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Op Eds

Please find below a selection of my written commentary on public affairs, which has appeared in newspapers such as The Irish Times and El Mundo, as well as online media like Spiked, Gript, Mercatornet, The Conversation, and The Clingendael Spectator.

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Where to Draw the Line on Letting Science Drive Policy

The Irish Times, 15th May 2020

"That the fate of over 60 million people could hang on the accuracy of a single mathematical model raises serious questions about the proper role of science in deciding a nation’s response to a pandemic."


There's a chasm between Ireland’s woke political class and voters

Mercatornet, 26th March 2024

"To say that the Irish government has misread the public mood in recent years would be an understatement. On a range of issues, from hate speech and woke ideology to housing, healthcare, and immigration, Ireland’s traditionally dominant political parties, Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael, have become increasingly disconnected from the everyday needs and concerns of their constituents."


Legislation Against Hate Speech is Ill-Advised and Counter-Productive

The Irish Times, 12th December 2019

"Using the law to regulate hate speech is a bit like erecting a Special Criminal Court to tackle petty theft: while it might have some positive effects, it is an ill-chosen instrument, likely to do more harm than good. The most appropriate instruments for combating hate speech are not laws, but political persuasion, education and social norms."


Europe's New Digital Wallet: Guarantor of Digital Security or Backdoor to Tyranny?

Mercatornet, 16th November 2023

"It would be highly naive to assume that a programmable Europe-wide digital ID, controlled by a centralised bureaucracy would not, sooner or later, be exploited to “nudge” (or shove) people into complying with the policies that happen to be favoured by the “powers that be”. 


Governments Must Reject New Amendments to International Health Regulations

Epoch Times, 26th February 2024

"The WHO, most likely with the complicity of your government, is pushing through a set of amendments to international pandemic laws that will put your livelihood and liberties at the mercy of a WHO-appointed “expert committee” whose advice during a “public health emergency” will supersede that of your own government."


Populism Not Going Away Anytime Soon

The Irish Times, 23rd January 2019

"Populists, though they hardly offer convincing political solutions, are right to point out the chronic dysfunctions of our technocratic and quasi-oligarchic political institutions."


A quick guide to slavespeak: 11 terms ‘progressives’ have turned on their head

Mercatornet, 19th January 2024

"These concepts, at least as they are typically employed by “progressives,” could be described, without exaggeration, as a species of slavespeak. By this, I simply mean that they are used disingenuously, to rationalise political oppression."


Those Who Cry “Far Right” Have No Idea What’s Happening in Dublin

Brownstone Institute, 1st December 2023

"The Irish government would have us believe that the most destructive riot in Dublin in living memory was not a symptom of failed governance, but the result of an ideological fringe group going on a looting spree. That is a suspiciously convenient narrative for the powers that be, for it absolves them of all responsibility for losing control of the city."


The Politicization of Banking and the End of Freedom

Epoch Times, 12th July 2023

"Imagine a society in which outspoken conservatives, or Brexiteers, or libertarians, or socialists, were systematically locked out of banking services: those dissenting openly from the political views of the banking establishment would be condemned to live as economic pariahs: no mortgage, no credit cards, and no way to conduct a normal business."


Far Too Many People Are Still Dying: Why Is This Not Front-Page News?

Gript, 11th November 2022

"The vastly less prominent coverage of 2022 excess deaths, their failure to become a “hot topic” in public discussion, and the apparent lack of will to critically investigate their underlying causes, suggests there are double standards for Covid and non-Covid deaths."


The Irish Times, 15th April 2020

There has been some debate about whether emergency measures to tackle coronavirus might represent a threat to civil liberties. While this is a legitimate concern, a question no less important is how we habitually make use of our precious liberties, and whether we are capable of freely responding to the needs of our neighbours, especially the most vulnerable


You Should Be Very Worried About the Digital Services Act

Epoch Times, 11th September 2023

Under the recently enacted Digital Services Act, the commission may apply significant pressures upon digital platforms to curb “hate speech,” “disinformation,” and threats to “civic discourse,” all of which constitute notoriously vague and slippery categories


Irish Catholics Are Not Simpletons, Intolerant Bigots, or Religious Fanatics

The Irish Times, 17th October 2019

"Catholics who adhere to the teachings of their Church are now one of the few remaining groups in Ireland whose most fundamental beliefs and values it is socially acceptable to treat with patronizing contempt."


Why attempting to Purge the Web of 'Misinformation' and 'Disinformation' is a Fool's Errand

Mercatornet, 27th February 2024

censorship and expert control can seem like an efficient way to bring order, coherence, and predictability into a maelstrom of conflicting sources of evidence and information. But this solution, however emotionally consoling, is ultimately bound to fail

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Ireland's Hate Offences Bill Represents an Unprecedented Assault on Free Speech and Rule of law

Mercatornet, 9th May 2023

"The introduction of vaccine passports into everyday life raises profound ethical and legal questions, not least because it would introduce a conspicuous and unprecedented form of social discrimination."


Is the Pandemic Turning the West into China?

Clingendael Spectator, 29th September 2021

"The Covid-19 pandemic is a 'stress test' for Western democracies. According to political philosopher David Thunder, the West is failing this test as the dividing line between Chinese collectivism and European individualism has begun to blur."

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Vaccine Passports Will Divide Society

Spiked, 26th April 2021

"The introduction of vaccine passports into everyday life raises profound ethical and legal questions, not least because it would introduce a conspicuous and unprecedented form of social discrimination."


Lockdowns: One of the Most Disastrous Policy Errors of Modern Times

Mercatornet, 24th February 2021

"The appropriate benchmark for assessing the merits of lockdown policies is not just their capacity to reduce Covid infections or deaths, but their capacity to advance the overall health and well-being of affected populations. For example, even if we eliminated Covid from the face of the earth, that would hardly be desirable if it drove a large section of the population into poverty and increased overall excess mortality.

Covid and Social Engineering

Nuevas Tendencias, May 2021

"Those who control the vast eco- nomic, police, and regulatory powers of the modern State must temper their reforming ambitions with an awareness of the limits of top-down, technocratic social interventions. Failing to do so may produce disastrous, dystopic results."

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Public Health is no Excuse for Outlawing Public Worship

Aid to the Church in Need, July 2021

"In the absence of credible and substantial evidence that socially distanced Masses are likely to be major vectors of disease, there is no justification for coercively preventing people from attending Mass if they wish to do so."

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Youtube Row Raises Serious Questions on Censorship by Tech Giants

The Irish Times, 22nd July 2019

"If we do not find a way to decentralise content-moderating functions and separate them from commercial incentives, then the prejudices of a handful of tech giants and their staff will determine which opinions get aired and debated on social media, and which do not."

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Battle for soul of Europe is only beginning

The Irish Times, 28th May 2019

"The gradual consolidation of nationalist and Eurosceptical parties, even if it does not reach a commanding position, is indicative of a brewing storm over the soul of Europe, over what the European Union really stands for. The current fracturing of European politics is symptomatic of a tension that has been latent in the European Union since its inception, between two very different visions of European integration."

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An outside-the-box approach to economic regulation

RTE Brainstorm, 29th April 2019

"The more state regulators intervene in the private sector in the hopes of bringing self-interested behaviour in line with the public good, the more governments and businesses tend to get sucked into a vicious cycle of "cat and mouse" behaviour. Unilateral, coercive government regulations provoke businesses to exploit loopholes in the legal system or transfer assets to another tax jurisdiction."


Greater shared sovereignty not sole solution to Europe’s woes

The Irish Times, 21sth November 2018

""Significantly, Macron did not consider the possibility that there might be a third way between a heavily centralised EU, on the one hand, and a continent of war-mongering nations, on the other. There is. It is hinted at already in a much-misunderstood principle contained in the European Union’s own treaties: the principle of subsidiarity."

Irish media has become a lazy echo chamber

The Irish Times, 22nd August 2018

"In a climate of ideological convergence, many journalists can afford to make lazy, ill-thought-out arguments, since they know they are unlikely to be challenged by their colleagues as long as they do not stray too far from the ideological fold. In short, they can expect most days to be given a free pass, so long as they remain “on side”."

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The Irish Times, 2nd September 2017

Ireland is a community of communities, not just a community of individuals. We are too diverse for one-size-fits-all government. 

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