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  • Trump’s bait-and-switch tactic embroils Ireland in latest US controversy

    It’s difficult to comprehend how Ireland could have surfaced, even briefly, in the now toxic cauldron of US race relations, but Donald Trump’s compulsion to counterattack when under fire can lead to unexpected turns in the media cycle. This time the focus of his ire is corporate America and its seemingly unpatriotic policy of locating operations offshore at the expense of US jobs, an inevitable aspect of globalisation, you might think, but nonetheless a touchstone for Trump’s besieged white underclass. When faced with a growing list of CEOs resigning from his White House jobs panel, in protest at his equivocating response to white supremacist violence, Trump deployed his favoured bait-and-switch technique for dealing with controversy, first lambasting the company bosses as “grandstanders” and then criticising them for sacrificing middle America in pursuit of profit.

  • The Hitman’s Bodyguard review: Can Reynolds and Jackson sink much lower?

    If you heard a suspicious helicopter outside your house last spring, there is some small chance that the folk behind this bizarre action comedy were to blame. It would not be true to say that half the film is taken up with aerial shots of European cities that offer generous tax breaks: London, Amsterdam, Manchester, the Hague, Coventry (no, really). It just feels that way. It feels as if the other half is taken up with good actors slumming their way through cliched variations on their most profitable personae. I’m afraid Salma Hayek actually does play a Mexican firecracker required to shout “cucaracha!” whenever the noise dies down. Samuel L Jackson is laboured with yet more bargain-basement

  • European Commission pours cold water on UK’s Brexit paper on North

    The European Commission has poured cold water on the UK’s Brexit negotiating paper on Northern Ireland by reminding it that, in the words of the EU’s chief Brexit negotiator, Michel Barnier, “frictionless trade is not possible outside the single market and customs union”. The idea of leaving both the single market and customs union but of maintaining an “infrastructure-free” Border at Newry was a central thrust of the UK paper published on Wednesday, but it remains in the eyes of both Irish and EU officials an unrealistic expectation. In its brief response to the British paper, a spokesman for the commission said that such trade issues would only be a matter for the second phase of negotiations

  • Newton Emerson: Identity cards are coming for us all

    The UK government’s position paper on Brexit and the Border points to an identity card system, and recalls the intriguing fact that Britain and Ireland considered parallel systems only a decade ago. The paper, published this week, offers to maintain the Common Travel Area and the rights of British and Irish citizens to live and work in each other’s countries. “The movement of people should not alter at all,” it promises. For the British and Irish, perhaps. Non-EU citizens from the rest of the world could also be dealt with, in theory, through an unchanged visa and immigration regime. What this is building towards is an electronic 'everywhere' Border  But how would non-Irish citizens from the

  • 'Any team would miss a player of that quality. He's the best I've ever played with'

    Sean Maguire and Karl Sheppard celebrate after Sheppard's goal against Dundalk in the President's Cup back in February. Sean Maguire and Karl Sheppard celebrate after Sheppard's goal against Dundalk in the President's Cup back in February. CORK CITY ARE paying no attention to criticism of the manner in which they’ve so far adapted to life after Sean Maguire. That’s according to City attacker Karl Sheppard, who insists that the Leesiders are still good enough to go on and complete a league and cup double. John Caulfield’s side need just eight points from their nine remaining games to wrap up the Premier Division title. Their FAI Cup defence began with a 1-0 win away to Bray Wanderers on Saturday

  • Jack Conan aiming to take his career to a new level

    It is not so much a gauntlet being flung down as much as Jack Conan finding himself, at 25-years-old, less willing to stand still. As a new season dawns on the back of a summer tour in which he played in all three of Ireland’s matches against the USA and Japan, he has license to feel ambitious, stretch himself. “My own opinion is that I went pretty well in the last three Tests,” he says with caution. “I suppose that question is pretty subjective. You’d have to ask Joe [Schmidt].” Number 8 players in Leinster and Ireland have discovered over the last decade that Jamie Heaslip has been an immovable object when fit. To the frustration of many aspirants, that has mostly been his status. With Heaslip

  • Jenny Murphy ready to tackle whatever comes her way

    So many inspirational moments on August 5th, 2014. Jenny Murphy owns two of them squeezed into about five seconds. Amiria Rule was the epitome of a Kiwi wrecking ball centre. Ma’a Nonu in female form. Murphy had been sitting on the bench for 40 minutes. Cold. Angry. Grace Davitt and Lynne Cantwell being the established Irish midfielders. The start of the second half saw her aggressively go about her work. New Zealand moved 11-7 in front before Rule came crashing through the middle. Murphy emptied her, leaping up to bury another Black Fern. The game was already turning Ireland’s way as we witnessed the sort of Murphy physicality only evident on and off in recent seasons due to serious injury but