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Éire Nua ………….. March 24, 2017

Posted by irishelectionliterature in Uncategorized.

From This Months Wicklow Times ….


1. GW - March 24, 2017

If we were to restore the old railway tracks, which hopefully we will, Mullingar would make more sense in terms of connections from the North and North-West.

And I’d be will to give the East Coast dwellers a 20km eastward displacement from the centre of gravity, given the current population density.

But then Athlone is on Shannon with Lough Ree nearby – which is a big plus.


2. GW - March 24, 2017

Taking a river-bus from Carrick to the capital would be something.

OK Athlone it is then.


Michael Carley - March 24, 2017

Move the Aras to one of the islands in Lough Ree?


3. Dr. X - March 24, 2017

The Kiwis have their capital at Wellington, not Auckland, for the specific reason that it would have thrown the whole country out of balance if the economic capital had also been the political capital.

That’s why I think the Irish capital should not be in Dublin – but I don’t think it should be shifted to Athlone.

It should be Belfast.


GW - March 24, 2017

I prefer Belfast to Dublin, but it’s not really any more central, is it now?


Dr. X - March 24, 2017

Nor is Wellington.


Starkadder - March 24, 2017

In the 1920s, Galway would have been a better choice for
Free State capital-it would have re-orientated the country’s transport routes away from the East Coast (and hence away from Britain). Plus, it’s the closest city to the Gaeltacht, which would have pleased the Irish-language movement.

Full disclosure: I live in Cork. 😉

Liked by 1 person

4. benmadigan - March 24, 2017

despite the money to be spent on repairs to leinster house, I agree a new parliament building is needed.
And a new seat arrangement within the new building – maybe something like the semi-circle of the Scottish parliament rather than 2 opposing sides.
The current set-up was inherited from Westminster and never properly explored as to whether it was suitable for the parliament of an Irish Republic.


irishelectionliterature - March 24, 2017

Yes, a seating arrangement where Fianna Fail can be in Government and Opposition at the same time.

Liked by 2 people

Joe - March 24, 2017



GW - March 24, 2017

The semi-circular layout is common in non-first-past-the-post representative somewhat-democracies.

Agree there’s no reason to ape Westminster.

Liked by 1 person

5. Michael Mullan - March 24, 2017

It’s not an altogether fanciful idea. There are countries with purpose-built “political” capitals that aren’t their largest cities, notably Brazil (1960, Brasilia), Nigeria (1991, Abuja), Pakistan (Islamabad, 1974). Older examples include Australia (Canberra, 1908) and India (New Delhi, 1912); newer ones, Belize (Belmopan, 1970) or Myanmar a.k.a. Burma (Naypyidaw, 2005).


6to5against - March 24, 2017

And Washington D.C. of course.


6. sonofstan - March 24, 2017

I don’t like the idea of purpose build, ‘artificial’ capitals. Was thinking on Weds that the idea of moving Westminster to somewhere safer would be exactly wrong. The politicians should be in the heart of the polis, and like it or not, that’s usually most likely to be in the biggest city.


sonofstan - March 24, 2017

And think about the reasons the ruling classes like to get out of the big city – generally fear of the mob.


Gerryboy - March 24, 2017

If Louis XVI & his missus Marie Antoinette had stayed put in Versailles they’d have survived the French revolutionary mobs – and she could have offered to bake cakes for the sans culottes.


Liberius - March 24, 2017

I think I’ve heard it said of Brasilia that the fact that it is detached from ordinary people contributes to corruption as the politicians don’t have to face the music being surrounded by very few people outside of the political bubble. That alone is enough to make the idea of an isolated small political capital a terrible idea, not that you’d be able to make people live in Athlone anyway.

A hemicycle is a good idea though, albeit I’d try to avoid the obsession with wood, particularly light woods, that characterises too many 20th century plenary chambers.


7. ringacoltig - March 24, 2017

Behan is completely wrong to say that Athlone is relatively equal distance from North, South, East and West. If you stick a pin in the centre of a map of Ireland it will indeed be close to Athlone. However Ireland is not a square, it is an irregular shape. Dublin to Athlone is about 125km, Galway to Athlone is just 86km but Belfast is 241km and Cork is 210km. Galway and Dublin are on a pretty straight route to Athlone by motorway. Other routes are not so direct and trying to get from Cork to Athlone or Belfast to Athlone by Train is another thing altogether. Ireland is not comparable to the likes of the Netherland where you have the Amsterdam as the capital and The Hague as the seat of government. The two are only 60 kilometres apart and a mere 37 minutes by train and a similar travelling time by motorway.


8. Gerryboy - March 24, 2017

Birr has laid claim to be the compass center of the island of Ireland – but it sounds like a cold place to locate a new capital. The Isle of Man could be the capital of a Federation of the North West Isles, providing it didn’t interfere with the annual TT motorbike races.

Liked by 1 person

9. WorldbyStorm - March 24, 2017

Weirdly I knew Behan slightly way back when. Profile building here I suppose.


shea - March 25, 2017

The brexit thing and the hair line glimmer of a possibility of a ui i think is starting conversations on what a ui could look like.


WorldbyStorm - March 25, 2017

I could be being a bit unfair. I liked the guy on a personal level and he seemed a fairly straight shooter.And as you say there’s a lot more talk about. But odd that he’d be skipping to the end as it were.


10. sonofstan - March 24, 2017

think i mentioned this before:
Kilcock it is

Liked by 1 person

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