Through it on in…

Apparently the European Commission are worrying there aren’t very many UK applicants for the EU civil service. The FCO sent round an email late last night encouraging all and sundry to ‘through their name in the hat’:                                     (Memo to applicants: just tell them it’s British English.) Pádraig Belton30 year old journalist thing. Buys loo roll on eBay.

Doctored twitter, Toolooz and RTÉ

Awfully grateful for thoughts about a little piece I did for yesterday’s Irish Independent. I quote Mick (and draw on this earlier post on Slugger), mention McGuinness4Pres, Toolooz, drunken taoisigh, and ArmA II, and make three jokes. I’m very grateful for your thoughts, as ever! Pádraig Belton30 year old journalist thing. Buys loo roll on eBay.

Two Paddy’s Day Pieces

…in the Independent and Atlantic, and mostly on social change in austerity Ireland, and a bit on the Euro referendum, too. I’d be awfully grateful for all your thoughts and comments. I’ll probably scribble more on both, in Dublin in a fortnight, and again during the referendum. Pádraig Belton30 year old journalist thing. Buys loo roll on eBay.

The Fight to Keep an Irish Cultural Centre II

I’m grateful there’s been a great deal of interest, after my letter in yesterday’s Irish Times and post here, in what the Irish Cultural Centre is about and what makes it distinctive. I’d wondered if I might provide a bit more detail, for those kind enough to be curious. There’s a website devoted to Saving the Centre, explaining its fundraising efforts and the campaign to keep the doors open, and offering a bit more information for the curious.   (The Centre’s principal … Read more

The fight to keep an Irish Cultural Centre

I just thought I might share a letter which the Irish Times ran this morning.  (This seems a bit unhumble, because it’s by me, but I’ll ask all of your forgiveness.) Madam, – I was pleased to read of Culture Ireland’s “Year-long, €5 million, arts-driven charm offensive on the US” (LifeCulture, June 3rd). It is a shame for those emigrating to London that the home of Irish culture here might well be lost within nine months. Hammersmith’s Irish Cultural Centre does … Read more

Ireland and Libya Update

An Irish Aer Corps aircraft landed in Tripoli today at 4.50 pm to pick up Irish nationals, but was prevented from doing so by Libyan security.   It remained on the ground four hours, and was afterwards obliged to return to Malta, according to an e-mail from Department of Foreign Affairs sources. They say efforts will resume tomorrow, and attempts also are underway to have Irish nationals accommodated on other EU flights endeavouring to leave from Tripoli.  (This is a strangely … Read more

Open thread: your questions for FG economics frontbenchers

Fine Gael this morning announces launch of their 2011 election campaign (for Dáil elections likely the last Friday of March) with a new website.   I’ll be at the Dáil tomorrow to interview two of their economic team, Deputies Brian Hayes and Richard Bruton.  I’ll after be talking to Professors John O’Hagan and Brian Lucey, both economists at TCD. If readers might have questions for them, please share them in comments, and I’ll be sure to pose them and post … Read more

Length Matters I

Length of the original Morning Ireland segment on which the Taoiseach is alleged to have appeared in a ‘tired and emotional’ state: 9 minutes, 25 seconds Length of the digitally altered Youtube segment in which his voice was slowed to appear more tired and more emotional (and according to the Google cache, until recently labelled ‘original’): 10 minutes, 35 seconds. Which version did the Guardian embed yesterday afternoon in a story on the Taoiseach’s fortunes?: if you guessed the second, … Read more

Overheard this weekend…

I followed Ian Paisley’s directions to see the Whore of Babylon. Very disappointed – expected some Iraqi babe, instead some German bloke in a white dress was there. Should we report the “Rev” to the ASA? – Confused of Shankill Road. In other news, tomorrow morning Micheál Martin kicks off alongside Hillary Clinton (about whose hair the Daily Mail has been only partly diplomatic), jointly hosting an event in New York devoted to infant nutrition and the First Millennium Development … Read more

Irish foreign policy grab bag

The first is drugs; the second and third are not sex and rock and roll.  Maybe next week. With Colombian drug-trafficking networks increasingly eyeing Ireland’s south-west coast as attractive real estate to land cocaine for transshipment on to Britain and Northern Europe, the Gardaí and Irish Navy have become Europe’s frontline against narcotraffic.  In this they’re supported by an EU anti-trafficking centre, in which Ireland has taken part since 2007. Success in one corner has led to headaches in another: when … Read more

London Fundraiser for Trócaire in Pakistan

For those readers who might be in London, please do pop round the Hammersmith Irish Centre from half seven!   We’ve a fundraiser on to assist Trócaire‘s aid to the flood-stricken zones of Pakistan.  Pakistani Deputy High Commissioner Asif Durrani will be updating us on relief efforts, alongside Tony McCullagh from the Irish Embassy speaking on the Irish role.  We’ll then have a trad ensemble playing, in the first of a series of ‘Trad for Trócaire’ events which will kick off across … Read more

Dublin Convention on cluster weapons comes into force

Yesterday, cluster bombs became illegal over much of the world; in no small part because of Ireland.  The Convention on Cluster Munitions, in effect from 1st August, was adopted in Dublin on the 30th May 2008 at the Croke Park Conference Centre. Disarmament is something of a niche specialism for Irish diplomacy  – it was Minister for External Affairs Frank Aiken who introduced in the UN General Assembly the resolution that became the Non-Proliferation Treaty (which Ireland was the first country … Read more