Captured at Dunkirk

Captured at Dunkirk

George McCool was captured by German soldiers at Dunkirk. Twenty years ago, I interviewed the Derry man at his home in the Waterside. George, a Catholic unionist, who described himself as ‘a bit of a royalist’, incredibly, lived in Derry’s Creggan throughout the...

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The Loss of David Ervine

The Loss of David Ervine

In 2002 I interviewed David Ervine about peace, identity and compromise. It was just after a biography of Ervine, Unchartered Waters by Henry Sinnerton, had been published by Brandon (which also published Gerry Adams' books). Ervine died ten years ago and the party he...

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“We have to learn to think differently”

“We have to learn to think differently”

Just finished Nightmare in Berlin by Hans Fallada, written in 1946, a quasi-biographical novel about a writer Dr Doll and his wife, their experiences of the invading Russian authorities, and then their lives as morphine addicts attempting to survive a devastated...

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All Fall Down

All Fall Down

Much of James Leo Herlihy’s fame is as author of Midnight Cowboy, a fine novel which was subsequently overshadowed in 1969 by John Schlesinger’s film of the book, a gritty and bleak, Oscar-winning film that featured Jon Voight (as Joe Buck) and Dustin Hoffman (as...

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Brexit, Brexit, Brexit

Almost all of my media interviews in the past few months, including much of my commentary on Twitter, have been dominated by the Brexit issue. Again, this morning I was interviewed by Hayley Millar, BBC Scotland, about Brexit and the proposed pact between the DUP and...

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After The Deluge

Sinn Féin won seven seats in the Westminster general election, running on an abstentionist ticket, which has been the party’s policy for at least one hundred years. The SDLP, which boasted about sitting in Westminster but had nothing to show for it, lost its three...

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How To Steal Votes

The electoral office has been reported in local media as stating that there has been a large increase in applications for postal and proxy votes. Fermanagh and South Tyrone topped the list with 1,500 proxy votes and Newry and Armagh with over 1200. The story gave rise...

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Through RUC Eyes

I’ve just finished a very good book, Nights in Armour by Blair McMahon, written in the main from the perspective of several RUC men around the time of the hunger strikes and the death of Bobby Sands. There are other minor points of view, including that of a republican...

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Marwan Barghouti

This profile of Marwan Barghouti, who is currently on hunger strike in an Israeli Jail, appears in my book Rebel Columns, and was first published in 2003. In a dangerous or threatening situation one or two individuals within any group will remain cool and rise above...

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The Salmon Run

Danny Doherty, from Carrigart, County Donegal, is the son of Mary and Pat Doherty (MP for West Tyrone). Martin McGuinness was a familiar visitor to the family home from when Danny was an infant. In this poem Danny pays tribute to the former republican leader (a keen...

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