Review of ‘Martin McGuinness:The Man I Knew’ by Donal Kennedy

    Martin McGuinness – The Man I Knew Compiled by Jude Collins Mercier Press p/b £14.99   Twentyseven witnesses from each side of the Atlantic, of the Irish Sea, Britain’s Border in Ireland, spanning also political, denominational social and cultural divides contributed to this compilation. They included Senator George Mitchell and Congressman Peter King […]

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An experience in a book store

  Two things: one an account of an interesting interaction I had this morning, the other an appeal to readers. First, the interaction.  My book of interviews Martin McGuinness: The Man I Knew , as many of you know, was launched in Derry, Belfast and Dublin in the week of McGuinness’s anniversary. In all three cases it […]

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Carefully chosen victims from the conflict

Few people can be unaware that Arlene Foster’s father, an RUC officer, was attacked by the IRA in 1979. She has frequently told how her father, a policeman, was shot as he went to check on farm animals and was wounded in the head. Alert rockets were fired to summon help. Mr Kelly survived for […]

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How can unionism road-block the drive towards Irish unity?

There is a term once used to describe this state which has fallen into disuse. When I was a child, you’d hear it regularly on Radio Eireann ,  and the local nationalist newspaper wouldn’t have dreamt of using ‘the north of Ireland’, let alone ‘Northern Ireland’. That term was’ the Six Counties’ (usually capitalized). Maybe it’s been largely […]

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Kathy Sheridan on Alfie Evans and repeal of the Eighth

  The case of the baby Alfie Evans is an interesting one. Essentially it involved a clash between the wishes of the parents and the wishes of the state and the medical profession. Alfie’s parents wanted to keep him on life support, the state and the doctors didn’t. It appears that the state and doctors […]

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John and Leo and the I-word

  Sometimes, when a person suffers a great loss or disappointment, the effect is not just temporary. It alters how they see themselves and the world from that point on. Neil Kinnock, for example, declared himself a political failure for not having defeated the Tories when he was Labour leader. Hillary Clinton is still reeling from […]

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Arlene’s culture and Michel Barnier

So. Arlene Foster is annoyed. She says the EU’s chief Brexit negotiator, Michel Barnier, doesn’t understand unionist culture. Does that include the flag-burning bonfires and kick-the-pope bands, I wonder? Because searching for culture in either of those two knuckle-dragging performances would be like looking for a May altar in Sandy Row. But Arlene elaborates on […]

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The Cheshire Cat called Commonwealth

The British Empire is a bit like the Cheshire cat in Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland: over the years it has faded until all you’re left with is a bland smile. First we had the British Empire red in tooth and claw, sailing across the globe in search of countries to plunder, taking in of […]

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