tom-howth-head

Midwinter Light

Ardal O’Hanlon is very busy at the moment in fact I was watching TV the other evening and there were trailers on for two programmes featuring the man himself. One is a tour of Ireland in his company taking place over three hourly programmes and the other was: the Tree of the Year competition which… Read More

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Cats and Crows

A few months ago John met Pat who was attending a day centre in Camden Town. Pat comes to the centre a couple of mornings a week to use the shower there. Workers at the centre had tried to engage with Pat to find out his housing status etc. but Pat never had any engagement… Read More

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Rebel Rebel

I had been sceptical about the approaching centenary of the Easter Rising of 1916, the opening salvo in the war of independence and the date that rings loudest in our national psyche. Mostly because I believed that the main political parties in Ireland have seemed to find the whole thing a bit of an embarrassment… Read More

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Hobbling a Work Horse

Tom Murphy used to come to see me when I worked in the Arlington Day Centre in Parkway about 20 years ago. I worked mostly in the Big House Arlington House hostel https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arlington_House and spent one day a week giving advice in the Day Centre which was housed in a Portakabin on Parkway, one of… Read More

spailpin

Beneath The Underdog

We have been receiving referrals from the Cranstoun Project in Islington recently and the first two clients came with us to Donegal in May. Once again Pat Logue, the most generous publican known to man, woman or beast had given us the keys to his family home in Downings up on the Sheephaven Bay his… Read More

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Our Agricultural Heritage

I don’t know if it is an indicator of economic success or at least an improvement on the horrors of Celtic Tiger fall-out (is it moulting?) but certainly there are signs that the holiday home sector in Ireland is doing better these days. At least one place we have used for ages has almost doubled… Read More

Robbie in the crown

Friends in the North

We have had thoughts of returning to the North-East corner of Ireland for some years now, in fact our last trip in that direction was about 17 years ago when we travelled to Castlewhellan in Co Down to stay in some wonderful traditional style cottages in the Mourne Mountains. I have some friends from Co…. Read More

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Talking Estuary Irish

One day earlier in the year I was in the Sheephaven Bay pub in Camden Town talking to the guvnor Pat Logue about Aisling and other things and I mentioned that the house we always stay in in Donegal would no longer be available to us this spring. Straight away Pat said, ‘you can have… Read More

The Wind at our Backs

We were in a bit of a pickle. John had come down with a strange and painful virus which had turned him into a human radiator. He had been off work for weeks and was standing in his house afraid to move and exhausted. We didn’t want to let on how worried we all were… Read More

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The Wild Wild West

We were in Mulranny again for our pre-Christmas trip and it was great to be back but we were lucky to make it at all. There was torrential rain and howling winds all over the country and particularly on the Irish Sea. Before we left on the Friday evening we had called the ferry company… Read More