In my last BLOG “BACKDOOR DIPLOMACY …….” I recalled how the former Director of MI5, Dame Stella Rimington, in October 2015 confirmed that the British Government had been lying for 100 years about Nurse Edith Cavell, whose execution by the Germans had been justified according to international protocol during war. Tens of thousands of chivalrous […]
Saturday Pics of the week
Pics 1-4 are by John Patton Pic 1 Pic 2 Pic 3 Pic 4 “We gathered as a family to scatter my Mother-in-Law’s ashes in Glencoe. She died, aged 96, in January. A trailblazer, in her own modest way, she arrived in Glencoe in 1947 to work as a rare, female […]
Mary McAleese: a Catholic loose cannon?
Former Irish president Mary McAleese appears to have travelled some distance from her Catholicism in recent years. If you look for her in the ranks of the World Meeting of Families in Dublin in August, which Pope Francis is set to attend, you’ll look in vain. She won’t be there, because she believes it […]
Pinning the Brits down, lifting mercury with a fork and related matters
So – with glacial speed, the British-Irish Intergovernmental Conference is to meet next month. There have been people – leaders of the SDLP and of Sinn Féin for a start – who have been urging that this should happen. The body was established so that matters of mutual interest to the two governments could be […]
BACKDOOR DIPLOMACY, CANONISATION, DEMONISATION IN (OUR?) GREAT WAR by Donal Kennedy
On January 3rd 1915 Mansfeldt de Cardonnel Findlay, British Minister in Christiania, (now Oslo,) offered, IN WRITING, on Behalf of HMG, £5,000 and free passage in America,to a Norwegian citizen, to murder Roger Casement. The Minister had interviewed the citizen a number of time since he had been seized in the capital of his own country […]
SENSE, SENSIBILITY AND FINTAN O’TOOLE by Donal Kennedy
Imagine you were a teenager and a mate of yours had killed someone by careless driving and, knowing so, had done a runner. Would you have helped him escape detection, and forty years down the line informed your world that you felt then, and feel now that you did the right thing? Suppose your mate […]
How skilled we are at avoiding complexity
How are you regarding the Catholic Church? Are you against Pope John Paul II because he was strictly orthodox in terms of Church matters and punished those clergy who stepped out of line? Or have you forgotten to factor in his out-spoken concern at the obscenity of war, no matter who was waging it? And […]
TRIAL BY JURY, HABEAS CORPUS, PEACE BY ORDEAL by Donal Kennedy
It’s thirty one years since I served as a juryman. It was THE YEAR OF THE BIG WIND when many millions of trees were knocked over like ninepins in the South of England. Including Six of the Sevenoaks which gave that town in Kent its name. I was on four juries and it was an […]
Drew Harris: the best man for the job of Garda Commissioner?
There are a number of angles from which we could regard the appointment of Drew Harris as the new Garda Commissioner. One is that it’s an inspired choice, omigod, he’ a biggie in the north’s police force and look, he’s just crossed the border and is going to be the top cop down south, it shows how […]
Sectarianism: is it the individual or the institution?
I was at the launch of Sinn Féin’s Stand Up Against Sectarianism yesterday. It was a beautiful morning and the sentiments expressed boiled down to a simple truism: you can’t be a republican and sectarian at the same time. In her usual business-like way, Mary-Lou McDonald talked about rolling up sleeves and tackling […]