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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Interval

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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Le Nouveau Normal

My mother’s birthday is in March, the same month that the Irish celebrate Mother’s Day. In recent years, this has involved a flight – or more recently, a bus or train journey – to Dublin to spend those days together. It may involve a dinner at Clontarf Castle, a scenic drive along the coast road to Howth, or a meal in Malahide.

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Announcing Release of ‘Forgiving Jake’

Update: As of Monday, April 20, the paperback edition of Forgiving Jake is now available to order from Amazon via its American, British, Canadian, and Australian markets.

We are all trying to maintain a version of normality while we stay at home to slow down the spread of COVID-19, a pandemic which has made the world look and feel like some near-future science fiction novel. However, one of the easiest ways to relax and forget the world is to read, and I’m currently splitting my time between a few books for whenever I get a free moment between the day job and home renovations.

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Poem: Be Still / Fan Socair

Irish version below / Leagan Gaeilge thíos

Be Still

How bizarre for us all 
this silence seems to be 
instead of the rush 
of cars, calls, or crowds 
from place to place 
without a single destination in mind 

As if someone, somewhere 
raised an alarm – 
the Earth herself pleading 
for a moment's rest, 
to catch one's breath 
and let the skies clear. 

And what harm? 
If we, silent, are safe 
we have this chance 
to see speed is not the saviour, 

but humanity. 

Fan Socair

Is aisteach dúinn 
an ciúnas seo 
In ionad na tráchta, 
na cainte, na sluaite 
ag dul timpeall na háite 
gan sprioc ach chun luas a choimeád. 

Ar nós gur ardaíodh 
aláram – 
an Domhan é féin ag impí 
orainn sos a ghlacadh 
chun anáil a tharraingt
fad is a ghlantar an spéir. 

Agus cén dochar? 
Más slán sinn, 
tá deis againn 
a fheiceáil nach é luas an laoch 

ach an daonnacht.

Cork / Corcaigh
31 March/Márta 2020