters respond to one thing only: money. If they see aid being withdrawn from their country, they might repeal this horrendous law, writes Paul O’Keeffe.

Column: What was Christmas food like in medieval Ireland?

Pottage, cheap pies and lethal take-aways; medieval spreads weren’t too appetising for commoners, writes Fin Dwyer.

# opinion-and-insight - Monday 23 December, 2013

Column: A disabled person’s view on the charity crisis

Charity is often framed as an alternative to welfare, the underlying assumption being that it provides a taxation-free way of helping others. In reality, it is a hierarchical relationship which allows us to escape our collective social obligations, writes Chris Lowe.

Column: I volunteer with Samaritans every Christmas. Here's why...

Sometimes people call Samaritans at Christmas who might never normally do so. It could be the first Christmas they are bereaved, the could feel isolated, or they could have major money worries. We’re there to listen.

# opinion-and-insight - Sunday 22 December, 2013

Column: Separation and divorce is hard for everyone – especially at Christmas

If you’re anxious about how Christmas is going to work out now that your family unit is changing, try to step back and prioritise, says Bernadette Ryan.

Column: Selfies and the history of self-portrait photography

Are selfies a side effect of digital culture? A sad form of exhibitionism? Maybe – but perhaps can also be seen as a kind of visual diary, a way to mark our short existence.

# opinion-and-insight - Saturday 21 December, 2013

Column: Let's look at the full story around social housing in Ireland...

There is real and personal housing need in Ireland, which affects individuals and families opportunities to develop their lives and contribution to society, writes Dr Padraic Kenna.

Column: In much of Europe, ‘asylum-seeker’ and ‘refugee’ have become dirty words

The UN Refugee Convention was born of the horrors of war – horrifying conflicts that tore Europe apart and left millions dead. How have we forgotten that so quickly?

Aaron McKenna: A functioning charity sector needs to pay well

People working in charities have mortgages and kids and wants and desires. The sector can’t hope to recruit and retain top class people, capable of running very complex operations, if they offer significantly less than the private sector.

# opinion-and-insight - Friday 20 December, 2013

Column: Technology is a double-edged sword – it can both liberate and enslave

A specific feature of the current global crisis is high youth unemployment. What’s more, this problem affects mainly and nearly exclusively developed countries. Sergiusz Prokurat asks: how can that be?

Column: We need to talk about 'The 12 Pubs'

The ‘12 pubs of Christmas’ silly season has effectively turned the whole Christmas season into one giant stag party, writes Mick McCarthy.

# opinion-and-insight - Thursday 19 December, 2013

Column: For many this Christmas, loneliness will turn the minutes into hours

It has been a brutal, punishing year for many people across this country. As we enter a new year, let’s focus on one another again and take the responsibility to lead others through this darkness and out the other side, writes Gareth O’Callaghan.

Column: Will the State meaningfully combat racism in Ireland?

A report released earlier this week about levels and experiences of racism in Ireland has provided an important, albeit brief, snapshot of racism in our country, writes James Carr.

# opinion-and-insight - Wednesday 18 December, 2013

Column: Have we become numb to the figures on clerical child abuse?

I am one of the fortunate survivors to have secured a criminal conviction against one of two Spiritan priests who sexually abused me. Last week’s national audits of the Catholic clergy show others are not so lucky, writes campaigner Mark Vincent Healy.

Column: The tobacco industry promotes a killer product – we should limit all interactions with it

More and more countries are attempting to introduce anti-smoking laws – and the multi-billion euro tobacco industry is responding by launching long, cripplingly expensive legal challenges. Ireland should not let itself by bullied, writes Senator John Crown.

Column: Our lack of willingness to promote transparency is damaging developing countries

Ireland cannot give with one hand to developing countries while facilitating tax avoidance at the same time, writes Morina O’Neill.

# opinion-and-insight - Tuesday 17 December, 2013

Column: Thousands of people in Ireland can't afford a basic meal every second day

Food poverty is a difficult – but very real – fact to accept in modern society. Ireland must now make a decision on how to implement a programme to tackle rising poverty and social exclusion, writes Emer Costello.

Extract: Looking for the farmer of your dreams?

Lorna Sixsmith, a self-described ‘farmerette’, takes a humorous yet realistic view of the trials and tribulations of a marriage interrupted by the demands of sheep, pigs and cantankerous goats.

Column: I’ve been the bullied and the bully – and here’s my advice to young people

When we teach children to ignore bullies, we teach them how to hide their anger from the people who are hurting them. In turn, their self-esteem can be eroded to the extent that asserting themselves is unimaginable, writes Clare Hartwieg.

# opinion-and-insight - Monday 16 December, 2013

Eamon Ryan: Who really won in the ESB dispute?

The key to this issue is whether the ESB will be able to pay pension contributions in 10 or 20 years time. It would be a bitter irony if the dispute itself has made the company weaker and less able to meet those commitments.

# opinion-and-insight - Sunday 15 December, 2013

Video blog: A brief history – Christmas, cheer, and commercialisation

What’s the true meaning of this holiday, again?

# opinion-and-insight - Saturday 14 December, 2013

Column: How planning can make sure Christmas is fun

Ciara Conlon gives some tips how to organise yourself for Christmas – and not get stressed out by the season.

Column: Stargazing for beginners – get the most out of these dark winter nights

Short days can hinder what we can do with our free time – but there is plenty to see and do at night, even in these days of less money to spend, astronomy is a surprisingly inexpensive (and often free!) hobby to enjoy, writes Conor Farrell.

# opinion-and-insight - Friday 13 December, 2013

Column: We can be the healthy masculinity we wish to see

The “rules” and maschismo that so many boys learn early in life has created a stifling idea of what it means to be a man. But we don’t need to be bound by these narrow ideas, writes Carlos Andrés Gómez.