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Irish Special Forces (the Army Ranger Wing) operated in Western-occupied Afghanistan under NATO command, it was revealed last month, thanks to TD Clare Daly’s parliamentary question. The story received no media coverage. The operational purpose of these troops was not revealed. However, like Special Forces the world over, it was not pencils they were sharpening.
Everyone connected with rugby, both players and viewers, should be so glad to have Italy in the competition. Last weekend saw a huge victory for Ireland in all three matches – the main match, the women’s match and the U20s. Big victories all round and well done to everyone concerned.
Well, we all know Christmas is coming, but before that comes about, so much has happened in the past week that it is difficult to know quite where to begin.
Last Friday, as Storm Brian dragged its squalls of wind and rain across the city, I met Ireland’s new French Ambassador, Stepháne Crouzat in the snug environs of the Black Gate Centre on St Francis Street. It was an ‘entente tres cordiale’ as Stephane’s soft-spoken, warm, and personable manner is the very embodiment of diplomacy.
A leading academic from Barna stated yesterday that the legal processes at Guantánamo Bay are unfair and that human rights are being denied those who are being detained there.
In 1930, Italian socialist Antonio Gramsci wrote, “The old world is dying, and the new world struggles to be born. Now is the time of monsters.” In this era of Trump, Brexit, ISIS, and the alt-right, many will feel 2017 is very similar to the time Gramsci wrote about.
The fool on the hill
There was the smell of rain, through sodden duffle coats, pressing on hand-me-down jumpers over skimpy vests that guarded stringy scapulars against our puny chests.
It’s been some year for one year — but what about 2017? This week I take a look into my crystal ball and see what’s lying in wait for us.
It’s been some year — a whirlwind of emotion, of joy and despair, of utter horror and desperation, of uncertainty and fear, but also a time of pride and happiness.