I was over in Cambridge last weekend to attend a graduation, and not for the first time it struck me how different the English are from us. For a start, they look after their villages better. Where we have gone for ribbon development – house after house after house fronting the road on both sides […]
Newspapers and painting the historical picture.
The News Letter is the oldest daily newspaper in the English language, a generally respected mainstream organ. But you’d never guess that from its editorial yesterday. The paper accuses “even moderate nationalists” of pushing “an emerging narrative” (I think I hate that word) of the Troubles, with a murderous British state and the IRA the […]
President Michael D Higgins, lunatics and idiots
“We in Ireland are also aware that redressing the consequences of conflict takes steady, careful work, involving as it does not only conflicting memories and narratives of the past”. That’s President Michael D Higgins speaking in El Salvador. As he reminded his audience, he’s always had an interest in the triumph of truth and justice […]
It goes all the way to the top
Sometimes you wonder. Back in 1988, an IRA unit composed of Danny McCann, Sean Savage and Mairead Farrell were shot dead in Gibraltar. They were planning a bombing mission but at the time of their killing all three were unarmed. But that wasn’t the story that was put out: officially, they were three deadly bombers […]
Come into the parlour…
“O wad some Pow’re the giftie gie us/To see oursels as ithers see us!” That was Robbie Burns’s prayer and when we hear or read it, we nod solemn assent. The truth – about ourselves – will set us free. But only, of course, if that truth is palatable. One of the most irritating habits […]
About last night
I was on The Nolan Show last night and had the privilege of shaking hands with Alan McBride before the programme began. I thought he looked pale and tired; little wonder, given the memories that must have been stirred for him and others on the twentieth anniversary of the Shankill bomb. The programme dealt with […]
Bombing and reactions
I wonder how those who lost loved ones in the recent conflict here feel about the Shankill bomb commemorations. Perhaps they feel a sense of solidarity, identifying their own suffering with the suffering of those innocent Shankill victims. Or perhaps they feel like the victims of the Dublin/Monaghan bombs: why are other acts of carnage […]
John McAllister gives Sinn Féin a lecture
OK, confession time: I like Basil McCrea and John McAllister. I’ve met both of them and there’s something innately and genuinely charming about both of them. Basil has a boyish air of innocence (‘Who, me sir? Scoff the cake??’) and John has a rural solidity and quiet friendliness. Granted, it doesn’t always come across on […]
Need some money? Sorry, no go.
Another instance this morning of the dog being paralysed by its own tail. Steven McCaffery in the Detail.ie and Radio Ulster/Raidio Uladh both cover the story of £80 million that’s in the Social Development Fund and that can’t be released to help people in need. For why? Because the DUP and Sinn Féin can’t agree […]
It’s him again – hold the front page!
I’ve been thinking about Joe Brolly and I have a job in mind for him. Yes I know – you’ve been thinking about him too. But I’ve been thinking not so much about what he’s said but the attention it has got. In the past few months Joe has been on everybody’s lips. The first […]