Blocking an invasion from the North

If you want some proof that the government in the south is pro-partition, look no further than this morning’s education headlines. Entry into a university in the south is dependent on the number of points you accumulate from your Leaving Certificate or A Level performance.  In a classic case of shifting the goalposts,  the south […]

Continue Reading

Roots: an Irish problem

Pearse Doherty was born in Scotland, yet he’s heavy favourite to win the Donegal South-West by-election coming up later this month.  William Norton, who died last month, was an outstanding Hollywood screenwriter of Irish parentage. He requested that his ashes be scattered in Ireland. In his book Irish on the Inside, Tom Hayden tells how […]

Continue Reading

Roots: an Irish problem

Pearse Doherty was born in Scotland, yet he’s heavy favourite to win the Donegal South-West by-election coming up later this month.  William Norton, who died last month, was an outstanding Hollywood screenwriter of Irish parentage. He requested that his ashes be scattered in Ireland. In his book Irish on the Inside, Tom Hayden tells how […]

Continue Reading

Sir Terry – he knows what’s what

Terry Wogan is a very funny man. Sorry, slip of the tongue there, Sir Terry Wogan is a very funny man. He was made an honorary knight in 2005, but they changed the honorary to ‘substantive’ when he became a British subject  later that same year. That gave a kind of retrospective validation to Terry’s […]

Continue Reading

Sir Terry – he knows what’s what

Terry Wogan is a very funny man. Sorry, slip of the tongue there, Sir Terry Wogan is a very funny man. He was made an honorary knight in 2005, but they changed the honorary to ‘substantive’ when he became a British subject  later that same year. That gave a kind of retrospective validation to Terry’s […]

Continue Reading

No originality, please. We’re Irish

Sometimes the Irish people do things that make me want to bite a cushion and hide behind the sofa. Like,  when someone speaks with an Oxford accent and is heard with respect, while if the same views were delivered in a Belfast accent they’d be shouted down.  Or the way we believe in one of […]

Continue Reading

No originality, please. We’re Irish

Sometimes the Irish people do things that make me want to bite a cushion and hide behind the sofa. Like,  when someone speaks with an Oxford accent and is heard with respect, while if the same views were delivered in a Belfast accent they’d be shouted down.  Or the way we believe in one of […]

Continue Reading

Sorry, I missed that – can you say again?

When she was a little girl Maggie Ritchie was told by her teacher tthat when she got up to speak she should always, always open her mouth wide-wide-WIDE like a little dickie-bird so everyone could clearly hear her song.  The SDLP leader has never forgotten that admonition and so she was at her mouth-opening best […]

Continue Reading

Sorry, I missed that – can you say again?

When she was a little girl Maggie Ritchie was told by her teacher tthat when she got up to speak she should always, always open her mouth wide-wide-WIDE like a little dickie-bird so everyone could clearly hear her song.  The SDLP leader has never forgotten that admonition and so she was at her mouth-opening best […]

Continue Reading

I can see clearly now…

I’ve been test-driving a pair of contact lenses for the last week. The optician has said I can try them for two weeks, after which I’ll have to decide whether to sign up permanently or not. At first wearing them was …stunning. I felt like a man reborn, or at least rescued from a life […]

Continue Reading