Category Archives: Ireland

For Sean, on His 26th Birthday

shoulders

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

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

Make Time Good

A new song.

MAKE TIME GOOD

I know you’ve done the best you could
I know you have a hill to climb
We just need to make time good
We don’t need to make good time

I don’t have any place to go
There’s nothing heavy on my mind
I’m prepared to take it slow
You never know what we might find

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Filed under Ireland, Memories, Music, Philosophy of life, Uncategorized

Words

A new song that I’ve written for a project I’m involved in.

WORDS

Words will flow
From below
To capture what we’re feeling

Peace will come
Out of some
Well of inner healing

Words of hate
Isolate
Words of love are gentle

When words are true
They join us to
Something fundamental

Words of love are real
Words of love can heal
Only words can say it all

You are part
Your soul and heart
Are crying for connection

I’m like you
I’m crying too
Please look in my direction

The holy ground
We lost is found
In steps we take together

Learning to
Enjoy the view
In rain or sunny weather

Words of love are real
Words of love can heal
Only words can say it all

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Filed under Art, Ireland, Music, Psychology, Religion

Broken Wing

A song of mine …

Broken wing, broken wing
Sitting outside the window
Looking in
A bird still can sing with a broken wing.

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Filed under Ireland, Music

Wild Geese and vultures

I watched two programmes tonight that made me think about the state of this country. The first was an episode of Nationwide that featured young Irish people who are doing very well in London. One of them is Conor Clinch, from Coolock, a 20-year-old photographer who plans to open his own studio. He shows no signs of wanting to return to Ireland. Who could blame him?

I thought of Aer Lingus’ recent marketing campaign in which it brought some family members back to Ireland, squeezing the maximum emotional capital from the tearful reunions while informing us mournfully that over 50% of Irish people wouldn’t make it ‘home’ for Christmas. How many of those people didn’t come ‘home’ because home is now somewhere else—somewhere where they have happily integrated, perhaps married a local person? The sentimental notion of ‘Wild Geese’, tied up with historical victimhood, is no longer appropriate. Continue reading

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Filed under Ireland, Politics, Uncategorized