‘Outdoor housework’ has its attractions

I’m never been much of a garden person – rather concurring with whoever described gardening as ‘outside housework’. That is, chores  done to maintain some kind of domestic order, rather than for any kind of fulfillment. But the Covid-19 lockdown did make me aware that there are people who have no gardens, and no access…

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Ukraine’s ‘abandoned’ babies

Surrogacy is a complicated issue – the demand for surrogacy services certainly indicates that while there have been so many well-financed pressures to get rid of babies, there is also a strong global demand to acquire babies. Surrogacy is big business. A recent drama on BBC TV, The Nest, broadcast in April, portrayed a wealthy…

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The cycle of history is back!

I’m fascinated by the cycle of history and the way in which things discarded as outdated often come back into fashion again. The classic example is the tram: declared redundant in 1949, the city tram has returned as a wonderfully efficient and environmentally-friendly form of public transport. And now the wretched coronavirus is producing a…

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Not a judgement, but a corrective

Is the coronavirus ‘God’s judgement’ to punish humanity for the errors of its ways? Surely not, and Bishop Brendan Leahy of Limerick is quite right to describe such ideas as a form of blasphemy. Pope Francis had previously given the lead in dismissing any such notion that the virus is some kind of Old Testament…

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There has been contagion before

Historic memories of the Spanish flu of 1918-20 have been frequently invoked during the present pandemic – the novelist Emma O’Donoghue, who wrote Room, will be publishing a new novel in July based on the so-called Spanish flu. (Unfair to blame the Spanish for that pandemic: Spain’s press simply reported it, being free of wartime…

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Time heals all wounds

It is said that time heals all wounds, although the motto doesn’t specify just how much time may be required. Still, it happens. Just look at Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil and their plans to govern together during this time of crisis. The plans may not run smoothly, and there may be arguments over the…

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Meghan and Harry’s search for meaning

Just as the coronavirus (Covid-19) took hold in America – and all over Europe – the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, familiarly known as Harry and Meghan, launched their new project. This is a charitable foundation called ‘Archewell’, and it will replace their previous ‘Sussex Royal’ brand, which, having chucked their relationship with British royalty,…

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The virus and the ‘patriarchy’

Even the grimmest times – as this Holy Week will be for many – bring revelations. And one of the aspects of the coronavirus (Covid-19) that most puzzles experts and scientists is – why are men much more likely to fall victim to the pandemic than women? Men in their 40s and 50s are more…

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