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Filed under Work

Time Stands Still

Another new song.



Now the world is blue and grey
Darkness on a sunny day
Would not take me by surprise

You and I will soon be found
Somewhere on the higher ground
With my reflection in your eyes

Is it memory?
Is it fantasy?
I see you and me
On the hill
Time stands still

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Filed under Music, Uncategorized

The Wolf

A new song by me.

I thought I told you before
About keeping the wolf from the door
You know where it ends
All of his friends
Will want to come in and explore

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Filed under Music, The music of what happened

Lucky in Love

A new song.


Filed under Ireland, Music, Philosophy of life, The music of what happened

For Sean, on His 26th Birthday


The windows are open;
Air from the garden
Will freshen your room.

A hurricane brought you
And took you away:
You are part of its force.

The shoreline before me
Recedes and advances;
My boat is becalmed. Continue reading

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Filed under Biography, Blogging, Ireland, Memories, Philosophy of life, Poems, Religion, Stories

Gatineau 2017: Editors Canada conference

Around 11.30 p.m. on Wednesday, 7 June, I made a mistake that meant I lost a couple of hours’ work, then I walked into the side of a door and cut my forehead: not the best prelude to my Canadian adventure. I needed a break.

The next morning Pauline drove me to Dublin Airport, and I caught my plane to Toronto. I was tired, not having slept well (in fact I wouldn’t get a good sleep till I was home again). Seven hours later we landed, giving me two hours to catch my Ottawa flight. Queuing at customs, check-in and security took up most of this, but I made my connection.

I took a taxi to the Crowne Plaza hotel—across the river in Gatineau, Quebec—checked in, and had a walk around. That part of Gatineau is quite unprepossessing. I was surprised at how much French was spoken. I had a Subway sandwich, disoriented by the time change. The hotel was quiet and, to my surprise, the tiny bar sold no beer: this would be a source of wonderment to some of the editors all weekend and beyond. Continue reading

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Filed under Stories, Work

All Souls’ Day

It was cold last night
No stars in sight
No moon to light the way
I thought that you
Might be lonely too
On the eve of All Souls’ Day

The storm had hurled
The teardrops in the world
Against some hearts of stone
I went to you
And told you to
Never cry alone

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Filed under Death, Ireland, Music, Philosophy of life, Religion

Thoughts on Martin McGuinness

I saw Gerry Adams being interviewed about Martin McGuinness on RTÉ’s Six O’Clock News. Adams spoke of the discrimination suffered by Catholics in Northern Ireland in the 1960s, and the mistreatment of Civil Rights marchers. This was used (as always) to justify the Provisional IRA’s campaign of violence, which had the goal of a United Ireland, as if the two (Civil Rights/United Ireland) were inseparable.

However, this was not the case. The demands of the Civil Rights campaign were granted by the early 1970s. Politically conscious Nationalists in Northern Ireland could have worked towards the goal of a United Ireland through peaceful means, and in fact most of them (the SDLP) did exactly that. The Provisional IRA, meanwhile, disregarded the most basic human and civil rights.

To portray McGuinness as a great peacemaker is to tell only half the story, given that his organization was driving the violence in the first place. Things could have been different; other choices could have been made.

Far from achieving its one and only goal (a United Ireland), McGuinness’ Republican Movement drove people farther apart than ever. I find it difficult to see how this represents any kind of success, or anything that we should admire.

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Filed under Ireland, Politics