Stephen Collins and the Great Liberator

There are times when the absurdity of statements coming from well-paid commentators make you wonder why they’re not punished rather than paid. In this morning’s Irish Times, Stephen Collins (no relation, buiochas le Dia), in a column titled ‘Royals have important role to play in political relations’, speaks of Daniel O’Connell “who has every right […]

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BLASTS FROM ANTIQUITY by Donal Kennedy

“Nescire autem quid ante quam natus sis acciderit, id est semper esse puerum. Quid enim est aetas hominis, nisi (ea) memoria rerum veterum cum superiore aetate contexitur?”  Thus the late Marcus Tullius Cicero, a gentleman with whom I was slightly acquainted  in my youth. He was a man of many letters, one of which – “De Senectute” may well […]

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The Aidan McAnespie killing: another witch-hunt?

So – after waiting thirty years, the family of Aidan McAnespie are to have their day in court. In 1998, Aidan McAnespie was crossing a border-point at Aughnacloy, when he was shot dead by a British soldier. The soldier claimed that he had been moving the machine gun, it was wet and his finger slipped. […]

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Two voices on Brexit and demographics

Well. You wait and wait for some commentator to decorate the idea of a united Ireland with question marks, and then two come along at once….Nah, only kidding. If trains and buses ran with the frequency and dependability of attacks on the idea that a united Ireland is on its way, nobody would need to drive […]

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This Thursday…

  1792 Belfast Harp Festival Recalled: Thursday, 21 June at 7pm on Rosemary St Church A unique event in Belfast this Thursday features the re-enactment of the 1792 Belfast Harp Festival on next Thursday, 21 June at 7 pm. The event is sponsored by the charity, Brain Injury Matters. The venue is historic First Rosemary […]

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THE PERFUMES OF ARABIA REVISITED by Donal Kennedy

Watching the opening match of the World Cup, I was impressed by the cordiality  between  the elected President Putin of Russia and the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia as together they watched Russia defeat Saudi Arabia by five goals to nil. I was rather taken aback by the main cartoon in THE TIMES the next morning which depicted President […]

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A NEW ANTHEM FOR A NEW PEOPLE? OR AN OLD ONE? by Donal Kennedy

Following Dr Varadkar’s Prescription of A New Constitution For A New People, Fintan O’Toole, the  Paid Piper of The Irish Times, followed by some of his younger admirers, if not a plague of rats, has called for the scrapping of Amhran  na bFhiann/  A Soldier’s Song , the anthem of those who have given allegiance to the […]

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DEVASTATION OF UNIVERSAL CREDIT by John Patton

  Growing up in Ireland, the Paupers’ Field and the Polo Field were our childhood play areas. As children, the emotional overtones did not register with us nor did any real distinction occur between the  two grounds. Seventy years later , I find those memories strangely relevant to current society as the gap between rich […]

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Arlene: not waving but drowning?

So. Arlene has moved from being the crocodile woman to being the neighbourly woman. She’s put aside the iron fist normally used for repelling reptiles and has extended the hand of friendship to her GAA neighbours, even to the point of holding up, while smiling, a Fermanagh shirt with Irish writing on it. It’s a […]

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