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?”

Más Linne an Phoblacht, Nach Linne an Pholaitíocht?

Cuireadh ceist orm inniu: Pioc amach fadhb amháin faoin tír seo, agus pioc amach bua amháin fúithi fosta. Bhí an chéad chuid den dúshlán níos deacra (tiocfaidh mé ar ais chuige sin ar ball) ach bhí an dara chuid éasca.

Is é an bua is fearr dá bhfuil againn ná an pobal. Pobal tacaíochta. Pobal nasctha. Pobal gan bhearna róbhéasach ná gan bhac cainte, ach pobal a labhraíonn ar nós go bhfuil aithne acu ar a chéile ar feadh na mblianta. Tá an tréith sin ar cheann de na rudaí is fearr faoi na hÉireannaigh, agus bhí sé ar cheann de na rudaí a mhothaigh mé uaim, nuair a bhí cónaí orm thar lear. Continue reading “Más Linne an Phoblacht, Nach Linne an Pholaitíocht?”

Notes from Nottingham: Is Winter Over Yet?

For  the last few weeks, I’ve started to wonder if Britain has managed to go on some tectonic exchange programme with Siberia. To leave any building with central heating is to take your life into your own hands, and you can easily practice looking into the distance with a melancholic look, like a character from The Killing. Nottingham is beautiful on a clear day – whatever the season – but when it’s grey, it’s as dull as it gets.

Still, there has been enough to keep myself active during the cold weather, although my resolution to avoid chocolate has shockingly been uninterrupted. Surely that deserves some sort of Nobel prize… Continue reading “Notes from Nottingham: Is Winter Over Yet?”