Missing the bloody point

I was in the car for ninety minutes this morning, because I had to drive to Saintfield High School with a reference for a marvellous ex-student of mine who’s going for the job of ex-principal today…Yes, yes, I know I should have written and posted it a week ago but I didn’t, ok? OK?? Anyway, […]

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Omagh – my town

I grew up in Omagh and to varying degrees I’ve always loved it. When you’re young, you can’t wait to get away from your home town, especially if you see it as a small, non-metropolitan place. Then as you get older, you swing full circle and find yourself drawn more and more to the place […]

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Omagh – my town

I grew up in Omagh and to varying degrees I’ve always loved it. When you’re young, you can’t wait to get away from your home town, especially if you see it as a small, non-metropolitan place. Then as you get older, you swing full circle and find yourself drawn more and more to the place […]

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Ireland’s banks: anything would be better than this

In the name of God. Or rather, in the name of the Irish people. Or rather, in the name of the people of the twenty-six counties: what IS this? Or to quote a once-admired Taoiseach: “What kind of eejits do they take the people for?” The Irish economic crisis is a tangled, multi-stranded mess that […]

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Ireland’s banks: anything would be better than this

In the name of God. Or rather, in the name of the Irish people. Or rather, in the name of the people of the twenty-six counties: what IS this? Or to quote a once-admired Taoiseach: “What kind of eejits do they take the people for?” The Irish economic crisis is a tangled, multi-stranded mess that […]

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Sinn Féin Town Hall meetings: louder than words

The really good ideas are often the simple ones. Blindingly simple, so when you see them in action, you kick yourself and say “Why didn’t I think of that?” On the other hand, there are simple and really good ideas that, even had you thought of them, you’d have been incapable of translating them into […]

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Sinn Féin Town Hall meetings: louder than words

The really good ideas are often the simple ones. Blindingly simple, so when you see them in action, you kick yourself and say “Why didn’t I think of that?” On the other hand, there are simple and really good ideas that, even had you thought of them, you’d have been incapable of translating them into […]

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Five things we know about the Shankill Butchers

Stephen Nolan’s show ‘Shankill Butchers’ on BBC last night didn’t so much bring fresh revelations about that loyalist 1970s gang as confirm what most of us have been thinking for a long, long time. Five things struck me while watching it. 1. The Shankill Butchers were terrorists. That might seem obvious when the word is […]

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Five things we know about the Shankill Butchers

Stephen Nolan’s show ‘Shankill Butchers’ on BBC last night didn’t so much bring fresh revelations about that loyalist 1970s gang as confirm what most of us have been thinking for a long, long time. Five things struck me while watching it. 1. The Shankill Butchers were terrorists. That might seem obvious when the word is […]

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Closure be damned

My life has been blessed. The nearest I’ve come to the death of a loved one in the Troubles was in the Omagh bomb, where a distant cousin died. So I can’t begin to understand how much pain families feel when a family member is killed through the wanton violence of others. Nor can I […]

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