Ireland

Making Ireland Great Again: or at least a bit better

Larger budgets are frequently demanded by public institutions as a prerequisite for development and reform. Yet in many cases much can be achieved without any additional funding, and sometimes with less, provided leadership has the courage to shake things up, redeploying existing resources, amend the law…. or just be bloody-minded.  Some examples.

HEALTH

The Irish health system has been ranked as the least efficient of the OECD’s 24 countries[1]. From the report it can be deduced that the Irish health budget could be cut by some €4 bn if OECD average efficiencies were achieved and by over €5 … Continue reading...

Electoral Reform

On 26 October 1989, just 17 days after the Berlin wall fell, I was in Estonia’s second city, Tartu, as guest of the Communist Party. I was there as president of the University of Limerick, at the suggestion of the philanthropist Chuck Feeney, to sign an agreement with the rector of the University of Tartu.
Estonia was on its knees after 50 years of Russian occupation. Queues stretched onto footpaths outside drab shops. Shortages and neglect were evident wherever we visited. Hopelessness and decay was enveloping.
The formal dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991 further compounded Estonian’s problems. A … Continue reading...