Written on: 13. 11. 2011 in the category: news | read the full article

Address at St Patrick’s Cathedral on Remembrance Sunday

This is the address I made on Remembrance Sunday at St Patrick’s Cathedral, Dublin November 13, 2011 I begin today by honouring our new President, the commander in chiefof our Defence Forces. Mr President sir, that is surely an honour you will hold closeto your heart – and in this place especially. For fifty one years ago this week the Niemba Ambush of our soldiers in the Congo took place. And it was at the remembrance Sunday servicehere two days […]

Written on: 11. 11. 2011 in the category: news | read the full article

The Armistice might not have ended war, but let’s not forget that most of the world is now free

A day like today comes but once a century: 11/11/11. Add in the moment that the guns ceased firing, and it becomes: 11/11/11/11. What a strange verticality, a picket-fence through which to view history. Of course, like most historical events, the 1918 Armistice was not really how the popular imagination has painted it, for it certainly did not bring a universal peace. Instead of the Ottoman Empire being treated with wise civility, it was brutally and ruinously dismembered. Civil war […]

Written on: 10. 11. 2011 in the category: news | read the full article

Memory murdered by know-nothing land of TV

I had been watching ‘Downton Abbey’ these recent weeks in the fond and fervent hope that the great Spanish Influenza Pandemic of 1918 would wipe out the entire household. And then, to my disbelieving horror, I discovered that last Sunday’s programme was not the last. Far from the flu making short work of the entire cast, it had done for just one of their number: a seldom-seen waif. Let me be frank. I have followed ‘Downton Abbey’ with the sick, […]

Written on: 9. 11. 2011 in the category: news | read the full article

Ryanomics is seeping into society like sewage

THE offer looked good on the Aer Lingus website: two fares to London. Cost? No cost. Free of charge; just one of those insane little gimmicks that airlines do these days to entice passengers aboard, and once there, we can maybe be persuaded to part with our cash on a breakfast roll for €200. The trick is not to buy the breakfast roll, of course. So we decided to buy the tickets to London. And that’s where it got interesting, […]

Written on: 4. 11. 2011 in the category: news | read the full article

Mountbatten — a vile psycho killed by thugs

THE IRA did a couple of enormous favours to Lord Louis Mountbatten when they blew his boat apart in 1979, killing him, an old lady, and two young lads. A brace of octogenarians and a couple of schoolboys: quite a bag. Firstly, the IRA gave Mountbatten the almost perfect death — instant and without any pain, doing what he loved most of all; messing around in boats. What this vile man really deserved was to die in his own filth, […]

Written on: 3. 11. 2011 in the category: news | read the full article

Energy hypocrisy exposed by ignoring nuclear option

RTE ‘News at One’ excitedly announced the other day that work had started on the new electricity interconnector between Ireland and Wales. This, carolled the RTE reporter with all the cretinous piety that characterises any discussion on the subject in Ireland, will enable us to export renewable energy to the rest of Europe! Which is rather like saying the Marshall Aid was a way of Ireland coming to the assistance of California, or Live Aid was all about Ethiopia rescuing […]

Written on: 2. 11. 2011 in the category: news | read the full article

A sinister spring takes hold after a despicable fall

If you reduce the morality of international affairs to the politically convenient intervention against the bad guys just as they’re losing power, then I suppose there is good reason to cheer events in Libya and the Middle East generally. To be sure, Gaddafi was a thoroughly evil man, and he should have been dealt with, by international fiat, once Lockerbie was shown to be his work. NATO should simply have overthrown him. But of course it didn’t, according to the […]

Written on: 2. 11. 2011 in the category: news | read the full article

Consequence, Greeks and Convoys

Yes, I know I do bang about these historical things a lot, but that’s because I believe they’re important. The most important event in world history since the Reformation was the Great War. That unleashed the concept of Awful and Inescapable Consequence on Europe. That is, if you invade a country that has friends, the price to be paid is truly, truly awful. But then, in the succeeding years, the law of Inescapable Consequence was seen to be far too […]

Written on: 2. 11. 2011 in the category: news | read the full article

Banks and Recovery

How much are we pre-destined by our culture to follow particular paths? How difficult is it to make startling departures from traditional ways? The question is worth asking in the light of the recent proposal in “The Irish Times” by the economists Sean O’Rian and Michael O’Sullivan that we start a state-investment bank. The first objection is one that any semi-literate ten year old can make: how are we to trust an unreformed public sector with the management of a […]

Written on: 1. 11. 2011 in the category: news | read the full article

What precisely does one do with a website?

A committee member of the Wexford Festival Opera — a lover of music, to be sure, but in most regards a plain and modest Wexfordian, more of a Rackard than a Rackrenter — was once, while about his operatic duties, invited to a Big House for lunch. Unfortunately, he was somewhat delayed and only arrived after everyone had finished their first course. Look, said his host, why don’t you catch up with us while we wait, and then we can […]