One Bold Deed of Open Treason
The trial of Roger Casement took place at the height of the First World War, when the fate of the British empire hung in the balance. Casement was hell-bent on destroying that empire; it is hard to measure the level of hatred levelled at him by those who wished to protect it.
The Real Revolutionary
James Connolly may have made common cause with the other leaders of the 1916 Rising but his aims were quite different. What he wanted was not just the expulsion of the British from Ireland, not just some form of statist socialism, but the overthrow of the entire economic system.
Towards the Light
A diagnosis of schizophrenia was once regarded as ‘the kiss of death’. However we now know that with effective and multiple interventions people with even the most acute condition can make a significant recovery and contribute to their community as valued citizens.
Follow the Money
We would like to think that finance is the handmaiden of politics and can be bent to the will of benign policy-makers. But forces inherent in the financial system, national and international, have often historically pre-determined political and economic outcomes.
Before the Flood
A new memoir recalls an artistic and political controversy which rocked Northern Ireland more than fifty years ago, at a time when its labour traditions were still strong and the Northern Ireland Labour Party attracted a quarter of the vote and the loyalty of much of Belfast’s working class.
What Lies Behind
For John Berger, the truly great artists are those who struggle to break through to the other side. The struggle is against tradition and convention, which serve the interests of the powerful by restricting human possibility to the superficial, immediate and given.
A Little Lost
When the first rough draft of the human genome was sequenced in 2000, President Clinton announced: ‘Without a doubt, this is the most important, most wondrous map ever produced by human kind.’ Now it seems that the difficulties that lay ahead were underestimated.
We’re No Angels
Máirtín Ó Cadhain’s masterpiece ‘Cré na Cille’, which portrayed the meanness and bitter scurrility of the inhabitants of a Conamara graveyard, lacked an English translation for over sixty years. Now it has two, each, in their different ways, doing the classic work full justice.
The Analyst as Eeyore
Fintan O’Toole’s narrow focus allows him to portray Irish public life as suffering a grave malaise, a condition one could almost say was unique to our society. His closely cropped view allows him to denounce our public services as “squalid”. But squalid compared to what or to where?
Love and Other Matters
Francesco Petrarcha bequeathed to the Renaissance a particular way of writing about love. Shakespeare’s Romeo is just one of his disciples. But love was not the only string to Petrarch’s bow; he was also an archaeologist, classical scholar and respected moral philosopher.