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Time to Remember

Jean Claude Juncker has cited previous refugee crises in proposing the settlement of Syrian and other refugees in the EU. He needed to look no further back in time than to 1945, and to look at Europe itself.In preparation for administering Nazi-dominated Europe, the Allies estimated that 11.469 million people were “refugees” in Europe, with 7.738 million of them being in Germany itself. (Many were slave labourers in the Reich). The European nationalities were represented in the following proportions: 2.3 […]

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Why does my Conveyancing take so long?

The reply to the question is, to some degree found in a quip; how long is a piece of string? Another reply is found by looking at my solicitor’s reference bookshelf. The title of one book – “Contract and Conveyance” jumps to my eye. Making the contract precedes the conveyancing. What has a contract got to do with, ultimately, the registration of land ownership? A lot, is the answer. For starters, a contract for the sale of land (and buildings or […]

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In support of superstition (pro tem.)

To say something is superstitious is to speak relatively. The concise Oxford dictionary provides an inadequate definition of superstition;  “excessively credulous belief in and reverence for supernatural beings: a widely held but unjustified belief in supernatural causation leading to certain consequences of an action or event, of a practice based on such a belief.” Some people think any belief in supernatural beings is credulous; likewise any belief in supernatural causation. Other people disagree and need not cite religious reasons for […]

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“Dr. Livingstone, I infer?

Henry Stanley got things wrong when he met Dr. Livingstone. On meeting him, he records, he said; “Dr. Livingstone, I presume? The Oxford Dictionary indicates that “presume”, as used by Stanley, conveys he is supposing that something is the case on the basis of probability. On his own account, he was being absurdly careful. As Stanley well knew, white men in that location at that time were unknown. So, of course, the man he was meeting was probably Livingstone. However, […]

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The National Risk Assessment for 2014

The Taoiseach has published the Draft National Risk Assessment for 2014. The good news is that, by implication, there will be another in 2015 and that it is open for public comments until the 30th June. The bad news is that, in briefly harking back to the past, it fails to correctly describe what really happened. Then there’s the tone; the authors never question the possibility that they are not competent to write the Assessment. Presumably, they followed the nostrum […]

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Austerity

There are many varieties of austerity. There is the modest hope of Padraic Colum’s “Old woman of the roads” , thinking of the possible house she would be content to own: “I could be quiet there at night Beside the fire and by myself, Sure of a bed and loth to leave The ticking clock and the shining delph!” And then, there is the austerity and integrity of Fran Halsall in her book, “From Shore to Summit”. You get two things […]

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Legal Education

When Eoin O’Dell was free to publish his blog “cearta”, one of his perennial topics was that of legal education. He was notable for this; he was writing in a desert. There is probably no perfect or ideal education for a lawyer. In fact, we may need more than one type of person to deliver legal services to the nation and that implies more than one type of education. There is a strong case for having the lawyer-to-be well grounded in […]

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Is it yourself, then?

It is high time to re-evaluate people. Take the Garda whistleblowers, former Garda Wilson and Sergeant Maurice McCabe. Few commentators have remarked upon an obvious fact; they have been subjected to extreme stress. People like that are entitled to our understanding of their difficulties. To claim there are only two of them, as then Garda Commissioner Callinan did, is laughable; it is astonishing that there are so many of them. Human beings are fragile, but there is a mistaken idea […]

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Carry on…

In Damache v DPP, Ireland & the Attorney General, IESC [2101], (“Damache”) the Supreme court decided that Section 29(1) of the Offences against the State Act, 1939 (as inserted by s. 5 of the Criminal Law Act, 1976) was unconstitutional. The Section permitted a person, not independent of an investigation, to issue a search warrant for the purposes of the investigation. The court found that a police officer engaged in an investigation is not an independent person for these purposes and […]

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Medical Negligence and “Doctor X”

In January 2008 we reported the publication of a book by an anonymous Irish doctor, detailing the failings of the Irish hospital system. See a report HERE. The doctor was running a website and was featured speaking on national radio. The website is now not to be found and the book is not readily available. Medical errors happen everywhere; they are not unique to Ireland. In the USA and the UK, the responsible authorities collect statistics to find out why […]

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