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#Q&A

# qa - Sunday 11 August, 2013

From The42 Semi-final focus: 10 questions for Cork's Anthony Nash Rebels

Semi-final focus: 10 questions for Cork's Anthony Nash

Rebel keeper Anthony Nash on his “second debut”, boxing in Vegas, and that time he met Keano…

# qa - Thursday 8 August, 2013

'Australian men don't tell' says Julian Assange of Sweden sex allegations

“Unfortunately, to a degree, I am an Australian and therefore Australian men don’t like talking about their private lives”.

# qa - Friday 12 July, 2013

Friday Legend Focus: 10 questions for Dublin's Ciaran Whelan

Brian O’Driscoll, Barney Rock, The US Masters and Paul Mannion all come up for discussion.

# qa - Saturday 22 June, 2013

What's on the EU's digital agenda? Free roaming, 4G and a better Internet for kids

TheJournal.ie sits down with the head of the EU’s Digital Agenda Robert Madelin for a Q&A.

# qa - Thursday 2 May, 2013

From The42 5 questions for the Cork and Galway U21 football managers

5 questions for the Cork and Galway U21 football managers

John Cleary and Alan Flynn on the key issues as the Rebels and the Tribesmen prepare for Saturday’s All-Ireland U21 final.

# qa - Saturday 13 April, 2013

Twitterchat: Same-sex marriage and adoption rights in Ireland

Non-profit organisation, DailWatch.ie, is holding a discussion about it later today.

# qa - Saturday 16 February, 2013

How a 'nice girl' ended up working as a phone sex operator

One hotline operator told an online Q&A she thought of her role as “an acting job”. Here’s her testimony.

# qa - Sunday 3 February, 2013

Twitterchat: Have your say on politics in Ireland

Non-profit organisation, DailWatch.ie, is holding a discussion on Twitter about it this Wednesday.

# qa - Saturday 19 January, 2013

17 questions for the co-founder of Innocent (the smoothie people)

Richard Reed on the Coke connection, accessing credit and getting to Rio 2016.

# qa - Wednesday 3 October, 2012

From The Daily Edge These are just some of the things you can't ask One Direction Q And A

These are just some of the things you can't ask One Direction

Or Harry will give you stink-face.

# qa - Sunday 26 August, 2012

Irish man teams up with Kenyans to give "trade without aid" Kenya This post contains images

Irish man teams up with Kenyans to give "trade without aid"

What is it like founding an organisation that offers trade without aid in Kenya? Corkonian James Hennessy, who founded Development Pamoja, tells us.

# qa - Thursday 21 June, 2012

From The42 Ireland's Call - Part Three: You asked, O'Driscoll and Kidney answered Summer Tour

Ireland's Call - Part Three: You asked, O'Driscoll and Kidney answered

The Irish coach and captain fielded your questions as the team for the final Test against the All Blacks was announced.

# qa - Wednesday 20 June, 2012

From The42 Ronan O'Gara: 'I would have only been too happy to have a crack off that late penalty' Last Call

Ronan O'Gara: 'I would have only been too happy to have a crack off that late penalty' Exclusive

We caught up for a one-on-one chat with the Munster out-half ahead of his final Test match ever in New Zealand.

From The42 Ireland's Call - Part Three: Put your questions to Brian O'Driscoll and Declan Kidney Summer Tour

Ireland's Call - Part Three: Put your questions to Brian O'Driscoll and Declan Kidney

With the final Test coming up against the All Blacks on Saturday, we are giving you one last chance to put your queries to the Irish coach and captain.

# qa - Thursday 14 June, 2012

Ireland's Call - Part Two: You asked, O'Driscoll and Kidney answered

Your questions packed a punch this week but Brian and Declan did not shirk the challenge. Kevin McLaughlin had something to say too.

# qa - Wednesday 13 June, 2012

From The42 Ireland's Call - Part Two: Put your questions to the Irish team in New Zealand Tough Ask

Ireland's Call - Part Two: Put your questions to the Irish team in New Zealand

Get in touch with us to put your most searching queries to captain Brian O’Driscoll and coach Declan Kidney.

# qa - Wednesday 30 May, 2012

YOUR Fiscal Compact questions: Answers from Referendum Commission

We asked TheJournal.ie’s users to put forward their questions about what the Fiscal Compact actually MEANS and we would get straightforward answers. Here they are.

YOUR Fiscal Compact questions: Answers from European Policy Centre

We asked TheJournal.ie’s users to put forward their questions about what the Fiscal Compact actually MEANS and we would get straightforward answers. Here they are.

YOUR Fiscal Compact questions: Answers from ‘Yes’ side Fine Gael Simon Coveney

We asked TheJournal.ie’s users to put forward their questions about what the Fiscal Compact actually MEANS and we would get straightforward answers. Here they are.

YOUR Fiscal Compact questions: Answers from ‘No’ side Sinn Féin Pearse Doherty

We asked TheJournal.ie’s users to put forward their questions about what the Fiscal Compact actually MEANS and we would get straightforward answers. Here they are.

# qa - Saturday 18 February, 2012

From The42 Q & A: Dietmar Hamann Legend This post contains videos

Q & A: Dietmar Hamann

Yesterday we got a word in edgeways with thoroughly nice Scouse / German bloke Didi Hamann.

# qa - Thursday 26 May, 2011

Twestion Time: TheJournal.ie grills Ryan Tubridy LIVE on Twitter

A cheeky, rapid-fire lunchtime Q&A on Twitter

# qa - Wednesday 2 February, 2011

From The42 A Question of Sport: McIlroy reveals his love for custard creams and Rafa Nadal You Can't Be Serious! This post contains images

A Question of Sport: McIlroy reveals his love for custard creams and Rafa Nadal

… but not together. Although, to be fair, nobody asked him that question. We bring you ten of the highlights from the Hollywood star’s Twitter Q&A session this morning.

# qa - Monday 19 July, 2010

FINANCIAL NEWS today is dominated by the decision of the Moody’s investor service to downgrade Ireland’s rating from Aa1 to Aa2.

But what exactly does that mean – and will it hurt your pocket? Here’s our explanation of the whole thing.

Basically there are three main worldwide ratings agencies: Standard & Poor’s (or just ‘S&P’), Moody’s, and Fitch. Their jobs are to help investors assess the risk of investments in certain institutions, such as banks – or countries.

The basic function of these agencies, therefore, is to issue credit ratings. These, as you might guess, are broadly similar to the same credit rating an individual person might get.

If you’re good at making loan repayments or have a lot of money in the bank, you’ll get a good rating. If you struggle to repay your debts and don’t have much assets, you’ll get a lower rating and it therefore becomes tougher to borrow.

In essence, the credit rating of a country is just an impartial analysis of how safe it is to lend money to that country. And, as with people, those with higher credit ratings are more likely to negotiate better interest rates.

So how bad is an Aa2?

As the name might suggest, an ‘AAA’ (or “triple A”) rating is the best one the agency can offer, with progressively fewer As being given to lower rankings.

Ireland’s new score of Aa2 is still quite good, though – it’s the third-highest of the 21 different scores Moody’s assigns, and you need to get outside the top ten ratings before they start to refer to you as ‘junk’.

Investment in Irish bonds, according to the ranking, is of “very low credit risk”.

Moody’s actions today aren’t really that much of a shock, though – the move only brings the agency into line with the analysis of S&P and Fitch who have both degraded Ireland’s ratings in the recent past.

The change in rankings was also quite predictable given that the government has taken control of billions in debt through NAMA, meaning its future income is dependent on whether the unpredictable loans of developers and the like will be repaid.

So how will it hurt the country?

We’ll find out soon enough: Ireland is due to raise more cash for itself on world markets tomorrow, when it auctions off €1.5bn in debt in the form of ‘state bonds‘.

Investors buy a bond on the guarantee that Ireland will pay them a higher interest rate over its lifespan, and countries which are considered a risky investment are forced to offer higher interest rates to convince investors to opt in.

Naturally, of course, a higher interest rate means the government, through the National Treasury Management Agency, has to pay out slightly more – and needs slightly more income, through tax, to pay for it.

The last auction, in May, sold four-year bonds at an average rate of 3.11% and ten-year bonds at 4.72% – so we’ll be able to compare tomorrow’s results to that and see how the rating affects us then.