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State of the Nation Address: What Kenny should say

“The Taoiseach’s first task is to provide a convincing framework of meaning around what the Government is proposing to do. He needs to set out a realistically optimistic framework. Let me define realistic optimism: the belief that with effort, and despite set-backs, and with no guarantees, good outcomes are possible and worth fighting for. “Every word of that definition counts... Read More

Posted: 30 November 2011

Article

Positive Change

From the moment you awoke this morning, deep in your brain, a little in-built meter has been keeping careful track of every instance of negative reaction – every niggling worry, disappointment, unsettling thought and less-than-happy memory; every frustrating interaction, every little burst of irritability, every unwelcome bit of news. This accumulating negativity is being balanced by the flow of positivity... Read More

Posted: 05 November 2011

Article

Queen and Obama visits can be benchmark for new beginning

Like magnificent ships, the Queen of England and the President of the United States sailed into Ireland. For the last two weeks, we were dazzled, delighted, almost beside ourselves with plain joy – although joy is never really plain. And now they are gone. But what a bounty they have left. They carried with them a cargo of goodwill –... Read More

Posted: 28 June 2011

Article

Proud Irish nation awaits a passionate call to arms

The turning of the year is always a slightly unsettling experience. As we sail away from the iron realities of the old year, we voyage with more hope than certainty into the new. This time round, in 2010, there is a growing feeling that we are nearing not just the end of a year, but the end of an era... Read More

Posted: 28 December 2010

Article

A dreary familiarity to this saddest of stories

The quiet hamlets of Cumbria – Wordsworth country – have now joined the grim global landscape of mass murder. Most of us cannot help trying to imagine the suffering among the uncomprehending bereaved, the horror of the local communities. We can do that because we feel empathy and compassion and can therefore imagine the consequences. Did Derrick Bird not think... Read More

Posted: 07 June 2010

Article

A historic opportunity for optimistic leadership

In a recent interview, Roddy Doyle, just returned from a week in the UK, remarked that it was a relief to be away from the non-stop coverage of the financial crisis here. People in the UK, it seemed, were just getting on with things. What was it about us, he mused, that left us unable to get this crisis out... Read More

Posted: 24 April 2010