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Showing posts from March, 2021


  Trumpism                              Gerry OShea Aesop is the first Greek storyteller on record. He was an illiterate slave who lived in the 5 th century BC and is renowned for his fables, fictional stories pointing to some moral insight about the ups and downs of life, what Shakespeare 2000 years later would memorably call “the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune.” One of the famous stories attributed to Aesop is entitled Belling the Cat. This tells of a group of mice that were terrorized by a marauding cat who regularly visited their domain while they slept, grabbing a few of their members before they could scamper to safety. They met in council to consider how to deal with their predicament. One proposal which was widely applauded involved placing a bell around the cat’s neck thus ensuring that the noise from the pendant would alert the mice and allow them to escape before the cat could pounce. A motion to adopt this proposal was carried unanimously and there were cel
    Unionist Isolation in Northern Ireland              Gerry OShea Joe Brolly, known as a fine footballer and lively commentator on big Gaelic matches on Irish television, writes a regular column in the Sunday Independent in Dublin. Recently, he penned an uncharacteristically bitter essay about the celebrations in Belfast following the victory of Glasgow Rangers in the Scottish Football League. Joe had no problem with fans celebrating the win, their first in ten years, but the carry-on by Rangers supporters in the Shankill Road area left him in a foul mood. The old gutter anti-Catholic tropes were heard throughout the crowd. Hurrah! Hurrah! We are the Billy Boys   --- Up tae yer knees in Finian blood.   Surrender or ye’ll die. He noted that the following day the police superintendent responsible for the area, Nigel Henry, expressed his “disappointment” about a large crowd partying in clear breach of the Covid restrictions on gatherings in the city. A few weeks previously Mar

The Headford Ambush 100 Years Ago

  The Headford Ambush 100 Years Ago              Gerry OShea The Irish War of Independence started with an ambush in Tipperary in January 1919. There were some attacks on the Crown forces in Kerry during that year and in 1920, but the Royal Irish Constabulary (RIC), aided by the two English military groups introduced to subdue the revolt, the Black and Tans and the Auxiliaries, believed that they had re-established law-and-order in the county.  In a written report in January, 1921, the RIC chief in Kerry declared that the campaign of round-ups and reprisals had defanged the Irish Republican Army (IRA) which he said would “never again regain the hold they had on the popular imagination.” He boasted that police could again move freely throughout the county. The lack of action in Kerry compared poorly with neighboring “rebel” Cork where there were some major ambushes against the British forces. Michael Collins, while serving as a minister in the provisional Republican government app

The Future of the Catholic Church

  The Future of the Catholic Church        Gerry OShea Cardinal Carlo Martini was a Jesuit priest who served as the church leader in Milan from the early 1980’s until 2003. According to reliable sources he received more votes than Cardinal Ratzinger in the first ballot to select a new pope after John Paul 11 died in 2005. He lost out in subsequent ballots to the man who became Pope Benedict. In 2012, a week before he died at age 85, he sat for an interview with a fellow-Jesuit and approved the content of the script before he passed on. His words dismayed many in the hierarchy because of his radical criticism of the status quo in the church where he played a major leadership role. “The church is tired in Europe and America” he said. “Our culture has become old, our churches and our religious houses are big and empty, our rites and our dress are pompous. The church is 200 years behind the times. Why can’t we change? Are we afraid?” The Catholic Church with its 1.3 billion members