"Patriotism is the willingness to kill and be killed for trivial reasons." Bertrand Russell

Thursday, September 29, 2005

21st Century Pirates

Flying the flag of greed

They are the pariahs of the high seas. They exist in many cases outside the law. The profits of their proprietors take absolute precedence over the conditions of those who work on them. They are the "flags of convenience" ships, where the naked greed of their owners rules supreme, writes Mary Raftery.

Irish Ferries is in the process of embracing full membership of this club. Already one of its passenger ferries, the MV Normandy, no longer flies an Irish flag. It was re-registered under the flag of the Bahamas earlier this year. And now, the last remaining Irish-owned passenger ship company is turning its back fully on the Irish flag, making it clear that it intends to re-register all of its ferries elsewhere.

© The Irish Times