Category Archives: Guardian

Glasgow smiles: how the city halved its murders by ‘caring people into change’

In a squat redbrick community hall in the shadow of a pair of vertiginous north Glasgow tower blocks, half a dozen men sit on plastic chairs around a sturdy wooden table. The carpet is threadbare, the overhead lights harsh. Through shatterproof … Continue reading

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Kosovo PM urges Serbs to vote in make-or-break elections

Kosovo‘s prime minister has issued a last-ditch appeal to Kosovan Serbs to vote in critical elections this weekend that are widely seen as a make-or-break moment for the republic. In an interview with the Guardian, Hashim Thaçi said that the … Continue reading

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Albania watches as bunkers become bunk-beds

Concrete totems to Communist rule made into hostels and cafes or blown up – but should they be kept as reminder of past? For some, they are an ugly, podlike reminder of Albania‘s paranoid past that should be allowed to disappear … Continue reading

Posted in Albania, Guardian | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Zambia’s young people want to work

My article on joblessness among young Zambians, which was commissioned for the Guardian development journalism competition 2011. Dickson Kakoma has been sober for 10 months – ever since the night he almost lost his family, and his life. “I went … Continue reading

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Sellafield will remain a threat to Ireland

This comment piece on the closing of the MOX plant at Sellafield appeared on in August. Sellafield Mox nuclear fuel plant to close. It’s a headline that generations of Irish environmental activists, and government ministers in Leinster House, never … Continue reading

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So Ireland’s back to exporting its best known natural resource – emigrants

Here’s my Comment is Free piece on being an Irish emigrant, which appeared on last week. The same piece also appeared in that week’s Irish Post Mourning can be a protracted business. In the past week, after years spent … Continue reading

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Billy Wright’s murder and the whiff of state collusion

Some of my thoughts on the Billy Wright inquiry and the issue of state collusion in Northern Ireland featured in this posting on The Guardian’s Comment is Free forum on September 15: David Wright’s verdict on the £30m, six-year inquiry … Continue reading

Posted in Guardian, Northern Ireland, Politics | Tagged , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Football, Football, Football

Last week I played in Amnesty international’s annual Edinburgh critics versus comics football match. Not only was a chance for comics to get their own back for those one-star reviews but it was all for a good cause – to … Continue reading

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The Dying Art of Letter Writing

I’ll be the first to admit that I’m a bit of a Luddite – no mobile until 2003, no email until same year, used a Walkman every day until 2004 – but I do think that electronic communication has, to … Continue reading

Posted in Books, Guardian | Tagged , , | 1 Comment