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.

Continue reading “Interval”

A Call to Action for All

To call these “challenging times” as we have seen so often lately, from newspaper columns and company annoucements to emails between colleagues, somehow lessens the stark reality of what is really going on. Sometimes, that’s intentional; an effort to put aside the one news story dominating the world, and try to return to a brief moment of reality. Sometimes, it’s acknowledging the crisis while trying to remain calm, or even optimistic. Sometimes, it’s because we don’t really know what else to say.

Continue reading “A Call to Action for All”

Finding Home: ‘The Irish Outlander’ Launched

1I was so humbled and grateful to be joined by friends and family, as well as other kind supporters of my writing, at the book launch of The Irish Outlander on March 21st in Dublin.

The Irish Writers Centre provided their wonderful Kiely Room, overlooking the capital city’s Garden of Remembrance, as the venue to launch my latest book, available now in paperback and for Kindle. The wonderful Darragh Doyle was kind enough to launch the book officially for me, giving the audience a glowing review of it, while also relating it to his own experience of the Irish community abroad, through his work with the @ireland Twitter account, and his recent work with the St. Patrick’s Festival in London. Continue reading “Finding Home: ‘The Irish Outlander’ Launched”

Why I’ve Decided to Get Political

Democracy is when the indigent, and not the men of property, are the rulers.

~ Aristotle

In my former career as a broadcaster, I took my duty of political neutrality seriously. For years, whether as a volunteer or a professional, I reported on political events, and interviewed several members of government, yet I never got involved with party politics. My neutrality was key for any credibility in my work, no matter how small or insignificant, and I honored it as much as I could.

Then, the marriage equality referendum took place while I was host of an LGBT programme on national radio. Continue reading “Why I’ve Decided to Get Political”

If the Country Is Ours, Why Not Politics Too?

Wir leben alle unter dem gleichen Himmel, aber wir haben nicht alle den gleichen Horizont.

(All of us live under the same sky, but we don’t all have the same horizon.)

Konrad Adenauer

Recently, I was asked two questions as part of a group, which got me thinking. The first was what the best thing about Ireland was. The second was what was the biggest problem or issue facing Irish society at the moment.

Many of us in the group thought the same thing about what was good about Ireland: Community. We all agreed that the Irish have a strong sense of community, so much so that it breaks down social barriers, and we’re a country that seems to believe that a stranger is a friend you haven’t met yet. We’re a connected community, and if you met someone on the street (even a street abroad) they’ll probably know a relative, friend, or colleague of yours. Maybe it comes from being a relatively small country, or maybe it’s because the Irish are just that closely connected. Continue reading “If the Country Is Ours, Why Not Politics Too?”