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Punching Down

Punching Down

When we went travelling in South-East Asia a few years back it was amazing yet frantic. There were times when it seemed we were constantly heading for an early bus or train or ferry. Throughout our quick jaunt through Thailand/Laos/Vietnam/Cambodia I was astounded by the way the landscape changed area to area. It felt like once through a border the terrain instantly emphasised your new dominion. Maybe we have more of an effect on our landscape than we realise? Maybe…

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Fatherhood Continued….

Fatherhood Continued….

There I was back in the calm corridor on the second floor of The Coombe. Yet again feeling quite conspicuous in the severely plastic cap and gown that we must wear not only for health and safety but to mark us fathers out. Resplendent in white, as the rabbit in headlights we truly are. Ushered down to the ward where my second son Páidí was about to announce himself to the world and blow me further apart, if at all…

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Embracing AI Within the Classroom

Embracing AI Within the Classroom

Dystopia is probably my favourite genre. I don’t know what this says about me, but it truly is. Maybe it’s the inherent sense of dread that accompanies being neurotic. Maybe it’s that, these days especially, it feels like our poorer decisions are catching up with us. Who knows?! Of course Orwell springs forth when thinking on dystopia. 1984, for me, is a seminal text in the genre, and certainly for many others to be fair. The ideas put forward in that text…

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Flash Fiction-One Morning

Flash Fiction-One Morning

One morning, early, he awoke for what he thought was the usual day. It was that late January morning where you can’t tell if you’ve woken up too early or too late. Either way darkness and the dull, orange hue of the lamp-posts are all that pierced that particularly dark dawn. He was in the ethereal space being unsure if he was awake, asleep or where reality dwelt at all. ‘Time to go, come on’, was the command from his…

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Housing for Who?

Housing for Who?

”I run a home in Dublin, Castlebar and Brussels. I wanna tell you something, try it sometime when you have a couple of cars and three houses and three homes and a few housekeepers.” The immortal words of Padraig Flynn. Those of us old enough, or who have sat at home on an August evening, watching Reeling in the Years , as the waning August sun pierces the sitting room for one last time, know this gem. Try it sometime is…

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The Age of the Grifter

The Age of the Grifter

We had limited channels on the auld telly growing up, especially in comparison to the amount now and their accompanying +1s. When we got the cable box, life seemed boundless; the prospect of sport on demand on Eurosport and the likes, seemed fantastic. Who doesn’t want to watch the 1974 World Cup Final commentated on by some bored bloke, tasked with overdubbing the original footage from some storage unit in Woking? Heading into my teens at the time; the real…

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Fatherhood as I see it.

Fatherhood as I see it.

That shrill cry was something else, otherworldly. It stirred everything from deep within the recesses of my soul. Oh how I wish I could put that moment and the ensuing emotional deluge into apt words, alas I am no poet! Thankfully, Plath’s words ‘Love set you going like a fat gold watch’, dance twinkle-toed through my mind since then. I got to know him as her belly grew, as the sudden kicks protruded the stomach, and even more as his…

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Social Media Gave us so Much…Now It’s taking back…with interest.

Social Media Gave us so Much…Now It’s taking back…with interest.

‘People like seeing their friends online’ is a line from The Social Network; one of my favourite Fincher films, which is saying something. I’m old enough to remember the heady days of discovering Bebo. Suddenly I was on the internet, and a whole new form of socialising opened up to me. The novelty of it; what wallpaper would I use, which photos would I use…all became pressing concerns…Getting tagged in a photo was manna for the soul, or so I thought. …

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Another Year-Another Marathon

Another Year-Another Marathon

‘How can you tell if someone has run a marathon?….Don’t worry they’ll tell you.’ , is  a joke I enjoy and can shamefully admit to. How I got into marathon running, I cannot say. It always held a certain allure for me. Perhaps it’s the photo of my father crossing the finish line in the eighties, pain etched across his brow. Perhaps that penchant to suffer in training drew me to it as it did The Galway Cycle. Either way I’m now…

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Fighting Corona in an Age of Entitlement

Fighting Corona in an Age of Entitlement

I was never a fan of X-Factor, yet to deny its huge reach would be hipster in the extreme. I even saw families come in to the pub where I worked, to watch the drama of the live vote unfold. What exactly the draw was, I could not say. Perhaps the same reason I find the olympics so enthralling. The realisation or ruination of one’s dreams. One contestant sticks out for me; not that I can remember their name or where…

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