Category Archives: General

A bloody Finnish cautionary tale for Irish Republicans

The independent presidential candidate Sean Gallagher has recently joined Tánaiste Simon Coveney and Sinn Fein among the growing list of people who have said they expect to see a united Ireland in their lifetime. The two new factors behind their … Continue reading

Posted in General, Ireland, Europe and the world, Northern Ireland, Republic of Ireland | 4 Comments

Are parts of Europe coming to resemble Northern Ireland?

I imagine that few people outside Northern Ireland would disagree with the statement that the North is one of the most politically backward regions in Western Europe. The reasons are numerous and well-known: 30 years of destabilising and for a … Continue reading

Posted in General, Ireland, Europe and the world, Northern Ireland, Views from abroad | 1 Comment

My dream is of an economically united Ireland

When it comes to Northern Ireland many years of journalism and cross-border cooperation have taught me to be a hard-headed, cold-eyed realist. Any suggestion of movement towards Irish unity, whether it be a post-Brexit agreement to put border checks down … Continue reading

Posted in General, Northern Ireland, Republic of Ireland | 7 Comments

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 | 1 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