It’s all about the family

The Harry-and-Meghan saga rumbles on, and one reason for the attention it is given is that people see it as a focus for dissecting family relationships. Let’s face it: we all have complications within our family constellation. There may be a problematic uncle who seems to have let the side down. There is possibly a…

A poignant picture of past troubles

We face a difficult series of commemorations, for sure, with the centenary of those troubled times between 1920 and 1923 – the War of Independence, the Black-and-Tan war, the disputed Anglo-Irish Treaty, the Civil War. Small wonder that our elders, our grandparents and parents, said so little about those times. There were aspirations of which…

A lovely Christmas gift!

One of the most uplifting Christmas presents I received was an old cassette tape – remember those listening tapes once played on a cassette machine? Well, I still have, and use, a cassette machine. Back in the 1990s, my late nephew gave me a tape of some Dublin schoolchildren re-telling their versions of Bible stories…

Reflections on the SDLP revival

As a new party, Aontú did well in the Derry constituency of Foyle for the UK General Election: Anne McCloskey got over 2,000 votes and saw an increase in support for her party. Yet, in terms of the overall political picture, it’s surely also a welcome development that the SDLP, which had been wiped off…

Leave law making with those elected

Lord Jonathan Sumption is a well-respected British judge and historian, who has served as a Justice of the Supreme Court. But what he now says about the increasing power of lawyers in the interpretation of the law is deeply significant. I have been much impressed, this year, by his short book Trials of the State:…