Tag Archives: Dermot Ahern

Fixing the Bunreacht

There’s a constitutional amendment scheduled for October, to change our minds about the Lisbon treaty. This is an ideal opportunity for Dermot Ahern. He feels he must make blasphemy a crime, otherwise the people will go through the ‘costly and unwarranted diversion‘ of a referendum. But now he has an ideal chance to tack on an appropriate amendment. Just look how much tidier article 40.6 looks once you get rid… Read Article →

Does Dermot Ahern Read Blogs?

Does Dermot Ahern read this blog? On May Day, I wrote here that the justice minister’s proposal to create a criminal offence of blasphemous libel with a fine of up to €100000 was ‘a return to the brilliance that gave us revenue generating innovations like duty free shopping, DIRT tax, the airport departure tax.’ ‘We take our gods’ names in vain in this country … so casually, we don’t even… Read Article →

Blessed Be Mammon

Two weeks from now, Thursday 14 May, has been pencilled in as National Blasphemy Day. The idea is simple. To protest the proposal to make blasphemy a criminal offence, bloggers will ‘deliberately set out to grossly offend the religious sensitivities of as many religious believers as possible, with the clear intention of causing outrage’. The blasphemy law is annoying for several reasons, not least that, unlike picturegate, it’s not an… Read Article →

In The Name Of The Father

Dermot Ahern is going to make cussing a crime. The minister proposes to insert a new section into the Defamation Bill, creating an criminal offence if anyone ‘publishes or utters blasphemous matter’, leading to a large fine. ‘Blasphemy is anything ‘grossly abusive or insulting in relation to matters held sacred by any religion, thereby causing outrage among a substantial number of the adherents of that religion; and he or she… Read Article →

Threat Level

Justice minister Dermot Ahern says membership of a criminal gang will become a scheduled offence, to be tried in the Special Criminal Court. In the last chapter of Chaos and Conspiracy, when I considered the lessons to be learned from what happened in Donegal a decade ago, I wrote this: “The Gardaí need effective oversight – for their own sake and for the sake of the people of Ireland. Models… Read Article →

Experience

Consider the following: Biffo and Dermot Ahern were solicitors. Micheál Martin, Mary Harney, Mary Hanafin and Noel Dempsey were secondary school teachers. Mary Coughlan was a social worker. Brian Lenihan was a lecturer and qualified barrister. Willie O’Dea was a qualified barrister and accountant. Batt O’Keeffe was a lecturer. Brendan Smith was a political handler. Éamon Ó Cuív was a Co-op manager. Martin Cullen was a wine salesman. John Gormley… Read Article →

Ich bin ein Hamburger

Finance Minister Brian Lenihan has outlined a package of measures aimed at saving €440m in public spending this year. In an unexpected move, the Cabinet announced it would set an example for other state agencies by curbing its own excesses. Taoiseach Brian Cowen will lead the way, restricting himself to traditional ballads during late night sing-along sessions to save on fees to IMRO. State banquets in Farmleigh House for visiting… Read Article →

Identity Politics

One in eight who voted No to the Lisbon treaty say they did so to protect Irish identity. What does that mean? Is it simply a polite way of saying no to immigration, the reason given by one percent of those asked? Perhaps. But I think there’s another meaning. After asking voters why they voted, Eurobarometer then asked what they thought the consequences would be. The answers are illuminating. Five… Read Article →

Autrefois Acquit

The Dáil is getting over the shock of the defeat on the Lisbon referendum. Today, an almighty row broke out when justice minister Dermot Ahern didn’t show up to a debate on the renewal of the Offences Against the State Act. The row broke out for a second time when Fine Gael learned he was at a press conference instead. This was a cynical political move designed to distract attention… Read Article →