I am so at home in Dublin, more than any other city, that I feel it has always been familiar to me. It took me years to see through its soft charm to its bitter prickly kernel - which I quite like too.

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As is clear from his writing on the poverty and exploitation then endemic in rural England, Blythe was a man of the left and a pacifist.

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There are laws: don’t put your dung outside the door. Cattle shall not be eviscerated beside the river. Hides not to be salted in the city.

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The La France Insoumise movement won a creditable third place in this year’s presidential election. But with a scandal involving a possible future leader, it seems to have hit the skids.

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Open-mindedness and compassion might usefully be applied to thinking around the killings of thirteen Protestant civilians in West Cork in April 1922.

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I had taken Prilepin for a liberal, but in fact he was a member of the banned National Bolshevik Party, founded by, among others, Aleksandr Dugin, who has called for the total destruction of the Ukrainian state. The ‘Nazbols’, as their eclectic pageantry suggested, believed there was nothing wrong with communism a bit of fascism couldn’t put right.

Appreciation

With the death of artist, writer and critic Brian O’Doherty, it can be said that another oak has fallen. This was the description of the passing of Seamus Heaney in 2013, and Seamus Deane in 2021. The association of trees with knowledge goes back to the Ogham alphabet, and no contemporary artist did more to rekindle interest in this abstract system of lettering than Brian O’Doherty, most famously in his Mondrian-like ‘Ogham on Broadway’.