Armistice Day: a personal reflection

A hundred years is a blip in the history of humanity, but for most people, the end of World War One feels like a remote historical event. The decade of centenaries in some ways makes it feel like ancient history - a pity, because we make the mistake of thinking history does not repeat, and progress [...]

2018-12-01T21:55:04+00:00 December 1st, 2018|Categories: Personal, Politics|Tags: , , , |

The Presidency? More like Britain's Got Talent, the bloopers

As I sat down to write this column, I realized that trying to sum up the current crop of presidential candidates is impossible. Between conspiracy theories about everything from vaccines to German discount supermarkets, commitments to dressing up as Marilyn Monroe should the national interest require it, promotion of stag hunting, and bizarre proposals to install [...]

2018-09-10T13:14:33+00:00 August 30th, 2018|Categories: Politics|Tags: , , , , , , |

Laundry apologists live among us

It’s easy to blame Church and State for all the ills that have blighted Irish society. Warehousing the poor in workhouses; separating children from their parents in industrial schools for the crime of poverty; enslaving women in Magdalene laundries for the crime of pregnancy. But those whose ancestors incarcerated women with the temerity to bear children [...]

In the prime of life

New Zealand’s prime minister Jacinda Ardern gave birth yesterday to a beautiful baby girl. Mother, baby, and soon to be stay-at-home Dad are reportedly all doing well. She will take six weeks’ maternity leave, and her husband will take over childcare duties after that. The overwhelming reaction online was ‘Woman gives birth. So what?’. But it’s [...]

Where next for newly energised Mná na hÉireann?

One of the slogans adorning pro-repeal t shirts before the referendum was ‘In Awe of Mná’, and following the astonishing result of Friday’s referendum on the 8th amendment, it’s clear that slogan was prescient. Yes campaigners at the count in Cork city. Photo: Fiona Corcoran We are all in awe of mná. Politicians, particularly, [...]

Only Vicky has womens' interests at heart

Vicky Phelan is my hero. This brave woman is battling on all fronts. Fighting a terminal cancer diagnosis, the Limerick-based mum has had a lot to contend with in life already, but after learning that a smear test from years before her cancer diagnosis had been wrongly given the all-clear, she started asking questions. She learned [...]