July, 2014

APPLE CHARLOTTE by Harry McAvinchey

  Apple Charlotte will always remind me of my mother. “And what exactly is Apple Charlotte?” …he fairly sneered in obvious disbelief. This was my twelve-year-old self being  confronted by Brother Eustace, critiquing an  essay I’d recently submitted  about the joys of Halloween…the Eve of All Hallows.I could feel the  prickling embarrassed reddening spreading up […]

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Arms folded. Eyes down. Nothing to learn.

  Roads matter.  That’s why last year in the north,  £130 million was spent on the upkeep of roads, and it’s why the south will spend €43 billion on local and national roads over the period 2007-2015. It doesn’t take an economic genius to work out the need for roads. And there must be some […]

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On-the-runs and the stench of hypocrisy

I’m tempted this morning to blog on the appointment of Joe Mc Hugh as Minister of State for the Gaeltacht [I had this originally as Joe McHugh being Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, but have been frostily corrected – see below], and the storm which has moaned and rattled since it was revealed […]

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IT MUST BE CHRISTMAS by Harry McAvinchey

You know what a sceptic I am . If there isn’t a logical explanation that hangs together without its knickers showing , I’m not about to take a leap of faith. God, the Tooth Fairy , Santa Claus …It’s all the same to me . if it doesn’t stack up or make some discernible sense, […]

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Martin Magill and Brian Kennaway: daft Twelfth talk

Two clergymen made interesting contributions on the subject of the Twelfth over the last few days. There are those who’d react to this by saying clergymen should keep their noses out of politics. Even if I believed they were right, it’s a bit late in the day to make such a call – the history […]

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WINDS OF WAR by Harry McAvinchey

We were already two bottles of Malbec in the wind , with a fine celebratory tapas dinner under our belts, so the six of us were feeling no pain .As the hoary grey drizzle hung in the Irish air in that Sunday lag between the Orange Twelfth of July celebrations and the Scarva mock fighting […]

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Tolerance and Respect by Chris Donnelly

“The campaign for tolerance and respect for protestant culture has been strengthened.”  The words of First Minister and DUP Leader, Peter Robinson, after the 11th/12th July passed off without any major violence in Belfast and across the north.  Having announced and agreed a graduated response with other main Unionist political leaders, the representatives of loyalist […]

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Joan, Charlie and memories of Oliver J

So – what do you think? Will Joan Burton lead her party to a bright new tomorrow? She’s their new leader and she’s made a stirring beginning: she’s said she wouldn’t go into government with Sinn Féin. If that doesn’t bring support flooding her way , I can’t think what will. The thing about Joan […]

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Eyeless in Gaza

Are we an insular people? Well yes of course we are – we live on an island. It’s what islanders are. But that’s in the literal sense. In the sense of being mentally parochial, inward-looking, eyes tight on our own little patch? No and yes.  No because if you’ve ever been at a Sinn Féin […]

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IF YOU DIDN’T LAUGH, YOU’D CRY SALT TEARS by Harry McAvinchey

More than anything it is the self aggrandising lack of humility.The barely contained smirk… the very belief in this ersatz- serious all-together ..backs to the wall…No Surrender, re -creation of the Origin Myth…In the end, it is the puffed-up pomposity of our rapidly  fattening politicians and stony-eyed ….shark -eyed , puppet masters pulling their back-coat […]

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