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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 [...]

Boys need help with body image too

I grew up looking at images of ‘heroin chic’ supermodels, for whom nothing tasted better than how thin felt. 1990s beauty standards were defined by Kate Moss’s protruding ribs, while teen girls’ magazines warned of an epidemic of anorexia and bulimia. https://www.flickr.com/photos/9355127@N07/35710732331/in/photostream/ The term body-shaming hadn’t been coined yet, but the rise of magazines outlining [...]

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 [...]

New rules take all the fun out of work

In the wake of #MeToo, Netflix has released a new set of rules governing how its workers interact during filming. For the most part, they seem fairly obvious to anyone who isn’t a creep. The problem is that if you are a creep, you probably won’t even realise they are aimed at you. They include rules [...]

Trysexuals to Love Island in 20 years

It’s been twenty years since viewers around the world gasped at the audacity of four New York women who weren’t afraid to talk about sex, vibrators and orgasms. They said aloud all the things that magazines like Cosmopolitan had been writing for years. And it made them a worldwide hit, for a market starved of television [...]

Thanks, Gaybo, for revealing the real meaning of life

When Gay Byrne spoke to Ray D’Arcy this week about the TV show, ‘Once More With Feeling: The Meaning of Life’, which aired last night, we all perked up a little bit, and listened. Perhaps because of his reticence in expressing his opinions over the years, Gaybo has been conferred, as he ages, with an almost [...]

2018-05-31T18:10:01+00:00 May 31st, 2018|Categories: Opinion|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , |

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, [...]