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Month: January 2023

Starry nights

Starry nights

Wilderness Ireland tells us that on a clear night you can see over 4,000 twinkling stars, planets such as Venus or Jupiter and even meteor showers with the unaided eye. Such viewpoints are up to 40 times darker without the intrusion of city lights. But we must not take this celestial joy for granted, as scientists warn that by the time a child born today reaches adulthood, they will see fewer than half the stars visible to them today. These…

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Bloodbath in Brussels

Bloodbath in Brussels

It seems almost a lifetime ago, but in March 2016 Belgium was hit by bombings in Brussels Airport and on the metro. More than 35 people died, including three suicide bombers, while hundreds were injured. The trial only opened in December. We were going big on it. Europe was already on alert after the Paris attacks and the Bataclan theatre, and there was a definite sense of edginess. We knew Irish people had been in the area in Brussels, which…

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Qigong

Qigong

The covid lockdown in 2020 got me thinking about exploring other interests, or pursuing interests I had put on the back burner. One of these was taichi, which I knew some basic stuff about and had been aware of since my dad came home with a book about it far too many years ago than I’d like to think about. He never practiced it and I’m not sure how he got a hold of the book to begin with (or…

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Bessborough

Bessborough

This is one of the most important projects I’ve worked on, probably ever, and it was certainly one where we couldn’t afford to get something wrong in tone or treatment. Bessborough was one of the most notorious mother and baby homes – where hundreds of children died over nearly 80 years, and where the resting places of 859 have never been found – and is in the Examiner’s heartland. This page was planned about a week in advance of the publication of a government commission into…

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