Another week, another blog

7th October, 2011

There was plenty of good news from home amongst the gloom abroad. Twitter’s decision to locate here in Dublin was proof positive that our fair city is becoming a tech hub unlike any other in Europe. One of the best thing’s about the arrival of companies like Google, Facebook and now Twitter is that these are established, “blue chip” employers with huge growth potential. It is exactly the kind of investment we need. The road to recovery is long, but I am convinced we are now on it.

Ireland’s 10-year bond yield fell to its lowest level in a year during the week, down to less than 8 per cent from a high of 14 per cent just a few months ago. We have clearly, in the minds of international economic opinion, separated ourselves from the likes of Greece, Portugal and – increasingly- Italy.

Let us not allow this positive economic news distract us from the real problems that exist- unemployment, forced emigration and real social deprivation. That deprivation plays itself out in so many ways- the Merchants Quay Project reports that heroin use in Dublin is on the rise and there are ten new users of the drug in Dublin every week. This is the dark side of life in Ireland- and one we need to find solutions to. With that task in mind, the Presidential election campaign allows us, for the first time in a long time, to think about problems of a non-economic variety that Ireland faces.

I look forward to the debate.