Ireland’s abortion referendum puts it all on the table

If you probe the granular views of most people, I suspect you’ll find they’re somewhere between the two extremes

Ireland’s abortion referendum puts it all on the tableThere is no abortion law in Canada. Canadians uneasy about that can look across the Atlantic for an alternative way of doing things. On May 25, the Republic of Ireland goes to the polls in an abortion-related constitutional referendum. Abortion was outlawed in Ireland by the Offences Against the Person Act passed by the United…

Folk musician up next for arts council

Stephen Fearing is one of Canada’s finest songwriters and has developed a national and international audience

Folk musician up next for arts councilKenneth Brown of The Clarion Well-travelled folk singer-songwriter and guitarist Stephen Fearing is performing in Kindersley this weekend as part of the annual arts council series. Fearing, a founding member of the folk-rock band Blackie and the Rodeo Kings, hits the stage at the Norman Ritchie Community Centre on April 14 starting at 8 p.m.…

John F. Kennedy: an anglophile for all seasons

The storied president was more English than Irish, despite being seen as the ultimate symbol of Irish-American success and social acceptance

John F. Kennedy: an anglophile for all seasonsJohn F. Kennedy is often seen as the ultimate symbol of Irish-American success and social acceptance. And there’s much truth to that. Irish by ancestry and Roman Catholic by religion, Kennedy’s election to the U.S. presidency represented a breakthrough in status and prestige for an ethnic group that had once been viewed with suspicion. But…

Irish Civil War left long memories and bitter divisions

Ninety years ago this month Irish cabinet minister Kevin O'Higgins was assassinated as payback for his role in the Irish Civil War that ended four years earlier

Irish Civil War left long memories and bitter divisionsOn July 10, 1927, Irish cabinet minister Kevin O’Higgins was murdered while en route to Sunday mass. It was payback for the role O’Higgins played in the Irish Civil War that ended four years earlier. The three perpetrators were never prosecuted. Decades later, I had a conversation about this with my father, who told me…

Meet Ireland’s new power pair

Polar opposites, Leo Varadkar and Arlene Foster together must help the Irish people navigate political and economic minefields

Meet Ireland’s new power pairLast week, I saw a photo of two Irish politicians standing together after a meeting in Dublin. One, Leo Varadkar, is the Republic of Ireland’s new prime minister. The other, Arlene Foster, is the leader of Northern Ireland’s Democratic Unionist Party (DUP). It would be hard to imagine a more unlikely pair. Varadkar is cool,…

Eamon de Valera Ireland’s most controversial politician

Militant revolutionary, prime player in the Civil War and prime minister for 21 years

Eamon de Valera Ireland’s most controversial politicianThe dominant Irish political figure of the 20th century died just 40 years ago. Born in New York but raised in Ireland by his maternal family, Eamon de Valera served as the equivalent of prime minister for 21 years between 1932 and 1959. Before that, he was a militant revolutionary during the Irish War of…