August, 2019

Speaking up for Drew Harris

I was talking to a man I know and like at the Féile last week. He’s an intelligent man and interested in things cultural and political, although his thinking on the latter would be some distance from my own. Just how far distant showed vividly when the subject of Drew Harris, now Garda Commissioner, arose. […]

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IRISH CONGRESSIONAL BRIEFING by Fr Sean McManus

Distributed to Congress by Irish National Caucus “My good friend  Raymond McCord of Belfast has received remarkable and well-deserved public recognition for his long campaign for justice for his murdered son, Raymond Jr. His many  supporters in Congress, and throughout the Irish-American community, will share my delight.  Since 1997, Raymond —from a Protestant/Unionist background—has waged […]

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“They could never afford us!” and related economic myths

When talk of Irish reunification comes in the door, hard on its heels inevitably comes “Sure the South  couldn’t afford us.” That’s because, it’s explained, the British government every year pass something like £10 billion our way. Seriously big bucks, which a relatively puny Dublin wouldn’t be willing to shoulder and couldn’t even if it […]

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Irish hunger, British ignorance by Daniel Keane

Daisy Goodwin’s ancestor, the Church of Ireland clergyman in Schull, Robert Traill spent most of his savings on Famine relief in 1846, before dying of typhus a year later. Last year, his great-great-great granddaughter, Daisy Goodwin brought the story of the Famine to more than seven million viewers in an episode of the ITV drama, […]

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The question that must be answered

On Saturday last, I was in a very crowded lecture hall in St Mary’s University College where  they were discussing the  economics of a united Ireland. As I write  I’m half-listening to a recorded radio discussion, where Jonathan Powell and Ray Bassett are exchanging views on the backstop and reactions to it.  Buy a newspaper […]

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Thoughts on a Féile

 This week my brain felt as if thought-rocks had been bounced off it to the  point where I could hardly walk a straight line, let alone articulate a sentence. Excess of alcohol has a similar effect, except that while booze gives  you a painful hang-over, Feile An Phobail will provide brain-nourishment for weeks. I’ve done […]

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Irish Congressional Briefing by Fr Sean McManus

IRISH CONGRESSIONAL BRIEFING Distributed to Congress by Irish National Caucus Having dinner with the DUP in Belfast caused an avoidable fuss around Boris Johnson’s first visit to Northern Ireland as prime minister.  – Brian Feeney. Irish News. Belfast. Wednesday, August 7, 2019    The philosopher A C Grayling has called Brexit ‘a suicide cult’, though the comedian John Oliver probably […]

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Countdown to unity? More Countdown to Caution

High Court judge Richard Humphrey doesn’t look like a judge. No wig, no long grave face, no downward turn at the corners of his mouth. He looks  more like a middle-aged resident of Dublin 4, which for all I know he may be. He gave a Feile talk yesterday entitled ‘Countdown to Irish Unity’  which, […]

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