Author Archive | Of This Island

Snap, Craickle and Pop: The Controversy of Popular Gaelicisation

Ever since Ireland was told that the black stuff might not be Irish, but rather a porter stout from Covent Garden, the country has descended into a frantic state of uncertain soul-searching and impassioned reflection to clarify once and for all what is actually ‘Irish’ (potatoes, Gaelic Storm, and Saint Patrick aside).   But now more…

Shared Origins

At least two centuries before the great boulders of Stonehenge were placed on a windswept Salisbury Plain, and over 500 years before the Great Pyramid of Giza rose from the deserts of Egypt, Neolithic architects in the Boyne Valley (Brú na Bóinne) were laying the foundations of one of the most studied structures of the more…

Orange EU Funding: An Opportunity to Exercise Responsible Society

Following the news that The Loyal Orange Order have received a grant of almost £900,000 from the European Union to help address the legacy of the Troubles and encourage cross-community interaction, people across the island of Ireland can only stand back in expectation of what is to follow. Unsurprisingly, the decision has been met with more…

The Problems of Centralised Government: The Ill-considered Constraints on Economic Recovery in Northern Ireland

Nobody will argue that the United Kingdom is in choppy financial waters. On March 26, the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development charted the cost of Britain’s recession at a cumulative output loss of £87 billion, or 6% of GDP. All very interesting, but what do cold percentages and unqualified numbers mean for the people more…

Political Progress and Educational Sectarianism

Northern Ireland’s past echoes with the haunted politics of division, its communities littered with the graves of over 3,000 victims of shameful brutality. When Peter Robinson spat that, ‘the only input that Unionists want into the Anglo-Irish Conference is a stick of gelignite’, not even the most ardent optimist would have predicted that he would more…