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Yule politics

May we all have a very happy and blessed Christmas. Remembering departed friends and entertaining – and being entertained by – the friends who are still with us. It is a magical time not just for children but for all of us when we lift ourselves, or get lifted, whether we like it or not, […]

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Columbanus and Patrick

St Columbanus (he lived from about 550 until 615 a.d.) should never have got on the wrong side of Queen Brunhild. But he was impatient and that did nobody any favours. When Queen Brunhild came asking for two nephews to be baptised and he refused, because, he said, their daddy would not get married in […]

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Mass warfare

AT the end of a year when the start of the First World War was remembered there is one puzzle yet to be resolved, even to be faced: Why did political and military leaders so readily accept the deaths of tens of thousands of people in the space of a few hours and repeat that […]

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Who goes there, friend or foe…?

It must be hard for journalists to follow all the wars going on now. Because in these wars today’s enemy may be yesterday’s friend and you’d hardly know who was fighting whom and for what. A government arming and training the Kurds in one country, while refusing to help them in another across the border, […]

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The long wait for freedom

An Irish politician said recently that Irish people would have got freedom sooner – and better – if the 1916 Rising had not happened. That’s a bit like saying there was no need for Einstein because somebody would have thought up the Theory of Relativity anyway; or Father Lemaitre need not have discovered the Big […]

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A vital change

THEY say it was a peaceful Twelfth. That   children’s faces painted with offensive slogans, marchers breaking the law, verbal and gestured insults were fewer than usual is nearer the truth. People can live with that – if you have been through a hurricane you don’t complain about a wind that blows your cap off. But […]

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