Archive for the category: ‘Featured’

Written on: 11. 1. 2012 in the category: Featured | read the full article

Remembering Paul Douglas

This is a column i wrote six years ago, in June 2006, and I just came across it by chance; it is about one of the best men I have ever known: I share it with you now True greatness is not measured in the plaques or institutes which bear one’s name, but in the imperishable residue one leaves on the minds and souls of relative strangers. Fourteen year ago, I went to report on the siege of Sarajevo. My […]

Written on: 20. 12. 2011 in the category: Featured news | read the full article

Hitchens had charisma and intellect in spades

The best thing about Christopher Hitchens was that he changed his mind whenever the evidence justified it. He started out on the classical English left, rather like his hero, George Orwell, and when he realised that it was an intellectually threadbare gallimaufry of ego-driven career politicians, cynical or witless trades union leaders, and middle-class emoters, he moved to the position of Permanent Sceptic. This is the only respectable position for any journalist of honour, which was easier to maintain in […]

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

Time for brand Fine Gael to get a new slogan

So the Fine Gael train seems to be hitting the buffers again. There’s one theory that all is going to plan; that the rival presidential candidates, having written off Gay Mitchell, will engage in mutual hari-kiri, leaving the Mitchell innards within. And then suddenly, bam, he’s back, scattering whatever entrails remain: next, he’s nodding presidentially as his metaphoric coach-and-four takes him to the old Vice-Regal Lodge. But even if Dublin votes for him in preference to some culchie, he’s unlikely […]

Written on: 7. 10. 2011 in the category: Featured news | read the full article

Irish people have shown themselves to be remarkably tolerant and wise towards migrants

‘Migrants have been assaulted, urinated on and forced to leave their homes, a study on racism has found”: thus ran the opening line of a newspaper report on an ‘investigation’ by the Immigrant Council of Ireland. One would assume that the Immigrant Council’s allegations were based on a careful and extensive study of Irish society. Not true. The report was based on interviews with just 24 people, all of whom had presented themselves at the ICI Racist Incidents Support and […]

Written on: 6. 10. 2011 in the category: Featured news | read the full article

Without a major cultural reform, we are programming certain failure into our future

I had to get from near Dalkey to the M50 the other day. I might as well have been trying to get from Dover to London in late 1940. South Dublin County apparently prides itself on its absence of signposts; and its roundabouts are a multi-exited triumph of nameless bedlam. I remember writing about this, all of 20 years ago. Yet here we are, one entire Celtic Tiger later, with the beast having been conceived, gestated, reared, matured, murdered and […]

Written on: 4. 10. 2011 in the category: Featured news | read the full article

Some questions that we should never have to ask

A peaceful society only exists when we largely repress whatever emotions, desires, ambitions, likes and dislikes that would cause gratuitous offence or hurt or pain. Society requires the assertion of a common virtue as a primary adhesive, binding unfriends in an agreed commonwealth of bogus esteem. Therefore the head of state of any republic must at least SEEM to be the embodiment of that adhesive, and a lifelong public adherence to the Ten Commandments is a primary requirement for such […]

Written on: 30. 9. 2011 in the category: Featured news | read the full article

Had Myles escaped he might have become a literary giant

Last Saturday, just about the most brilliantly shocking supplement in the history of Irish journalism (give or take) appeared in this newspaper. It featured the monotone half-decade, 1950-54. Grey rosary processions of women in grey cardigans were blessed by grey bishops, while other grey bishops scattered grey droplets of holy water on grey soldiery in grey serge. Ireland was the colour of a granite jail cell, lit by the forlorn candle of guttering hope. Another supplement, for the late ’50s, […]

Written on: 29. 9. 2011 in the category: Featured news | read the full article

No offence, but let’s end this god-awful nonsense

LISTEN to the Irish rugby players in New Zealand. They don’t speak any more of “lads” or “fellows” or “chaps”. Nowadays, to my mind tragically, they’ll only say “guys”. For Australians, the word “bloke” was once a defining term of their identity. Now it’s all “guys guys guys”. This week I got an email from the Broadcasting Authority on the subject of food advertising for children, asking all “stakeholders” to offer their opinions. And no, I have no idea what […]

Written on: 24. 9. 2011 in the category: Featured news | read the full article

It wasn’t economic policy which ended the slump of the 1930s but the Second World War

Isn’t it quite wonderful that the governments of the world, which are clearly incapable of breaking the recession-slump that is sucking us to perdition, are nonetheless certain that they can reverse global warming? They have proved their utter ineptitude at coping with tangible, man-made phenomenon, the global economy: yet this doesn’t prevent them from telling us they can solve a problem which is even deeper and longer term, and might not even be man-made. I’ll accept for the purposes of […]

Written on: 23. 9. 2011 in the category: Featured news | read the full article

If we elect McGuinness to the Aras we will be turning our backs on the victims of the Troubles

I see. This poor broken Republic clearly still has some way to sink. Pitting Gay Mitchell and Michael Higgins against the Sinn Fein electoral machine in the battle for the Park is rather like deploying the Kirov girls’ ballet school to protect the Winter Palace from the Bolsheviks’ Third Shock Army. The last I heard, the IRA army council had not been disbanded. The last I heard, Martin McGuinness was still on it. Ergo, are we close to putting an […]