Scotland and Ireland the Road to Independence (part II)

Introduction As discussed in Part I, Scotland and Ireland are very similar countries with a largely shared people: the Scots. Ireland is now independent apart from the NE corner. Many in Scotland hope to follow Ireland’s example. Are there lessons that might be learned from Ireland? The countries have had contrasting fortunes over the past… Read more

Liberté de Mouvement, la Paix en Irlande et la Dinde de Noël

“Freedom of Movement, Peace in Ireland and Christmas Turkey” Liberté de Mouvement -Freedom of Movement The summer of ’76 lives on in the English imagination as a gloriously hot summer. For me it was a Continental one, with a DAAD scholarship in Germany from June to mid September and at the end of the summer… Read more

Northern Ireland and the Humpty Dumpty World of Schrödinger’s Cats

Note: this article is a co-publication with the award winning Slugger O’Toole portal as the first in the Future Ireland series. ____________ Apparently you follow the rabbit down a hole and you emerge in a wonderland …. Ken Clarke – House of Commons “When I use a word,” Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful… Read more

The White Paper and Two Tribes

The White Paper The long awaited Brexit White Paper was released yesterday. I had a few hours and started reading. I am used to reading complex documents, for example PhD theses. Some years ago I had the pleasure of being external examiner for two PhD theses at Durham and University College Dublin within a few… Read more

Potholes, neglect and the wanton vandalism of local infrastructure

No one who uses any form of road transport can have missed the appalling condition of roads in England. But here I need to add an immediate qualifier: I’m talking specifically about urban, suburban and rural roads that fall under the responsibility of local highway authorities (i.e. local councils). I’m not talking about the motorways… Read more

Disgust with the Guardian

I had a pretty idyllic childhood and one major influence was my father, Kevin Danaher, (Guardian obituary here) who was a major figure on the Irish cultural scene with interests in folklore, vernacular architecture and military history. I grew up valuing the indigenous cultures and languages, not just of my native Ireland, but also these… Read more

The English Civil War and its Ongoing Legacy

I know the English Civil War started in 1642 and ended 9 years later so you’re probably thinking it can’t have much of a legacy now. I just think it might. In the 1580’s the cleric, Richard Hooker, often considered to have written Britain’s first philosophical treatise, ‘The Laws of Ecclesiastical Polity’ wrote  [Book 1… Read more