During the conflict, I saw plenty of kids dressed in military fatigues often parading with republican bands. Their parents were republicans often in the IRA and they too would follow suit and go through the Fianna or the youth wing of the republican movement and into the IRA. Today, the conflict has been over […]
Two Sinn Féin members of the Executive made the news yesterday. The new Health minister, Michelle O’Neill, announced the end of the ban on blood donation by gay men. The Deputy First Minister, Martin McGuinness, visited the site of the Battle of the Somme and laid a wreath there. Were both moves welcomed? Certainly not […]
This piece by my dear friend Eilish O’Hanlon appeared in today’s Belfast Telegraph. I can only marvel at her grasp of the situation – and how well she knows me!
The Boys’ Brigade was just one of a number of organisations that developed in Victorian and Edwardian Britain. Their avowed aim was to produce “manly Christians”, but the line between being a Christian and being a soldier tended to get blurred. Hence the emphasis on drills, inspections, obedience, rank, uniforms, etc. The leaders […]
Well may you ask “Who is Rosita Boland?” and “What is she good for?” She’s awfully pleased with herself for asking the question in THE IRISH TIMES – “IS IRISH REALLY NECESSARY?” . She’s a bit of a fixture at the paper I think of as “THE STRUMPET CITY CARRIER”, many of whose staff I […]
I had an interesting virtual experience yesterday. As you’ve probably done yourself, I was avoiding working by mooching through Twitter, when I came on a retweet by Brian John Spencer the cartoonist. I know and like Spencer (though not well enough to know if he’s called Brian or John or Brian John) so it caught […]