Pól Ó Lorcáin
Paul Larkin

Chroniclers are privileged to enter where they list, to come and go through keyholes, to ride upon the wind, to overcome in their soarings up and down, all obstacles of distance, time and place.
Charles Dickens - Barnaby Rudge, Chapter The Ninth

The Smithwick Tribunal descends into pure farce

RUC officers Breen and Buchanan assassinated in 1989

With an initial deadline of November 2011, the Irish government has given the Smithwick Tribunal yet another extension to its report deadline, which has now been set as July 2013. The reasons for this deadline extension represent an effective change in the Tribunal’s initial remit. In other words, it is not now primarily investigating the police officers it was originally asked to investigate, and it is, to my mind, surprising that no journalist or media outlet has questioned this startling volte-face.
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What are politicians and philosophers for if they don’t mean what they say?

My mates mean what they say

When I was much younger and beginning to take a real interest in political protest and calls for social change, I attended a meeting in the centre of Manchester about the fight against a resurgent fascism and the need for socialism. But I made the unfortunate mistake of bringing along my best mates who, understandably as it transpired, swore that they would never go to a socialist meeting with me ever again. Now these were lads I grew up with, fought street battles alongside and would trust with my life. They only went to the meeting because they knew I wanted them to go. Still today, if I rang any of them and said I was in trouble they would drop everything and come. They are ordinary/extraordinary people. I will return to this word “ordinary”.

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Why every Irish person should know about English footballer Kevin Beattie


I vaguely remember former Ipswich Town FC footballer Kevin Beattie as being quite a good footballer. A brave and skilful defender in fact. However, since doing research for this blog article I now understand that his peers described him as one of the greatest soccer players of his generation. By all accounts, the only thing that stopped him going on to be ranked amongst the world’s greats was his serial attraction to injuries. But one thing that everybody says about Beattie is that he was an honest professional on the field of play who never hid from the fray. Off the pitch, meanwhile, he regularly appeared at charity functions and children’s hospitals and was hailed wherever he went. Cic Saor readers have to bear in mind that this was before the bloated wage packets, WAGs, Porsches and price-of-a-house hair transplants that footballers in the Premier leagues receive nowadays, very often for a much inferior product.
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