Rupert Brooke and the Chiltern Hills
Rupert Brooke Rupert Chawner Brooke was an English poet known for his idealistic war sonnets written during the First World War, especially “The Soldier”. He was also known for his boyish good looks, which were said to have prompted the Irish poet W. B. Yeats to describe him as “the handsomest young man in England”. […]
A Journey Towards the Somme
Armistice Day and the wearing of the poppy have always created difficulty for Irish people, a difficulty which echoes the cathartic schism which occurred in Ireland from 1914 to 1918, the years of the “Great War.” On August 4th, 1914 England declared war on Germany and so began the conflict which became known as […]
Good old Guy Fawkes!
Today Britain joyously celebrates the sectarian evisceration of a War Veteran disillusioned by broken promises. Some would say we need more people like Guido, who was only trying to improve Parliament and the Monarchy as best he could! And anyway, according to at least some historians, this ‘Plot’ was a put-up job, to […]
The Gaybo Years
We won’t see his like again is a well worn cliché but it is true in Ireland today when we think of the broadcaster everybody knew as Gaybo who both documented and precipitated much needed change in Ireland. As Stephen Fry observed ” He was a wonderful wonderful man. We British have never really had […]
Halloween: A Great Irish Pagan Party, Ted!
As millions of children and adults participate in the fun of Halloween on the night of October 31st, few will be aware of its ancient Celtic roots in the Samhain (Samain) festival. In Celtic Ireland about 2,000 years ago, Samhain was the division of the year between the lighter half (summer) and the darker […]
A 16-year-old musician has become a viral sensation after she spontaneously sang alongside a famous pianist at Tottenham Court Road station. Elicia Palmer has been flooded with praise from around the world after footage of her dazzling performance racked up more than 200,000 views on YouTube. The teenager, who is a cellist, has always loved […]
Peterloo after 200 years
200 years ago today, on a field in Manchester, the industrial working class staged its first mass act of political resistance. The outcome changed the world. As once again in Britain workers rights and their ability to organise and strike are being attacked we should remember Peterloo, one of the darkest days in Manchester’s […]
Air India 182
Thirty four years ago an Air India plane was blown apart by a bomb just off the Irish coast of West Cork, as it flew from Toronto to Delhi via Montreal and London. All 329 on board died, making it the most deadly bomb attack ever on an airliner. For relatives – mostly Canadians of […]
The Longest Day
Midsummer 2019 is this Friday and is marked with a series of traditions and customs that can be traced back thousands of years. Astronomically, midsummer is the day of the summer solstice, or longest day, which usually falls on June 20 or 21 as it does this year but June 24 is the traditional […]
An Irish song for May Day!
On this May Day let us remember the contribution of the Revolting Irish and that the anthem of the International Labour Movement “The Red Flag” is really green! Indeed it was the Red and Green flags used in railway operations which inspired Irishman Jim Connell to pen “The Red Flag”, the anthem of the international […]