Analysis > Claire Byrne

Women’s football took a hard knock this week

It’s one thing to lose the final game in the Championship by just one excruciating point, but it’s quite another to know that when the final whistle blew, you had missed out on a crucial point that should have been awarded. The point was scored by Dublin player Carla Rowe, but the umpire called it wide and ultimately Cork took their sixth all-Ireland in a row with a scoreline of 1-7 to 1-6. The Hawk-Eye system used to verify disputed …

Backing the bus drivers?

Tomorrow, bus commuters will be wearing out the shoe leather again when Dublin Bus drivers switch off their engines for another two-day strike. When the Luas drivers took similar action, they were almost universally condemned for their decision. It is interesting that the bus drivers haven’t been subject to the same derision. This is despite the fact that while 80,000 people use the Luas every day, some 400,000 people will be affected by the bus strike. Intrigued by the contrast …

Back to the smoke-filled rooms?

In John Leonard’s book, Dub Sub Confidential, about his life and the GAA, he talks about what it’s like to be the substitute wishing in hope to get a go on the pitch during a big game or indeed any game. John describes in fascinating detail how he wished that Stephen Cluxton, a man on his own team, would be sent off the pitch, either through foul or injury to allow him on in his place. But, you need to be careful what you wish for. It was …

Diplomatic impunity?

  Most people think it’s not appropriate for Sabina Higgins to make public comments on abortion. We asked the question of our Claire Byrne Live/Amárach Research Smartphone panel and 46% of respondents felt that the wife of President Michael D Higgins should not have said anything about abortion, 42% thought it was appropriate and 12% didn’t know. There is nothing in the constitution preventing the spouse of the President from making comments about whatever he or she wants. It has merely …

Time to sanction Garda right to strike?

Next week, members of the Garda Representative Association will meet in Killarney against the backdrop of huge unrest in the force over pay and conditions. The GRA meeting has been preceded by district gatherings, most notably in Cork, where members have said that their pay and conditions, particularly for new entrants is unsustainable. New Gardaí are paid €23,000 per annum and have lost an allowance for rent which was worth over €4000 a year. In fact, Gardaí say their salaries …

Anything for Gov.

When they start using the wisdom of Meat Loaf, you know the campaign has taken its toll on politicians. With the spectre of a hung Dáil looming, a candidate told me this week that politicians will do anything to avoid a second general election. Does that include doing deals with sworn enemies I asked. ‘We’ll do anything to avoid another campaign, but we won’t do that’ was the emphatic reply and the nod was duly given to the Meat Loaf …

Limerick Leaders

I went wrong three times trying to find the hotel in Limerick where we would be staying on Monday night after the leaders’ debate. I could see the building I was trying to reach, but it took two spins around the roundabout and one wrong turn before I got there. It’s true to my form when I have lots on my mind – something has to give and in this instance it was my navigation skills. Having eventually checked in …

Jury’s out on the Special Criminal Court

The very existence of the Special Criminal Court has become an unexpected battleground in the election campaign. The court is used to try cases without a jury, where it’s believed that juries and witnesses could be at risk of intimidation. It’s on the agenda because of the violent gun attack in the Regency Hotel in Dublin last weekend, where an audacious shooting was carried out by criminals dressed as Gardaí. One man was shot dead and two are being treated …

Labour Fights for Survival

It can’t be easy, facing into an election where the voters will decide whether they want to keep you in the corridors of power, cast you onto the opposition benches, or throw you out of Leinster House altogether. The polls suggest that the Labour Party has a hard landing coming once the votes are cast, but from what I gathered at the weekend party conference, the party knows that it has a fight on its hands. In the Mullingar Park …

Will flood levy cause a new storm?

Insurance offers protection against risk, but not against certainty – this is the cold-comfort response that homeowners in areas prone to flooding get when they question why they can’t get covered. Many people who have been hit by the recent floods will be left to pick up the pieces without the help of a cheque from an insurance claim; often because they were flooded before and so couldn’t get the cover that they needed. The people whose homes, land and …

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