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Ireland

Dublin 1912: a crowd gathers on Sackville Street (as was) for Herbert Asquith after the government introduces a bill for Irish Home Rule. Photo: Getty/Hulton.

A federal UK? Home Rule all round? We have been here before.

24 October 2014 11:48

There are fewer truly new things in politics than you think. The present constitutional uncertainty – which, it should be said, could scarcely have been avoided – is no exception.… Continue reading

38 Comments
Morning kit inspection at a camp of the Ulster Volunteers Force, the unionist paramilitary force, at Ballywater on 12th July 1914. (Image: Topical Press Agency/Getty Images)

‘Unity at home and strength abroad’. Britain prepares for WW1 by postponing Irish home rule

30 July 2014 17:57

The outbreak of war between Austria-Hungary and Serbia in July 1914 forced British politicians to postpone the Amending Bill for Irish home rule. This was momentous because Nationalists and Unionists had… Continue reading

6 Comments
Alleged Hyde Park bomber John Downey. Image: Oli Scarff/Getty Images

Why won’t suspected terrorist John Downey be tried?

18 July 2014 14:57

The Hallett Review was published yesterday. This is the review ordered by the Prime Minister in February after the collapse of the trial of John Downey. Readers will remember that… Continue reading

18 Comments
Aidan Gillen in a still from Ken Loach's Jimmy's Hall

Dick-swinging filmmakers like Ken Loach constantly write real women and our struggles out of history

2 June 2014 14:04

I hadn’t seen a Ken Loach film in years because I got sick of his schmaltzy sexism but yesterday decided to give him another try and popped along to see… Continue reading

28 Comments
Europe's Oldest Surviving Iron Chain Suspension Bridge Connecting Scotland And England To Be Closed

The Bearable Lightness of Being A British Scottish Nationalist

21 May 2014 13:54

Backstory: I wrote a post suggesting that Scottish Nationalists’ rhetoric might these days usefully be compared to Doublethink. I suppose there were many who could have been chosen to serve… Continue reading

27 Comments
The Funeral Takes Place Of Former Labour MP Tony Benn

If the sight of Martin McGuinness at state occasions repulses you, blame the Tory Party

11 April 2014 11:31

Well, those who get themselves worked up about the presence of Martin McGuinness around the Royal Family would not have enjoyed last night’s musical extravaganza, Ceiliuradh, for the Irish president… Continue reading

138 Comments
First State Visit Of An Irish President

The Irish Question, as recorded by The Spectator

10 April 2014 17:36

As the Irish president is making the first visit to the United Kingdom by an Irish head of state, some people have asked what’s taken him so long. The Spectator’s… Continue reading

4 Comments
First State Visit Of An Irish President

An extraordinary event in the history of Anglo-Irish relations

9 April 2014 14:11

If there’s one thing a poet is good for, it’s memorable circumlocution, which is why Michael D Higgins (the D is crucial; people wouldn’t know who you were talking about… Continue reading

50 Comments
Bank Of England Cut Interest Rates To All Time Low

The Battle for Threadneedle Street

30 January 2014 16:13

I thought it obvious that Mark Carney’s trip to Scotland yesterday was a bad day for Alex Salmond and the Scottish nationalists. Sure, the governor of the Bank of England… Continue reading

111 Comments
The English probably regard immigrants from Anglophone nations like Australia as a more exotic version of the Welsh. But immigrants from Tunisia are a different matter altogether.

Immigration is about culture as well as politics

18 December 2013 12:38

Must say, I felt a bit defensive when I looked at the tables of origin for immigrants to Britain for the decades to 2011, helpfully set out in  The Daily… Continue reading

92 Comments
ireland

The Irish are fearful of Scottish independence

12 December 2013 12:24

In Dublin, where I am writing this, people are watching the Scottish referendum campaign more closely than in London. Despite the polls, they almost expect a Yes vote, but most… Continue reading

116 Comments
Enda Kenny has something to smile about. (GEORGES GOBET/AFP/Getty Images)

Luck of the Irish? Ireland’s recovery is down to common sense and graft

16 November 2013 11:30

My man in Dublin calls with joy in his voice to tell me ‘the Troika’ — the combined powers of the EU, the European Central Bank and the IMF —… Continue reading

23 Comments
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When 50,000 Irishmen gathered to commemorate the First World War

12 November 2013 15:35

As I wrote last week, I had not thought commemorating the centenary of the First World War need be a matter of controversy. But one of the reasons why it… Continue reading

133 Comments
The constitutional referendum in Ireland has failed to capture the public's imagination. (PETER MUHLY/AFP/Getty Images)

If you think the House of Lords is bad for democracy, try the Irish senate

4 October 2013 20:55

Waves of apathy, a tsunami of indifference, engulfed Ireland for today’s constitutional referendums. When I was over there last week, I was more interested in the thing than anyone I… Continue reading

11 Comments
Detail from the front cover of 'The Pleasure Ground' by Richard Murphy, published by Bloodaxe.

Interview with a poet: Richard Murphy, an old Spectator hand

10 September 2013 10:30

Richard Murphy was born in County Mayo in Ireland in 1927. He spent part of his childhood in Ceylon (now Sri Lanka) where his father was the last British mayor… Continue reading

0 Comments
The Guardian Hay Festival 2006

A Little Something: remembering Seamus Heaney

2 September 2013 16:59

‘So.’ So begins Seamus Heaney’s translation of ‘Beowulf’. I know it didn’t come easy to him. The morning after he had been awarded the Whitbread Prize for the work I… Continue reading

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Roddy Doyle. (Image: Mark Nixon 2013)

Roddy Doyle: I’m a middle class person commenting on working class life

6 August 2013 13:09

Roddy Doyle was born in Dublin in 1958. He first came to prominence with his debut novel The Commitments, which he self-published in Ireland in 1987. The book was then… Continue reading

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A boy climbs on a bonfire made from pallets and old tyres on the Loyalist Ballycraigy estate in Antrim, near Belfast. (Image: Getty)

Ulster’s Orangemen show that Britain can do internecine vindictiveness too

11 July 2013 10:23

This all looks terribly good fun, don’t you think? Spectacular towers which will make wonderful bonfires: it must have taken them ages. My only caveat is that they are all… Continue reading

112 Comments

Another Horror Story from Zombie Ireland

28 June 2013 12:29

Here’s a snapshot of life in 21st century Ireland: Vincent Campbell sold a house and 4.75 acres of land outside Limerick City for a nifty three million euros in 2005.… Continue reading

14 Comments
Reading With Dad

Fathers, sons and the beauty of a “borrowed” book

17 June 2013 18:28

I spent the weekend in Dublin; consequently, I am suffering from what Apthorpe would have called ‘Bechuana tummy’. For the uninitiated, Apthorpe is the premier fool in Men at Arms,… Continue reading

2 Comments
Is it horse? Or is it beef? And whose is it, anyway? Image: Getty

Never accept meat from strangers

16 May 2013 10:00

Never accept meat from strangers. That seems to be the lesson of the horsemeat scandal – at least for the ex-commercial director of Freeza Meats. In September 2012, an Environment Health… Continue reading

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Heavy Snow Fall Hits Southern England

The Gamal by Ciarán Collins – review

23 April 2013 10:15

My editor told me to read this book and write this review. Six hundred words, he said. Just like the psychiatrist Dr. Quinn instructed Charlie, the protagonist of said book,… Continue reading

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The sun sets over the river Liffey in Dublin. (BARRY CRONIN/AFP/Getty Images)

Interview with a writer: Kevin Maher

5 April 2013 10:30

Kevin Maher’s debut novel The Fields is set in the suburban streets of south Dublin in 1984. The story is narrated by Jim Finnegan: an innocent 13-year-old boy who lives… Continue reading

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John Banville's The Sea wins the 2005 Booker Prize. (Chris Jackson/Getty Images)

Interview with a writer: John Banville

29 March 2013 11:00

The salubrious surroundings of the Waldorf Hotel seem like a very apt setting to interview a master of style and sophistication. When I arrive in the lobby, John Banville is… Continue reading

0 Comments
Bloody Sunday. (Photo by Frederick Hoare/Central Press/Getty Images)

A great honour in memory of a remarkable man

8 March 2013 18:31

I am delighted to say that my latest book, Bloody Sunday: truths, lies and the Saville Inquiry, has been jointly awarded the Christopher Ewart-Biggs memorial prize at a ceremony in… Continue reading

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