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#opinion and insight

# opinion-and-insight - Wednesday 11 December, 2013

Column: Heartbreak, misery and cloying sentimentality – the ingredients of any good Christmas song

We spend an entire month gearing ourselves up to the best day of the year with songs that document heartbreak, war, loneliness and The Wombles. Have we all gone mad?

# opinion-and-insight - Monday 9 December, 2013

Column: Domestic abuse in same-sex relationships isn't talked about – but it's real

When my girlfriend became abusive I didn’t know what to do. I felt scared and alone – but I also felt that I had to be a representative for other gay people, and that admitting to what was happening would let others down.

Column: What happens to Ireland if the UK exits the EU?

While Ireland has no say over the outcome of the UK referendum, we should already be working on contingency plans in the case of its exit from the union – as we stand to be the worst affected, writes John O’Donnell.

# opinion-and-insight - Sunday 8 December, 2013

Lisa McInerney: The Paris-Mandela hoax is a perfect sign of the times

Is it just a readiness to believe the worst, born of begrudgery, that allows us to fall for outrageous celebrity quotes?

Column: What you don’t know about emergency contraception (and why it might hurt you)

Revelations that emergency contraceptives were bring sold without a warning that their effectiveness could be compromised in women of a certain weight underlines the lack of holistic education about contraception and sexual health, writes Alison Begas.

# opinion-and-insight - Saturday 7 December, 2013

Column: Should Ireland join NATO?

Forging closer ties with NATO could enable Ireland to combat global terrorism writes Colm Ó Broin.

Column: No one wants to utter the ‘C’ word – but it’s a barrier to blossoming romance

Learning to manage your expectations is the secret to finding your ideal partner, but professional matchmakers find that one factor is consistently keeping Irish people from finding their love match…

# opinion-and-insight - Friday 6 December, 2013

Column: 'The plans we made together are gone now, Alzheimer’s is a most horrifying illness'

Shortly after Derek and I married, I began to notice something was amiss. I spent a lot of time in denial… but then he got his diagnosis.

Column: JobBridge isn't about helping people, it's about padding unemployment figures

Young people, and all of those who are unemployed, should not accept the choice the government is trying to offer us between emigration or life on the dole and in unpaid work, writes Kevin Coughlan.

# opinion-and-insight - Thursday 5 December, 2013

Column: Christmas can be a hard time for people – we all need support

People put a lot of pressure on themselves over Christmas, and the emphasis on making everything ‘perfect’ makes many feel inadequate, alone, or unable to cope. But there are ways to avoid anxiety, writes Ciaran Behan.

Video column: Gay X-Factor contestant abused, protests in Ukraine and Black Pete

The Unemployed Graduate’s news round-up discusses international stories that have sparked interest across the globe this week.

# opinion-and-insight - Wednesday 4 December, 2013

Column: Ireland could learn a lot from Hong Kong

Unlike other small open economies, Ireland does not have a single agency dedicated to fighting corruption; our failure to hold people to account for manifest wrongdoing sends a clear message to citizens and international investors.

Column: Restoring the Christmas bonus should be a no-brainer

A reintroduction of the Christmas bonus would be a huge boost for both people who rely on social welfare payments and for the economy, writes Patrick Nulty TD.

Column: Why are over two thirds of blind people in the world women?

It’s unimaginable to many in the developed world that a person could be last in line for medical care and education simply because of gender – but for millions of women this is the stark reality, writes Michael Marren.

# opinion-and-insight - Tuesday 3 December, 2013

Column: Women in Colombia are fighting back against the use of rape as a weapon of war

Sexual violence is perpetrated by security forces, guerrilla groups and paramilitaries in Colombia – with journalists and human rights defenders targeted alongside civilians. But despite considerable personal risks, women are fighting back.

Column: We need new ways to acknowledge grief in our rapidly changing society

The experience of the darker range of emotions is healthy and natural. But what happens when traditional grieving practises fade away, when your community experiences mass emigration, or your friendships move online?

Column: Ireland can be a centre of international investment AND indigenous innovation

Yes, we try to attract multinational companies to Ireland – but never at the cost of failing to support Irish entrepreneurs trying to grow more jobs at home, writes Damien English TD.

# opinion-and-insight - Monday 2 December, 2013

Column: Tarring all charities with the same brush hurts vulnerable people

Worried about how your charitable donation is being spent? Don’t cancel your contribution, ask where it’s going – and expect a straight answer, writes CEO of Fundraising Ireland Anne Hanniffy.

Column: The charity sector needs a legal and regulatory body – immediately

Following revelations that top-up payments were being made to staff of the Central Remedial Clinic, there is an urgent need for a comprehensive investigation into how charities are run in this country, writes Anne-Maree Quinn.

Column: Betting your business on the domestic Irish market is foolish, lazy and unnecessary

Being ‘the best in Ireland’ is too limited a goal for Irish businesses today; businesses should emulate Germany’s ‘Mittelstand’ approach to drive export growth, writes Patrick Burke.

# opinion-and-insight - Sunday 1 December, 2013

Column: The pain of debt is not quick – it is a ceiling that lowers inch by crucifying inch

What is debt, and why do we all buy into this debt culture? Jillian Godsil discusses her own financial problems and the unsustainable status quo of modern Ireland.

Column: Let's recognise and appreciate the fine men and women who have served Ireland

The 50th anniversary of the death of JFK elicited understandable emotion here… but we must also appreciate our home-grown peace brokers, inspiring figures, and everyday heroes, writes Colm Bergin.

# opinion-and-insight - Saturday 30 November, 2013

Column: Music changes lives – every young person should have the chance to learn

Through music education, many of society’s most vulnerable young people dare to dream of greater things for their futures, writes Chris Maher.

Aaron McKenna: Essential utilities like the ESB should be protected from strikes

Without power, our modern society cannot function normally – which is why workers at the ESB ought to be banned from striking and causing a total or partial power failure, writes Aaron McKenna.

# opinion-and-insight - Friday 29 November, 2013

Column: What's happening in the Central African Republic?

Horrific reports of violence have poured out of the Central African Republic this week – with summary executions and mass displacement terrifying civilian communities, writes MSF Director Jane-Ann McKenna.

Video column: Why is the link between mental health and alcohol so controversial?

The Irish public increasingly aware of the importance of mental health – but the role that alcohol plays in psychological problems remains taboo to many, says Katie Varvos.

Column: We have glimpsed the human misery which fills the pockets of Europe’s pimps and traffickers

We cannot pretend trafficking does not exist. Today experts from across the EU will meet for discussions in Dublin to support victims and bring the organised gangs to justice, writes Denise Charlton.

# opinion-and-insight - Thursday 28 November, 2013

Column: Thanksgiving is the only time of year I really miss America

There’s nowhere else in the world I’d rather be than Ireland… most of the time. But this is the one day of the year that I would give almost anything to be back in my home neighbourhood of East Milton, Boston, writes Larry Donnelly.

# opinion-and-insight - Wednesday 27 November, 2013

Column: The EU seems just as interested in your data as the NSA

Searching questions need to be asked over what type of data the EU retains – and what it does with this data, writes David Moloney.

Column: We have bypassed the opportunity to introduce a humane asylum process

Our Minister for Justice has bypassed the opportunity to introduce a humane and expedient way of processing asylum applications in favour of a new, unwieldy system which will lead only to further delays, writes Fiona Hurley.

# opinion-and-insight - Tuesday 26 November, 2013

Column: The countdown to Scotland's referendum is on – but many questions remain

The landmark referendum is to be held next September but, whatever the outcome, questions remain over how it might affect national identity and government policy in Scotland, England and Northern Ireland, writes Natalie Tennyson.

Column: Why don’t the Irish protest against austerity?

There is not much coverage of protests in the media, with the result that many people either don’t know about them or don’t feel like joining them, writes Julien Mercille.

# opinion-and-insight - Monday 25 November, 2013

Column: Eyes to the sky – Comet ISON might just be visible

Comet ISON is just days away from its close encounter with the sun, writes Conor Farrell, who tells us more about this ‘sungrazer’ comet.

# opinion-and-insight - Sunday 24 November, 2013

Column from the Philippines: ‘Driving through the city, I saw approximately 100 dead bodies’

The damage caused by Typhoon Yolande is almost impossible to put into words, writes Eoghan Rice, who is on the ground in the Philippines.

# opinion-and-insight - Friday 22 November, 2013

Column: Some day we might have an Ireland that truly meets the aspirations of JFK

Fifty years ago, JFK said Ireland had something to give to the world. That’s still true, writes Ben English.

# opinion-and-insight - Thursday 21 November, 2013

Column: We need family friendly politics if we want more women in the Dáil

Italian MEP Licia Ronzulli has brought her daughter to work with her since she was a baby in a bid to highlight the difficulties faced by working mothers, something Irish politics needs to look at, writes Regina Doherty TD.

Video column: The Occupy Movement, Mayor Ford, controversial shirts and topless Kim

The Unemployed Graduate’s round-up discusses four international stories that have sparked interest across the globe.

Column: ‘We must work together to solve the youth unemployment problem’

We cannot afford to raise young peoples’ hopes and then dash them with empty promises, writes James Doorley, Deputy Director at the National Youth Council of Ireland.

Column: Minimum standards and regulations of rental properties should be enforced

Landlords shouldn’t be allowed to rent a property unless it meets minimum legal standards and they held a cert to prove this, writes Bob Jordan.

# opinion-and-insight - Wednesday 20 November, 2013

Column: ‘I find it upsetting that you can legally strike your children as a form of discipline’

Ireland needs to follow the lead of other countries and make corporal punishment illegal, writes Tanya Ward.