Non-market economics

December 1, 2009 at 12:51 pm | Posted in News | Leave a comment

It’s worth checking out details of this year nobel prize winners in economics. A good link to see details is:

One of the winners has studied how bottom-up decision-making and organisational structure results in better and more efficient decision. Below is a quotation from the article cited at the link above.

Elinor Ostrom has been honoured for a body of work which closely scrutinises a vast number of case studies of common ownership, from irrigation systems in Nepal to groundwater basins in California. Ostrom’s results show that, while it’s not the best solution in all cases, common ownership can and frequently does work. Often this is down to centuries’ worth of knowledge and experience that have gone into evolving a common ownership system, the subtleties of which external authorities often fail to appreciate. But Ostrom has also identified a set of more abstract rules and procedures which need to be in place to make common ownership work. Some of her more surprising conclusions hold interesting lessons for state-owned or privatised property, too. Ostrom shows, for example, that the users themselves, rather than impartial outsiders, should monitor procedures and dish out punishments where necessary. Decision making processes should be as democratic as possible, allowing every user to take part in building and amending the rules that govern the group. Ostrom also shows that a bottom-up approach to building an organisation, with well-functioning smaller groups coming together to form a larger cooperation, can be more beneficial than the opposite top-down approach.


Principle of Safety Vindicated

November 3, 2009 at 2:20 pm | Posted in News | Leave a comment

Today’s decision on the Corrib gas pipeline by An Bord Pleanala finally accepts a critical principle that has longed formed part of the campaign against the Corrib gas project. The Board finds that:

The proposal to route the pipeline at a proximity distance from dwellings which is within the hazard range of the pipeline should a failure occur is unacceptable.

This is a very important vindication of the local community’s campaign. It also specifically validates the position of the Rossport Five. Their opposition caused the original pipeline route to be abandoned.

This principle, obvious as it may seem, has been consistently denied by the government (Ministers Fahey, Dempsey and Ryan), by Peter Cassells and by the Advantica so-called safety review. The ridiculing of local fears on this specific point has been outrageous throughout the last ten years.

Furthermore, Shell’s application on the pipe has been shown not to be ‘complete, transparent and adequate.’ This is also an important finding as it once again undermines Shell’s claims to be trusted and competent and to be a safety-conscious company.

However, it is disappointing that the Board has suggested yet another alternative route, this time up the middle of Sruhwaddoccon estuary. This route raises even further safety concerns.

The fact is that the project is untenable. It should be stopped immediately and completely redesigned according to criteria of health and safety and community consent. Another window now exists to bring this about. Indeed, the entire deal governing the project needs immediate review.


Norway’s oil fund.

September 6, 2007 at 8:41 am | Posted in News | Leave a comment

The latest figures from Norway show that their Oil Fund (ie the money that the State has accumulated from oil and gas revenue) now stands at US$ 327.5 billion. Given that Norway’s population is 4.6 million people this means that the State has an investment fund equivalent to 52,128.50 euro for each citizen. This Fund is quite apart from the oil and gas revenues annually spent to support Norway’s world class social welfare and health systems.

It is sad and humiliating to recognise that Ireland’s Corrib gas reserves will go to augment this financial resource in Norway. Our government has once again failed to protect the interests of its own citizens. The financial regime governing the oil and gas industry is merely another manifestation of the endemic incompetance and mediocrity of public governance in Ireland.

Norway represents a model for good governance and how a society should function in the interests of its citizens and focused on ensuring the optimum quality of life for all. Perhaps our political leaders should be obliged to spend their summer holidays there for some intensive study! It could be that Brian Boru made a serious mistake!

Staying open!

July 30, 2007 at 10:27 am | Posted in News | Leave a comment

For now at least, I will keep this blog open and post comments on contemporary affairs and on the ongoing Corrib gas issue. From comments and feedback that I have received, there seems to be a significant appetite for a new political mobilisation that can address social and environmental sustainability. I am quite happy to contribute to that debate in the coming months.

Vote Statistic

July 26, 2007 at 10:30 am | Posted in News | Leave a comment

For the record I received 951 first preference votes. I was in twelfth place among the twenty-four candidates. I was eliminated following the thirteenth count and had, at that time, 1,149 votes.

Final Thanks

July 23, 2007 at 3:24 pm | Posted in News | Leave a comment

I want to thank sincerely all those who have supported my campaign. I want to particularly thank those who allowed their name be used as endorsers of my campaign – Dr Jerry Cowley, KathySinnot, Joe Murray, Richard Douthwaite, Lelia Doolan, Davie Philip, Fr Peter McVerry, Dr Nollaig O Muirile and Donncha O’Connell.

I have been very touched by the messages of support I have received and the many stories that I have heard of people’s situation and circumstances.

Counting begins tomorrow but irrespective of the outcome I am delighted to have had the opportunity to raise the issues that I believe are important.

Some internet news

July 11, 2007 at 8:53 am | Posted in News | Leave a comment

Two links that might be worth looking at.

First, you can see the BBC report on a new scientific study which discounts the theory that variations in the activity of the sun may be responsible for climate change. This is an important finding as it shows again that contemporary climate change is being caused by human activity. The link is:

Second, you can hear the brief presentation I gave to the recent Mediaforum conference in Galway. Please note though that I merely acted as a spokesperson for the Rossport Five rather than managing their PR campaign over five years! The link is:

Recent Events

June 11, 2007 at 1:43 pm | Posted in News | Leave a comment

Just a note on some recent events I have been involved in. 

Public Relations Institute of Ireland.

On Tuesday, May 15th I took part in a panel discussion at the PRII Annual Conference. The theme was on the Shell to Sea campaign and was chaired by Matt Cooper. Other participants were Douglas Dalby, MD of Prangle, John Cooney, journalist and author, Kealan Flynn, head of iWrite, and Billy Murphy, Executive Chairman of Drury Communications.  

AFRI Famine Walk

On Saturday, May 26th, I was one of the leaders of Afri’s annual famine walk from Delphi to Louisburg. The other leaders were the musician John Hoban and two native Americans Gary and Jamie White Deer.

Media Moves Conference

On Friday, June 8th, I addressed the Media moves conference in Galway on insights from the Shell to Sea campaign. This was a conference on understanding, shaping and creating media for social change and was chaired by Lelia Doolin. 

Goldman Prize Link

May 1, 2007 at 11:57 am | Posted in News | Leave a comment

You can see the video about Willie Corduff shown at the Goldman Prize ceremony at

Our Story Rossport Five book launch Ennis

April 2, 2007 at 11:20 am | Posted in News | Leave a comment

There was a very successful book launch of the Rossport Five Our Story book on Friday, March 30th at the Sceal Eile bookshop in Ennis. The launch was introduced by Ciana Campbell and there were addresses from local TD James Breen, Ms.Lelia Doolin, myself and Michael O Seighin. A large local crowd attended.

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