Elaine Byrne

Elaine Byrne

Dr. Elaine Byrne is a barrister. She is a lecturer in law at the Institute of Technology, Carlow. Elaine has held academic appointments as a political scientist with Trinity College Dublin and the University of New South Wales. She has worked as a governance consultant for the European Commission, United Nations Anti-Corruption Unit and the World Bank. She is the author of the bestselling book, Political Corruption in Ireland 1922-2010: A Crooked Harp?

Democracy can be boring and expensive, but it’s all we have

Democracy can be boring and expensive, but it’s all we have

There is something deeply disquieting about an election for the most significant office in the land which barely resembles a local town council contest, but the process should not be debased by cynicism

Respect our Defence Forces and pay them properly

Respect our Defence Forces and pay them properly

It’s not just the poor pay and conditions that have demoralised the Irish Army, Air Corps and Naval Service but a sense that the work they do is not valued by government

Paying tax is one of the cornerstones of a republic

Paying tax is one of the cornerstones of a republic

JP McManus’s donation to the GAA is nice, but let’s not lose sight of the ordinary taxpayer who picks up the tab required to keep Ireland going

Positive economic prospects for farming

Positive economic prospects for farming

Farmers often accentuate the negative, but the outlook for Irish agriculture is not all bleak

A tale of two evictions

A tale of two evictions

Gardaí felt the need to wear balaclavas at an inner-city eviction last week. Quite a contrast to the events at Gorse Hill in affluent Killiney three years ago

We need to stop with this reverse snobbery

We need to stop with this reverse snobbery

Sneering at people because of their background should never be acceptable

Returning emigrants find there’s no place like home

Returning emigrants find there’s no place like home

It’s true that greater numbers of Irish emigrants are now returning to live here, but the government must do more to support those who make the choice to move back

In Ireland today, faith is whatever you decide it is

In Ireland today, faith is whatever you decide it is

Pope Francis’s visit is marking a new era in how we access our faith

Joy at Pope Francis’s visit reflects an Ireland of two Churches

Joy at Pope Francis’s visit reflects an Ireland of two Churches

The current pontiff’s popularity derives from his rejection of the trappings of the scandal-riven institution

Government must move on problem gambling

Government must move on problem gambling

€50m betting duty take goes to greyhounds and horses, not to fight scourge of gambling addiction

Why we haven’t bothered to learn lessons of the redress scheme

Why we haven’t bothered to learn lessons of the redress scheme

The Taoiseach should facilitate the development of a landmark redress format that could become the international template for such schemes

Second run for Áras might not be so easy for Michael D

Second run for Áras might not be so easy for Michael D

President Higgins will have a formidable opponent in the shape of a well-organised Sinn Féin

Data regulator needs to face down Facebook

Data regulator needs to face down Facebook

Ireland’s current ‘soft-touch’ approach to social media giants is worryingly similar to our pre-crash regulation of the banks

We have royally lost the run of ourselves

We have royally lost the run of ourselves

Prince Harry will never be king: he’s a celeb, married to an actor. Yet when he and his wife came here, some of us couldn’t get enough

Higgins is above political play-acting on re-election

Higgins is above political play-acting on re-election

The political parties that control nominations have decided to disenfranchise us by not having a presidential election