Joseph de Búrca 

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    Drastic Plastic Profligacy

    For years, it was widely ignored, even as the evidence grew more and more overwhelming. Reports had been flooding in from some of the remotest places on Earth, from the middle of the Pacific Ocean to the North Pole. Researchers found its impact was hammering every ecosystem, disrupting natural processes and spreading havoc across the […]

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    Swimming against a plastic tide

    Along Ireland’s coastline, you’ll encounter long sandy stretches and wild seas crashing against craggy coastlines. Yet, if we care to look under the surface – literally – it’s clear our seas and coastal habitats are not quite as pristine as would appear. The global issue of plastic pollution has recently come to the fore, amplified by David […]

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    Wicklow Council reacts to housing crisis

    A fiercely fought decision by Wicklow County Council officials to buy and demolish an Edwardian house in central Bray for 45 car spaces raises questions about the power of local authorities. The house, inhabited until now, was torn down on 12-13 April. Residents suspect that spending at least€1.3m to buy and replace it constitutes an […]

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    Life and death on Abbey Street

    All of life is on Abbey Street, the street where I work. Stepping out of the school, humming a tune to myself, in spite of the rain, heart beating with a secret joy, I imagine my self as a smooth stone, skimming over the the grey current of the day, towards the green granite horizon […]

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    Vulnerable Monsters

    Emma Gilleece reviews ‘SOS Brutalism: a Global Survey’; published by Park Books, 2017 (RRP €68) ‘SOS Brutalism; A Global Survey’ is the first-ever international survey of Brutalist architecture from the 1950s to the 1970s, a collaboration by the Deutsches Architekturmuseum DAM and the Wüstenrot Foundation. It is an understatement to say that this book is a […]

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    Robocobra Quartet

    Robocobra Quartet have been blazing a trail over the past few years. For artists, comparisons to admired figures can trepidate more than they motivate. Once a revered name is uttered and invoked in connection with an upcoming band, it becomes ineradicable from press releases, rehashed by gig promoters over social media, and used as an easy […]

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    Difference and Repetition

    There is only one ghost scene in ‘Phantom Thread’, Paul Thomas Anderson’s latest film, which is a little surprising, given the title. (The spoilers start right here, I’m afraid.) The hero, played by Daniel Day Lewis, glimpses his long-dead mother as he lies in a fever induced by a poisonous mushroom secretly administered by his […]

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    Cold, and Hot

    Someone has finally said it. The Cold War is back. The man who made the statement was Antonio Gutierres and he carries some weight on the matter as Secretary General of the United Nations. Up to now most commentators and experts have stopped short of using those two words. They have spoken of a “deterioration […]

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    Fight for Autonomy and then Solidarity

    There has been a perception that Travellers North of the border have benefited from progressive legislation which recognised our ethnic status some two decades before the South. In the Republic, our legal status was that of a social group, until 2017 when we were Formally recognised as an indigenous ethnic group. Irish Travellers are a minority […]

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    50 years since 1968

    Not a week has gone by in 2018 Ireland without several street demonstrations, especially about abortion and the housing crisis. In France, protesting is part of the vernacular. Riots are common: just look at 1789 and 1968. Ireland and France share a reputation for feistiness. A comparison between Irish and French demonstrations could be instructive. “What […]

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    The appeal of Repeal

    There have been many turning points and defining moments as the debate over repealing the Eighth Amendment has unfolded over recent weeks. Some of these have been the powerful stories of individual women or groups of women; others have been the remarkable statements of specific organisations and yet others have been the unexpected campaigning experiences […]

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    Pervasive effects of precarious work

    Employment in Ireland is often spoken about in terms of the economic recovery and falling unemployment rates. However, the real issue that needs to be addressed is job quality and the types of jobs that are being created. There has been increasing recognition that for many workers in Ireland and Europe employment has become insecure, with […]

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    Island of Tyreland

    Carndonagh is an area of outstanding natural beauty that nestles in the shadow of the Grinlieve Mountain, only eight kilometres from the designated Natura 2000 sites, Trawbreaga Bay Spa and the North Innishowen Coast. Safeguarded by the 1992 Habitats Directive both these ecological wonders are home to protected animal species and diverse wetlands. Outwardly this […]

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    Judge Horner brazens it out

    The Fourth Defendant in the recent rape trial of rugby players in Belfast was Rory Harrison of Manse Road Belfast. He was acquitted of perverting the course of justice by lying to police when he gave a witness statement about his dealings with the complainant woman and deliberately omitting information. He was also acquitted of withholding […]

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    Sinn Féin alone

    Republicanism is fragmenting. That was  seen on Easter Sunday, when at least eight Republican groups held commemorations on Belfast’s Falls Road. At protests in the North, it is common for various ‘dissident’ groups to have more presence that mainstream Sinn Féin. That party has a much smaller activist base than a decade ago. Paradoxically, as that […]

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    The strong centre

    Paschal Donohoe is a decent man: modest, cultured, the cleverest man in the room, according to a senior Fianna Fáil figure who spoke to Fiach Kelly in the Irish Times recently: the man other politicians envy, and a safe pair of hands. At 43, he has graduated with first-class honours from Trinity college, lived abroad, pursued a […]

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    Villager May 2018

    No Catholics or bastards please, we’re British Villager despises royalty, as anyone who believes in equality, merit or good taste, must. Interesting though that new-born Prince whatsit will come in fifth in line to the “throne”. Time was the new “Prince” would have been advanced to it over his older sister (Princess whatsit), as a male. […]

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