Category Archives: Views from abroad

Letter from Virginia: a time is coming when Ulster Protestants will have to be brave and smart

I have just returned from a stay in the US state of Virginia, mostly in the town of Lexington in the county of Rockbridge. Rockbridge is one of the two American counties which claim the highest proportion of inhabitants descended … Continue reading

Posted in General, Northern Ireland, Protestantism, unionism and loyalism, Views from abroad | 1 Comment

Do we need a bit of Chinese ingenuity to solve our Irish puzzle (or could Chris Patten be the man to unite Ireland)?

Christmas 2018 sees an anxious Ireland starting seriously to prepare for Britain crashing out of the EU without a deal. It finds the United Kingdom in a state of constitutional agitation and division not seen since the Suez crisis in … Continue reading

Posted in General, Ireland, Europe and the world, Views from abroad | 2 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

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

Home thoughts on a journey through India

India has been a place I have wanted to visit ever since as a teenager I read my father’s account of being interned by the British (for being a communist) in the Himalayan foothills in the 1940s.¹ My wish was … Continue reading

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

The inspirational volunteers of the Calais refugee camp

It was a surreal scene: a soccer tournament on a sand-covered space which looked more like a rubbish dump than a football pitch; the players (all wearing tops reading ‘We are Human’) drawn from half-a-dozen countries ranging from Sudan to … Continue reading

Posted in General, Ireland, Europe and the world, Views from abroad | 2 Comments

Why we need to be on the same team as the Germans

Germany is now the undisputed boss of the European Union. Any lingering doubts about this were ruthlessly dispelled during the recent Greek bail-out crisis. Angela Merkel and her finance minister, Wolfgang Schäuble, forced through a package of reforms even more … Continue reading

Posted in General, Ireland, Europe and the world, Views from abroad | 3 Comments