PAGE Turner (RTÉ ONE) is the latest effort to take a book-club meeting and translate it on to the TV screen. Compared to a real-life book-club, the television version is at one remove from reality; on the other hand TV allows you to sit on the sidelines and watch/listen, without the worry that you’ll be expected to come up with an insightful comment.
THIS year's 4 Corners Festival theme is 'Dreams... Visions for Belfast', marking the 60 years since Rev Dr Martin Luther King's 'I have a dream speech' in Washington DC when he advocated a better, more just America.
THE latest corruptions of democracy swirling around Westminster should not distract us from the intensifying crises in public services, especially health, none of which look like going away soon. The state of the NHS is so bad that radical alternatives to the free-at-the-point-of-use model are openly debated. The voices of private provision get louder and “solutions” such as rationing through fees are getting serious air time. Former chancellor (for six months), Sajid Javid, has even suggested that Britain should be more like Ireland (26 counties) and introduce charges for seeing a GP and for attending A&E without a GP referral. The trouble with the NHS, he wrote in The Times, was that “the only rationing mechanism is to make people wait”. Apply the market mechanism of charges and – bingo! – the queues at emergency departments and for GP appointments magically disappear. Shows how much he knows about Ireland.
THE huge success of the iconic Ford Transit van will come as no surprise to anyone who drives on our roads or has ever owned or driven a van. The Transit has been a fixture on our roads for over 50 years and an announcement recently from the company confirmed that in 2022 it was once again Europe’s commercial vehicle sales leader, marking an eighth successive year – a new record in the industry.
Tá ‘Spiegel im Spiegel’ (Scáthán sa Scáthán) leis an chumadóir Eastónach Arvo Pärt ar cheann de na píosaí ceoil is suaimhní agus is áille dá bhfuil le fáil. Chuala mé den chéad uair é ar chúrsa machnaimh san Ind. Shuíodh an grúpa againn ceithre huaire sa lá agus ba é seisiún na hoíche an tréimhse ba chiúine agus ba shuanmhaire ar fad.
DEMOCRATIC is the first word in the DUP, but the party doesn’t act in this way. It’s blocking of the Stormont administration is nothing to do with the Protocol but everything to do with not playing second fiddle to them Sinn Féiners. It is a selfish act when the people are crying out for help from the cost of living to the health service; from organ donors to Trans people. I don’t like Stormont very much you can say. I despise it and will rather be governed by an all-Ireland government that was socialist and republican and promoted and acted on the ideals of cherishing all the children of the nation equally. But unlike the DUP I am a democratic and love democracy and it’s the reason why I respect the will of the people. With the DUP it’s not about loyalty as they are an embarrassment to the same people they are supposed to be loyal to. It is a clearly an act of reactionary sectarian behaviour that’s punishing the people of the North and even the loyalist and DUP voters. The answer is clear: the only thing to rid the North of sectarianism is to end partition. How many more collapsing of Stormont will it take to see that it’s the people this has an effect on. Time for a nation once again of Catholic, Protestant and Dissenter with real peace with justice, along with liberty, equality and fraternity for all
GOOD company can help you get through deep winter. And this week, when you can see your breath and there’s frost and snow on the ground, Dúlra’s had the best of company. Not from people – but from a wee bird that stands out from the crowd.He first noticed the blackcap in the garden sitting on top of a bramble stem sticking out of a wee section of hedge that hadn’t been tended as well as all the others.The bird was the size of a sparrow, but it held itself with a lot more aplomb. This was a bird that was worldly wise and immaculately turned out – blackcaps are all-over grey with that stand-out cap – black for male, brown for female. And their bill is thin and delicate – certainly not the jack-of-all-trades beak of the sparrow. And it’s from that bill that, come spring, a wonderful song will emerge. As members of the warbler family, they are unlike any other bird that you might find in your garden at this time of year. Insect-eating warblers are forced to head thousands of miles south to find food when summer ends here. But obviously not that blackcap in Dúlra’s garden, sitting on that half-frozen bramble stem.