The Work of Metaphor in the Coronavirus Pandemic

Published: 26 May 2020 by Irish Humanities Alliance On March 18th, as Covid-19 spread across the United States, Donald Trump declared himself a “wartime president”. Like many of his fellow leaders, he opted for metaphor amidst the crisis, enhancing his status while underscoring the severity of the situation. The pandemic has proved a fruitful ground… | Read on »

We Need More than Just Scientists to Document the Pandemic

This crisis is as much about society and politics as it is about virology, immunology and economics https://www.rte.ie/brainstorm/2020/0421/1132824-why-we-need-more-than-just-scientists-to-document-the-pandemic/, posted 21 April 2020. Remarkable efforts have been made by a host of researchers in Ireland to address the Covid-19 crisis, ranging from studies in immunology to symptom-tracking technology, development of reagents for testing, and a number of engineering… | Read on »

NUI Galway and the Moore Institute mourn the passing of Tim Robinson

The university community and the Moore Institute mourn the passing of Tim Robinson at the age of 85, one of the finest writers on landscape in the last hundred years, who made the Aran Islands and Connemara the subject of his greatest work. Based initially in Árainn and then in Roundstone, Co. Galway, Tim composed… | Read on »

Effects of Covid-19 on our society foretold by Defoe long ago

Daniel Defoe’s 1722 work of fiction about the Great Plague in London still has much to teach us as we struggle today, writes Daniel Carey Pandemics of the past have taken on fresh interest as we find ourselves confronted by a novel virus in Covid-19. Daniel Defoe’s 1722 work of historical fiction, A Journal of… | Read on »

Reflections on the American Superbowl, 2020

Once the US sport of football consolidated its position as the national game (supplanting baseball), it assigned itself a distinctive role in the concluding game of the year – the Superbowl. The evening marks a concerted attempted to capture the country in a single night, to represent it to itself, expressing the nation’s pieties, its… | Read on »

Boris Johnson, Winston Churchill and the United States of Europe

This article originally appeared on RTÉ Brainstorm Opinion: it’s instructive to look at the various speeches and articles by Johnson’s hero Churchill on Britain’s place in Europe Much has been made of Boris Johnson’s Churchillian self-conception. His rotundity, irreverence and maverick qualities ostensibly qualify him for the comparison. Now that he has ascended to the premiership,… | Read on »

Nothing Compares 2U: The Presidential Race of 2011

As the current Irish presidential election winds towards its conclusion, in what The Irish Times has declared a “non-contest”, Michael D. Higgins enjoys a commanding lead. Occasional skirmishes over his limited participation in debates and his expenses in office have done little to enliven a rather predictable campaign, distinguished only by the absurd entry of… | Read on »

How much has changed in Ireland since the economic collapse?

This article originally appeared on RTÉ Brainstorm Opinion: a decade on, there is much to learn about how Ireland reacted to the financial crash and its aftermath Ireland’s dramatic economic collapse in 2008 began with the infamous bank guarantee. It was initiated by then Minister for Finance Brian Lenihan against the backdrop of an imperilled domestic banking system and an… | Read on »

John McCain: the life and strife of a political maverick

This article originally appeared on RTÉ Brainstorm Opinion: assessing the career of John McCain must take account of both his remarkable bravery and regrettable political mistakes The death of John McCain has led to a remarkable memorialisation in America. There has been non-stop discussion of two-times presidential candidate on news channels, replete with appreciations, stories of his exploits, barbs and friendships and reflections… | Read on »

America’s problem with guns

This article originally appeared on RTÉ Brainstorm Opinion: mass shootings in the United States have sadly become all too common in recent times yet measures to address this malaise are rarely enacted. Just how did we get to this point? We have been here many times before: America convulsed by a mass shooting in which… | Read on »