Category Archives: Articles for Irish Times

When the quake hit

Victor Duggan and his Mexican wife Ixchel in the park in Mexico City that they headed to when Tuesday’s earthquake struck. Photograph: Tom Griffen

My wife, Ixchel, and I moved from Paris to Mexico City late last year for work. Although born here, and having lived here most of her adult life, my wife’s family had moved to the north of the country only weeks before the earthquake that hammered the city in 1985, killing nearly 10,000 people.

Even she had never felt anything like the mega-quake that struck this past Tuesday, September 19th, nor the one that hit the south of the country a dozen days earlier. This was a new and terrifying experience for both of us.

We live in Roma Norte, a newly-hip neighbourhood that has only in recent years been reclaimed and restored, having been devastated and depopulated by the 1985 quake.

My wife, Ixchel, and I moved from Paris to Mexico City late last year for work. Although born here, and having lived here most of her adult life, my wife’s family had moved to the north of the country only weeks before the earthquake that hammered the city in 1985, killing nearly 10,000 people.

Even she had never felt anything like the mega-quake that struck this past Tuesday, September 19th, nor the one that hit the south of the country a dozen days earlier. This was a new and terrifying experience for both of us.

*** This article was first published in The Irish Times on 21 September, 2017 ***

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Beyond 2020: tweaking Ireland’s growth model

Ireland’s policymakers were authors of our home-grown “Celtic crash”, their errors exposed and compounded in brutal fashion just as the global financial crisis struck. From the Honohan and Regling-Watson reports to the banking inquiry, we have been treated to seven years of introspection.

It is critical we learn the right lessons, and there have been some encouraging changes to how we formulate economic policy: a highly-respected economist as Central Bank governor, an injection of economic expertise into the Department of Finance, incremental improvements to the budgeting process.

For all the focus on “what went wrong”, however, it’s easy to lose sight of what went right – what gave rise to the pre-2002 vintage, export-driven Celtic Tiger.

To continue reading on the Irish Times website, click here.

Definitive take on Ireland’s boom and bust

Insightful if controversial book sets out a hierarchy of blame, with joyriding politicians at the top…

Click here to read my Irish Times review of The Fall of the Celtic Tiger: Ireland & the Euro by Donal Donovan and Antoin E. Murphy.

A Clarion Call to Reject the ‘Axis of Austerity’

This is my review of Gene Kerrigan’s latest book, “The Big Lie: Who Profits From Ireland’s Austerity?”, published in today’s Irish Times.