Revolutionary days of fear relived in Ireland

Freedom is a Land I Cannot See by Peter Cunningham (Sandstone Press, £8.99) Peter Cunningham’s latest novel, Freedom is a Land I Cannot See, is one of his best. He shows great skill and sympathy in evoking living conditions of a century ago, when Ireland, or more particularly north rural Dublin was passing through revolutionary turmoil,…

The smouldering issue at the heart of Northern politics

Burned: The inside story of the ‘cash for ash’ scandal and Northern Ireland’s secretive new elite by Sam McBride (Merrion Press, €19.95)   The scandal of Northern Ireland’s Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) is one of bureaucratic failure, sloppy political oversight, and culpable procrastination, all leading to a colossal waste of public money. This book will…

Chris Patten: A modern Catholic statesman

First Confession: 
A Sort of Memoir by Chris Patten (Allen Lane, £14.99) I have just finished reading  with very great interest this most absorbing memoir of a modern politician of a special kind. Chris  Patten  was a Minister in Margaret Thatcher’s and John Major’s  governments,  and was  the Director of Elections for his party in the…

The real creator of our long lasting constitution

John Hearne: Architect of the 1937 Constitution of Ireland by  Eugene Broderick (Irish Academic Press,  €29.99) A study of all constitutions promulgated since the French Revolution in 1789, by the Chicago Law School,  found that the average constitution lasted a mere 17 years, before it was replaced. By that measure, the Irish Constitution, which will be…

Good ends would not justify immoral means

The choice to use force in 1916 must be subjected to severe reappraisal, writes John Bruton The commentator, Greg Daly, concludes an article in last week’s edition of The Irish Catholic, on the 1916 Rebellion in Dublin, with the words: “The Rising may have been immoral and anti-democratic, but to suggest that Ireland would have…