Archive for the ‘Features’ Category


The forgiveness we received in 1953

bears no comparison to the situation Greece

has put itself in today. Whatever

criticisms might be levelled

at the German governments

of the first half of the last century,

they didn’t waste good money

on crazy schemes to allow

the school caretaker retire at fifty five,

but invested wisely

in long term infrastructure

and engineering projects:

tanks to pacify Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia;

enough gas canisters to almost

carry out their apparently impossible

election promises; V-2 rockets

with ‘England’ written on them.


My predecessor, whatever else

may be said of him, didn’t

squander our nation’s treasure giving

free kebabs and ouzo to officials

of the Ministry of Transport as they woke

from their compulsory afternoon nap,

but shopped around frugally

for enough excellent leather boots

to properly police the streets

of Prague, Cracow, Bucharest, Minsk,

Liege, Amsterdam, Lyon;

after much haggling and complaint

purchased, at ridiculously miniscule prices,

the millions of Stahlhelm helmets

spent in our valiant attempt

to annex the Soviet oilfields in the Caucasus.

Though it didn’t come to exact fruition,

we died trying, and took enough of them with us

to make it almost worth it.


Go cause a nice world war,

my little olive eating friend,

and in its aftermath, we’ll talk.

Play your cards with sufficient insanity,

all across the map, while wearing outfits

of the required eccentricity

and you’ll find our terms

extraordinarily generous.


*term of endearment used to refer to Angela Merkel by her supporters. Means “Mum”.

Environment, Features, Human Rights, International

Students from schools across Ireland are joining the global Schools Strike for Climate Action 

next Friday 15th March. As well as marches in Dublin and Cork there will be strike events outside local authority offices in counties 

from Tralee to Donegal, Meath to Galway, and locally at school gates across the country.

This global strike was called by the 16 year-old schoolgirl
Greta Thunberg who began striking outside the Swedish Parliament last August.
Read More


By Kevin Higgins

after Carolyn Forché


Beamed into one’s living room via satellite,

or framed in syndicated photographs

on the quality papers’ foreign pages, even

their black or missing front teeth

have a strange beauty.


The shanty town dwellers of La Paz,

in their hand woven red and green ponchos,

carry themselves in a fashion

which puts to shame the post office queue

scraggy mother of two,  with change

in her slovenly wallet for lottery tickets,

but not shampoo.


Nothing against the locals.

But even the skeletal colosseum cats have a grace

which the one I ran over on my way

to this morning’s Amnesty

International meeting absolutely lacked.


The ongoing pain of the Yazidi women

and the entire Choctaw nation (every generation)

is best struggled with over a fair trade salad

in one of the more radical tea shops

on Sandymount Strand.


In comparison, one admits,

our local Others – with their dole

day drunkenness, and lack of imagination

which has seen them prosaically wander the roads

these past thousand years – just

don’t cut the whole grain mustard.


When they start mouthing Civil Rights

and municipal water cannon, or

police batons get over enthusiastic

on their irresponsibly positioned skulls,

people like me will feel forced to pass by

on the other side, checking our messages

for pictures of unfamiliars being

deliciously maltreated

anywhere else.

Features, Human Rights, International

The teenagers we shot yesterday

were shot responsibly through the eye

with plain-speaking dum-dum bullets,

manufactured in Fife, or taken down

with SR 25 sniper rifles flown

heroically in from Orange County.

Many of these so-called protestors

specifically arranged to be shot in the back,

just to make us look bad.


The gas canisters our people threw

were entirely rational, and legal,

like the Boer firestorm the kaffirs

brought down on themselves at Sharpeville,

or the best-of-British ambush

that rubbish walked into at Derry.


The one rogue canister which lost

its mind and finished up in a tent

beside an eight month old baby,

who, sadly, also expired, is currently under investigation

and expects to be cleared of all wrong doing,

unlike the baby who we’ve already found guilty.


There is no such thing as Palestinians.

Just some Arabs who used to live here

and think they still do.

The keys they wave in the air

no longer open any doors.

They are a rumour you foolishly believed,

now we’ve moved our eternal capital

to what used to be

their front room.