I am so at home in Dublin, more than any other city, that I feel it has always been familiar to me. It took me years to see through its soft charm to its bitter prickly kernel - which I quite like too.

Sean Byrne

Gimme Shelter

The schemes and stratagems that help the rich stay rich

Whitewashed

Bundesbank president Wilhelm Vocke retired, laden with honours, in 1957 and was replaced by Karl Blessing. Both men had cheerfully served the Nazi regime. They could be rehabilitated because they fell out with the Nazis on monetary policy, though not, it seems, on any other matter.

The Thieves’ International

Corruption indices which place countries like the UK and Luxembourg near the virtuous top while Uzbekistan and South Sudan are at the bottom are misleading. It is the financial and legal systems of the UK and Luxembourg that help the kleptocrats of Uzbekistan and South Sudan steal from their people.

For Nothing

Groups which benefited hugely from NAMA were the lawyers, estate agents and surveyors whose businesses had been hit by the bursting of the bubble. As the government cut allowances for carers and deprived the chronically sick of medical cards, €2.6 billion was set aside for professional fees.

Money with Morals

Ireland’s reliance on multinational investment puts it in the demeaning position of having to constantly adapt to the changing needs of multinational companies. Meanwhile, our fiercely defended low rate of corporation tax is under severe threat now that our main ally in defending it is leaving the EU.

Not Our Fault

A senior official of Ireland’s Department of Finance concludes that all the officials he worked with in the run-up to the country’s economic collapse were dedicated, hard-working and of the highest intellectual ability. If this were the case why did they not see the crisis coming?

The Rich Man in his Castle

Few now believe that the positions of the high and the lowly are ordained by God, but the increasingly entrenched political defenders of the super-rich still maintain that massive inequality is in the nature of things and must at all costs be preserved. As Gore Vidal said and Thomas Piketty’s study confirms, it’s not enough to succeed - others must fail.

The day the ATM broke

The most dispiriting aspect of our economic crisis five years on has been the absence of the political courage needed to implement the radical political, economic and administrative reforms that would make Ireland competitive in the way that other small open European economies are competitive.