[I AM ON HOLIDAYS NEXT WEEK. (AB)NORMAL SERVICE WILL RESUME IN NOVEMBER.]

Clare FM is my local radio station. Gavin Grace was the host of Morning Focus, its weekday current affairs programme, for almost six years until he left for a post with the Health Service Executive last April. Shortly…


“…we Conservatives will defend our history and cultural inheritance not because we are proud of everything but because trying to edit it now is as dishonest as a celebrity trying furtively to change his entry in Wikipedia…” Boris Johnson (Conservative Party Conference, October 2021)

“Those who cannot remember the past…


Photo by Markus Spiske from Pexels

I remember the run up to the year 2000 mainly for two things.

The first was the fever which mounted in intensity over several years beforehand about the prospective arrival of the “Millennium”. One was liable to dismissal as a nerdy nitpicker for pointing out that a hundredth birthday comes…


Image by Seamus Darragh from Pixabay

Malcolm Gladwell’s book The Bomber Mafia is a cautionary tale about how even the most intellectually coherent and conceptually robust theories rarely emerge entirely intact from their first brush with reality.

In the years before the second world war, there was a strong school of thought within the American air…


Image by InspiredImages from Pixabay

One of the most affecting examples that I have encountered of the impact of bereavement was attributed to the late Peadar O’Donnell by his biographer, Peter Hegarty.

We will come back to that. But first, some background on the man himself because O’Donnell departed this life 35 years ago and…


Image by Denis Larsen from Pixabay

One of the books I read on holidays was JFK by Fredrick Logevall. Published last year, this was the first of what will be a two-volume biography. …


Image by Here and now, unfortunately, ends my journey on Pixabay from Pixabay

Which year in the modern post-1945 era has had the greatest influence on subsequent global events is a dinner table topic as pointless as it is diverting. Other years merit careful consideration but 1979 is certainly a front runner.

Pausing briefly in our own parish; in March, aged only 58…


Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay

The novel that I “studied” for my Leaving Cert in 1975 was Charles Dickens’ Great Expectations. …


Image by John Hain from Pixabay

The “row” over Katherine Zappone’s appointment as a special envoy to the UN and her “bash” at the Merrion Hotel is testimony to the enduring validity of Sayre’s law that the lower the stakes in any row the more intense that row is likely to be. In this case, Ms…


In a column under the heading “Brexit has unleashed something ugly here too” published in The Irish Times of 24 July, Jennifer O’Connell argued that Brexit might be engendering an atavistic anti-English reaction in Ireland.

I am reassembling her “argument” from different parts of her column. Ms. O’Connell describes the…

Daire O'Criodain

Former diplomat and aviation finance executive, active now mainly in not-for-profit sector. Living in rural Clare. Weekly posts on Wednesdays.

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