Ireland

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    The UK needs to come up with flexible and imaginative solutions for the Irish border

The UK needs to come up with flexible and imaginative solutions for the Irish border

The future relationship between the UK and the EU following Brexit has the potential to alter the nature of the border between the UK and Ireland. Katy Hayward considers how the three most likely scenarios would translate into trade relations and what the result would be for the UK-Irish border.

The European Council has given an unusual playing card to the UK government by […]

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    A hard Irish border is quite possible, a frictionless one is an oxymoron

A hard Irish border is quite possible, a frictionless one is an oxymoron

The prospects for ‘frictionless’ and ‘invisible’ solutions for the Irish border after Brexit are limited. Katy Hayward outlines a ‘practical’ summary of the difference that would be made by a ‘hard’ Brexit to the movement of goods across the Irish border. 

Michel Barnier’s dismissal of the notion of ‘frictionless’ trade between the UK and EU after Brexit has direct ramifications for one of the […]

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    Ireland and Brexit: Turning potential negative consequences into bargaining leverage

Ireland and Brexit: Turning potential negative consequences into bargaining leverage

Ireland is arguably the EU state with the most to lose from Brexit, given its close relationship with the UK. Anthony Costello argues that although the UK’s decision to leave could have clear negative economic and political consequences for Ireland, there is also an opportunity for the country to use the situation to increase its bargaining power and gain meaningful […]

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    Northern Ireland illustrates the threat Brexit poses for the UK’s political stability

Northern Ireland illustrates the threat Brexit poses for the UK’s political stability

Northern Ireland held elections on 2 March against the backdrop of the UK’s preparations for leaving the European Union. Janice Morphet writes that Brexit raises several important questions about Northern Ireland’s status within the UK which could also have a major impact on the nature of devolution across the rest of the country.

Despite the intermittent warm words and flying […]

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    New routes to old goals: The strategic transformation of Sinn Féin and the IRA

New routes to old goals: The strategic transformation of Sinn Féin and the IRA

What does it mean for a radical or separatist group to moderate – does it change its values and goals in the process or only the ways it communicates them? Looking at the case of Irish republicans, Matthew Whiting explains how Sinn Féin and the IRA came to change their behaviour but not necessarily their goals, while also emphasising the importance […]

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    Daniel Mulhall, Irish Ambassador: Why I hope the UK will remain in the European Union

Daniel Mulhall, Irish Ambassador: Why I hope the UK will remain in the European Union

If Britain chose to leave the European Union, it would not only have an effect inside the UK, but also on the rest of Europe. In the final month of the referendum campaign, we will be featuring comments from some of Europe’s Ambassadors to the UK on how they view a potential Brexit. Daniel Mulhall, Ireland’s Ambassador, writes on […]

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    What the UK could learn from Ireland’s EU referendum campaigns

What the UK could learn from Ireland’s EU referendum campaigns

Ireland has held several referendums on EU issues, with both the Treaty of Nice and the Treaty of Lisbon being rejected by the electorate, before subsequently being approved in second referendums. Gavin Barrett outlines five lessons the British government could learn from the Irish experience, including the feasibility of the UK holding its own second referendum should the country […]

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    The 2016 Irish election demonstrated how gender quotas can shift the balance on female representation

The 2016 Irish election demonstrated how gender quotas can shift the balance on female representation

The 2016 general election in Ireland was the first where legal gender quotas for candidate selection applied, with the election producing a 40 per cent increase in the number of female parliamentarians (TDs) elected. Fiona Buckley assesses how Ireland has implemented gender quotas and their impact on women’s candidacy and electoral success in the 2016 election.

In July 2012 the […]

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    A British departure from the EU would have major consequences for Ireland

A British departure from the EU would have major consequences for Ireland

The UK’s referendum on EU membership will be keenly observed by Irish citizens, given the close ties between the two countries. Paul Gillespie writes that a Brexit could be highly disruptive for Ireland, and would likely have a particularly large impact in Northern Ireland, where the issue of Irish unity could be pushed on to the public agenda.

Relations between […]

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    The 2016 Irish general election: a final look at the parties and the polling

The 2016 Irish general election: a final look at the parties and the polling

Irish voters go to the polls today in the country’s general election. Ahead of the vote, Adrian Kavanagh provides a final look at the parties and the polling. Using a constituency level analysis of opinion polls, he illustrates how seat projections have changed since 2014, noting that a late swing in the polling means the governing parties, Fine Gael […]

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    Debunking myths: Why austerity and structural reforms have had little to do with Ireland’s economic recovery

Debunking myths: Why austerity and structural reforms have had little to do with Ireland’s economic recovery

Ireland was one of the countries hardest hit by the financial crisis, however it has emerged with a strong recovery and now boasts the fastest pace of economic growth of any country in the Euro area. But what explains the Irish recovery and could it act as a model for other Eurozone states? Aidan Regan writes that contrary to […]

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    The 2016 Irish general election: the parties and the polling

The 2016 Irish general election: the parties and the polling

Ireland is expected to hold its next general election in either February or March. Ahead of the election, James McBride assesses developments since the last contest in 2011, where Fianna Fáil saw its vote share substantially reduced in the aftermath of the financial crisis. He writes that present polling suggests Fine Gael will retain its status as the largest […]

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    Irish elections & gender quotas: how to increase women’s representation

Irish elections & gender quotas: how to increase women’s representation

With a general election in the Republic of Ireland imminent, gender quotas have already doubled the proportion of women candidates relative to the 2011 general election. In most cases the implementation of quotas at constituency level has been straightforward. However, problems have arisen largely due to ‘local’ versus ‘central’ conflict, writes Claire McGing. Here she explores how the tensions between gender quotas (system […]

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    How rising Euroscepticism could affect future EU budget revenue negotiations

How rising Euroscepticism could affect future EU budget revenue negotiations

A number of Eurosceptic parties across the continent have called for the EU budget to be reduced. Giacomo Benedetto writes that although Euroscepticism does not always coincide with support for cutting the budget, the existence of Eurosceptic parties in several states could pose a serious problem for future budget negotiations. He highlights that based on the outcomes of previous negotiations, Euroscepticism […]

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    Asking the public twice: why do voters change their minds in second referendums on EU treaties?

Asking the public twice: why do voters change their minds in second referendums on EU treaties?

On three occasions – Denmark on the Maastricht Treaty, Ireland on the Nice Treaty and Ireland again on the Lisbon Treaty – voters have initially rejected an EU treaty only to vote in favour of it in a second referendum. Based on research conducted in Denmark and Ireland, Ece Özlem Atikcan assesses the reasons why voters changed their minds […]

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    Ireland may vote Yes, but it never needed a referendum on same-sex marriage

Ireland may vote Yes, but it never needed a referendum on same-sex marriage

Ireland is holding a referendum on legalising same-sex marriage, with the result expected to be announced on Saturday. Brian Tobin writes that while the latest opinion polls suggest the electorate will back the proposal, there was never any legal necessity for it to be put to a referendum. He argues that it would have been possible to simply legalise […]

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    Ireland’s referendum on same sex marriage could be a watershed moment for equality

Ireland’s referendum on same sex marriage could be a watershed moment for equality

Ireland will hold a referendum on 22 May on a proposed amendment to the Constitution of Ireland which would permit same sex marriage. Éidín O’Shea writes on the referendum campaign, which has seen all major parties in the country support a Yes vote. She notes that while opinion polling shows strong backing for the proposal, the vote could nevertheless […]

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    A surge in support for independents and fringe parties is leading to an increasingly fragmented Irish party system

A surge in support for independents and fringe parties is leading to an increasingly fragmented Irish party system

The 2011 Irish general election is generally regarded as an ‘earthquake election’, with the governing Fianna Fáil party – traditionally the dominant force in Irish politics – suffering heavy losses and a Fine Gael-Labour Party coalition coming to power in its place. With the next general election due to be held within 18 months, Rory Costello assesses how party […]

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    The Irish European Parliament elections will be fought on the basis of personalities rather than parties

The Irish European Parliament elections will be fought on the basis of personalities rather than parties

Unlike most EU states, Ireland uses a Single Transferable Vote system for its European Parliament elections. As Rory Costello writes, the nature of the electoral system ensures that campaigns tend to be dominated by individual candidates, rather than parties, with research suggesting only 35 per cent of Irish voters base their decision on a candidate’s party. As a result, […]

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Ireland offers an example of the way in which gender quotas can be implemented in national parliaments

The issue of women’s representation in national parliaments has become more prominent over recent decades in several European countries. One mechanism for increasing the participation of women is the creation of gender quotas with respect to the number of female representatives within a parliamentary chamber. Fiona Buckley outlines the lessons from Ireland, where a law introducing gender quotas was passed […]

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