Author Archives: andypollak

On this occasion it was a DUP politician who talked the most sense

Sometimes I despair of the poor understanding of the people of this Republic about what makes the Northern quarter of this island tick. It is not helped by poor reporting of what happens there. We had another example of this … Continue reading

Posted in British-Irish relations, General, Northern Ireland | Leave a comment

Leitrim lessons from the great John McGahern

John McGahern is known, in Ireland and beyond, as a marvellous teller of stories about ordinary rural people’s lives. His most famous novels – The Dark, Amongst Women, That They May Face the Rising Sun – are set in his native Leitrim … Continue reading

Posted in General, Northern Ireland, Republic of Ireland | Leave a comment

In praise of Irish villages (under the summer sun)

Earlier this month I spent a week walking along back roads and across hills through a relatively unknown part of the rural north and west of Ireland. I started at the village of Tynan, west of Armagh city; walked across … Continue reading

Posted in General, Republic of Ireland, The island environment | 2 Comments

I wish the Taoiseach would shut up about a united Ireland

I wish our Taoiseach would shut up about a united Ireland until he has something sensible to say on the subject. According to the Irish Times he was at it again earlier this month, telling Fine Gael parliamentarians after a … Continue reading

Posted in General, Northern Ireland | 1 Comment

10 beautiful and interesting places off the Belfast to Dublin road (part two)

Regular readers of this blog will remember that last month I left you in the excellent Strandfield cafe just north of Dundalk, which was my fifth beautiful and interesting place just off the Belfast to Dublin Road. This month I … Continue reading

Posted in General, Republic of Ireland, The island environment | Leave a comment

10 beautiful and interesting places off the Belfast to Dublin road (part one)

The road and railway between Belfast and Dublin have been an important part of my life. Over the past 50 years I must have travelled between Ireland’s two major cities several thousand times. Given the millions of people who make … Continue reading

Posted in General, Northern Ireland, Republic of Ireland, The island environment | Leave a comment

In Prague: Memories of my Czech father and my Irish mother

My wife Doireann and I spent a long weekend in Prague earlier this month. For me, it was a sentimental journey into my family’s past. 71 years ago this month my Czech father Stephen and my Irish mother Eileen were … Continue reading

Posted in General, Views from abroad | 4 Comments