I have been a reader of books of travel and exploration since I was 10 or so – by which I mean real explorers and not the self-advertising egomaniacs so common today. Books by giants of science and endeavour, such as Marco Polo, Livingstone, Sir Richard Burton, Humboldt, Waterton (an old Stonyhurst boy) and others, were devoured –...

Joe CarrollWhen World War II broke out in September 1939, it left many hundreds, possibly more than a thousand Irish men and women living in France with a dilemma; whether to seek refuge in neutral Éire or hold on to see what would happen. For those who were still there following the fall of France and the German occupation in June 1940, it was...

J. Anthony GaughanTerrorism has horrific consequences. Among these consequences, and frequently not adverted to, are lack of respect for the truth, the undermining of the rule of law and the obstruction of justice. In this remarkable study the author, who has specialised in criminal law in England, Wales and Ireland since 1966, details how...

One of the strangest sights in social media in recent times has seen Cambridge classicist Prof. Mary Beard being mocked by the US-based essayist and risk analyst Nassim Nicholas Taleb over her  supposed inability to handle evidence relating to the ethnic diversity of Roman Britain.The minutiae of the argument go a bit beyond this column...

“Romantic England’s dead and gone,” says Steven Patrick Morrissey,  deliberately misquoting Yeats in this engrossing biopic, “it’s with Jane Austen in the grave”. Elsewhere his mother makes a wallpaper joke about his hero Oscar Wilde. Wilde’s reputed last words, remember, were: “Either that...

What I like about Sunday Sequence (BBC Radio Ulster) is the wide variety of topics and contributors. Last Sunday’s edition had several worthwhile topics covered even in the first half hour. There was an analysis of the current political troubles in resource-rich Venezuela, outlining the Church’s mediation attempts and its...

Ireland’s nuns have not been getting much respect of late, for reason that painful headlines make only too clear. But in all this controversy some things are lost sight of. Critics seem to think that the Church took over institutions that ought to have been run by the state; but the truth is that if they had not created these institutions...

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