A visceral night’s entertainment in store as Eibhlín Dhubh Ní Chonaill mourns Art Ó Laoghaire

What a night we are in for on Friday as all the elements come together for a visceral night’s “entertainment” at the MAC in Belfast. Let’s look at the ingredients. First of all you have one of the greatest poems ever written in Irish, Caoineadh Airt Uí Laoghaire, translated into English by Pulitzer-prize winning poet [...]

Re-kindling the fire and fury in the Civil Rights-era music of Nina Simone

I don’t know if you can put a primal scream to music but Josette Bushell-Mingo’s show, Nina – A Story about Me and Nina Simone has all the power of a holler against racism, whether it is in her native London or in Simone’s North Carolina or anywhere else in the world. Bushell-Mingo comes from [...]

An Ulster-Scots Quiz – I hae stairted sae I wull en..

Okay. I was wrong. I had thought that the long-term strategy of using Ulster Scots as a counter-balance to Irish was dead and buried when the February "agreement" between the DUP and Sinn Féin which promised an Ulster Scots Act as well as a (watered down) Irish language Act was rejected by the people who [...]

Ballymurphy: The massacre that foreshadowed Bloody Sunday

It's beautiful when it happens, seeing a seed develop out of the dark soil to become a beautiful flower. It's the same with truth. Sometimes it too lies hidden in soil, waiting for the time and the conditions to bloom into something beautiful. That time and those conditions have surely arrived for the families of [...]

Hitler, Sinn Féin and the association fallacy…

I recently wrote an article in the Irish language online newspaper tuairisc.ie about a false logic called Reductio ad Hitlerum. The term was first coined by the German-born Jewish political philosopher and classicist Leo Strauss in the 1950s - although versions of the phrase go back centuries depending on who the bête noire of the [...]

Suibhne Geilt le tuirlingt sa Cheoláras Náisiúnta anocht

Tá Neil Martin iontach sásta leis féin - agus cad chuige nach mbeadh? Beidh an cumadóir Feirsteach ag stiúradh coirme de shaothar úr dá chuid  i gcomhair le Ceolfhoireann Shiansach Náisiúnta RTÉ sa Ceoláras Náisiúnta, sa phríomhchathair ar lá éarlamh na hÉireann, anocht, 17 Márta. Anuraidh, d’iarr RTÉ ar Neil saothar a chumadh do Lá [...]

Is BBC NI a propagandist for the Union?

I was taken aback somewhat by a phrase in an article entitled Scottish Six news programme plans are dead, Whitehall insiders confirm in the newspaper Herald Scotland. According to the paper’s UK Political Editor, Michael Settle,  these so-called insiders “referred to the draft BBC charter stressing how the corporation must “contribute to the social cohesion [...]

Heather Humphreys vs Irish Speakers

Sorry, but I don't recognise the stereotype that "Minister for the Gaeltacht" Heather Humphreys dragged up from the depths of her ignorance when she  "warned against fluent Irish speakers lecturing others who lack proficiency." At the weekend, I judged the Feis at Carn Tóchair in Co Derry where for the past six years I have [...]