June, 2016

Next Sunday’s Orange march in Dungiven

So here we go again. Every year, as surely as the clenched buds are followed by relaxed leaves, as surely as advertisements for sun holidays in hotter climes appear in the papers, as surely comes the time of Orange marches. The one in the news at the moment is scheduled to take place in Dungiven five […]

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NEVER MIND THE BALLOTS – PRAISE THE LORD by Donal Kennedy

Twenty General Elections have been held in the United Kingdom since 1940. One man has held a Parliamentary seat there since 6 June that year. A full 76 years, a period longer than the combined tyrannies of Franco, Mussolini and Hitler. Unlike Hitler, he never stood for election or ran for office, but he served in  Governments […]

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Matt Carthy and a transitional Ireland

Matt Carthy is an engaging young man. He’s from Co Monaghan, and has that beginnings of a southern accent you get when you travel south, whether to South Armagh, south Fermanagh or Monaghan. He’s an MEP along with three other Sinn Féin MEPs – all women. He was Sinn Féin’s director of elections in the […]

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LORD KITCHENER AND HIS FRIENDS by Donal Kennedy

I never realised that HMS HAMPSHIRE with Lord Kitchener on board had sunk (5 June 1916) within a week of the Battle of Jutland (31 May 1916). He was no relation of mine and I’ve never heard that his loss caused any distress in the family, unlike the German shell which hit HMS Princess Royal […]

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A RED LETTER DAY

The story continues…. Sometime on the 28th May 2016, Sir David Attenborough, the broadcaster and world-renowned naturalist, set aside a moment or two of his precious time to write a thank you letter to me . The great man was ninety years young on the 8th May, so I believe that every moment in his […]

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Could it be that Nelson…is (half-) right?

Sometimes I wake at three in the morning and murmur into the darkness “What if Nelson is right?”  I’m referring, of course, to Nelson McCausland, who  has told readers of his blog that I am “the most sectarian journalist”  he has ever come across.  Naturally I reject the scurrilous charge that I’m a journalist- I […]

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‘ Back Door Domination’ by Jessica McGrann

    The Sinn Fein reconciliation project has been one sided from conception and I believe it has got to the point where I don’t think anyone could argue it is anything but one sided. On one hand you have Sinn Fein cow towing to the DUP, allowing them to block every single proposal that […]

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I remember Ali

I remember the first Sonny Liston vs Cassius Clay fight. I lived in a one-room bed-sitter in Upper Rathmines Dublin at the time, and on the night of the fight it was crammed with around a dozen Derry students (all male, alas) who like me were studying in UCD. They were attracted to my place […]

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IS GUINNESS REALLY GOOD FOR YOU? by Liam Ó Murchadha

Those who attended the April 2015 lectures by Professor Ruán O’Donnell of Limerick University (including lectures given at O’Lunney’s in New York City, and in the Hibernian Hall in Verplanck) should remember that Professor O’Donnell (author of Patrick Pearse in the 16 Lives series of biographies of those executed in the aftermath of the 1916 Easter Rising) mentioned Guinness […]

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