The Little Boy and The Fat Man

The Little Boy and The Fat Man

Today is the 75th anniversary of the dropping of the atom bomb over the city of Hiroshima, followed a few days later by the bombing of Nagasaki. This is a feature I wrote about the two bombings which was first published in 2004. Charles Sweeney was born in...

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Cauvery Madhavan In Person

Cauvery Madhavan In Person

My ‘Scribes’ interview for this year’s virtual Féile an Phobail with author Cauvery Madhavan is now available on YouTube here. Cauvery has written three novels – Paddy Indian, The Uncoupling and her latest The Tainted, released in May 2020, has received rave reviews....

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Colin Broderick In Person

Colin Broderick In Person

As part of Féile an Phobail's virtual Scribes at the Rock I interviewed the New Jersey-based writer Colin Broderick, a former native of Tyrone, about his two extraordinary memoirs, That’s That and Orangutan, which deal with his troubled childhood, oppression and war,...

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The Dungeons of Tazmamart

The Dungeons of Tazmamart

My review of Moroccan Aziz BineBine's biography about his eighteen years of torture in the dungeons of Tazmamart was published in last Saturday's Irish Examiner. Tazmamart was translated from the French by Lulu Norman and is published by Haus - pp. 190. £14.99 -oo0oo-...

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Navigating History

Navigating History

With the continuing protests over the death of George Floyd spilling into other protests, especially in Britain, with campaigns to remove statues and other monuments honouring slave-owners and imperialist figures, here is a feature I wrote twenty years ago on the...

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Racism In Our Midst

Racism In Our Midst

I wrote the following feature seventeen years ago. It was published in August 2003 in the Andersonstown News and is as relevant now as it was then, because racism remains pervasive, both subtle and explicit - clearly in the USA, as witness the killing of George Floyd,...

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Behan and the IRA

Behan and the IRA

On this day in March 1964 Brendan Behan died at the age of forty one from alcoholism. Before he became an internationally-acclaimed author he worked as a house painter and also joined the IRA, initially as a courier. Behan was a friend and comrade of my Uncle Harry, a...

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Keiro no Hi

Keiro no Hi

Every year Japan sets aside a day to mark ‘Respect for the Aged Day’. I think it is something that legislators in Leinster House and Stormont should consider, even though symbolic, as a measure of raising awareness about our elderly citizens. Here is a newspaper...

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‘I Am, What I Am’

‘I Am, What I Am’

Today is the twelfth anniversary of the death of David Ervine, leader of the PUP and a former UVF prisoner. I interviewed him in 2002 in his office at Stormont where he was an MLA. There has been much speculation down the years about whether loyalism would be in the...

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For The Cause Of Liberty

For The Cause Of Liberty

The difficulties of dealing with the past has been dominated by and largely associated with the recent conflict in the North. But the decision by the Irish government to commemorate members of the RIC and the Dublin Metropolitan Police prior to the establishment of...

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