Category Archives: Views from abroad

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

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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

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Writers, ranchers and revolutionaries: tales of the Irish in Argentina

How many people know that the man who raised the Irish flag over the GPO at Easter 1916 was from Argentina?  I didn’t know this until I was told it earlier this month in Buenos Aires by Guillermo MacLoughlin, one … Continue reading

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Notes from another great little country

We in Ireland (or rather the Republic of Ireland) have a lazy, solipsistic tendency to think we are the greatest little country in the world (and not just to do business in). I have spent most of the past fortnight … Continue reading

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A love affair with France (and vice-versa)

They say it’s bad for the soul to become obsessed with one small, narrow place or one small, narrow subject. For 45 years much of my life has been taken up with the interminable problems of Northern Ireland.  So this … Continue reading

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How the women of Ireland saved the children of another small divided country

What do the Land League leader Michael Davitt and a young Dublin-born medical doctor, Suzanne O’Connell, have in common? The answer lies in Europe’s poorest and probably least-known country, Moldova. For at either end of the 20th century these two … Continue reading

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