Birthday Parties & Book Launches (on Zoom)

The last week of staying at home, officially Week 7 of self-isolation, was probably the strangest. We were the most used to the ‘new normal’, with our routine of daily walks within two-kilometre limits, weekly grocery trips to Aldi, SuperValu, or the local off-licence. We’d notice – but become accustomed to – the deathly silence on the roads during an evening walk; it would only be around 9 o’clock, but it would feel like 4 in the morning, stumbling home from a night out. The idea of going out for a treat is now a takeaway coffee in the nearby petrol station, and I’ve almost forgotten when Cork city centre looks like, whatever about travelling to the rest of the country.

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Ní Bheidh AthGhaelú Éasca, Ach…

Ó thús na gluaiseachta Gaelaí, nuair a bhí grúpaí áirithe ag ullmhú agus ag impí ar thacaíocht an phobail ar son an neamhspleáchais, bhí ról cumhachtach ag an teanga, a cuid litríochta ársa agus chomhaimseartha, agus ar mhuintir na Gaeltachta, réigiún a bhí i bhfad níos láidre ná mar atá sí inniu. Bhí cumhacht faoi leith ag an bhfocal “Éire”, go háirithe nuair a chuireadh íomhá Éiru – nó Hibernia – os comhair an phobail mar spéirbhean chróga álainn, í ina siombal náisiúnta. Chuir gluaiseacht athbheochan na Gaeilge neart leis an íomhá finscéalaíoch sin, agus bhí muintir na hÉireann in ann glacadh leis an gcoincheap.

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A Polticial Declaration

There’s no doubt that the last few weeks have been difficult for everyone, but as I’ve written recently, while there are still major challenges and issues to be dealt with in Ireland, we have also seen a boost in community awareness. We’ve made a conscious effort to care for others again, whether that means checking in on our neighbours, calling our friends, or minding our family.

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After This, Let’s Remember How We United

Just before the crisis of COVID-19 hit Ireland, we had been preparing for (and many of us complaining about) a general election to form the next Dáil Éireann.

Many people were unimpressed with the poor state of affairs in different parts of society, and wanted things to change. Housing, homelessness, healthcare, direct provision, and more all needed to be dealt with urgently. Although the feeling on the ground was that the Fine Gael minority government hadn’t acted quickly or sufficiently enough, what voters considered an allowable timeline to implement changes could never be rationally defined.

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A couple of months ago, I never knew what “thistlebond” was. It’s a strange, gloopy substance, like paint that has been mixed with a generous serving of sand. It’s used in preparing walls for plastering, should they need it. Some of our new home’s walls and ceilings do, while some others have been covered with plasterboard.

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