In the first of two articles, Gerry Adams recounts his visit to Israel and Palestine, where he met with senior Palestinian officials, Israeli NGOs and laid a wreath at the grave of Yasser Arafat
Some time ago, even before Ireland began to become what we call a "multicultural society", a reader wrote to me describing his experience of being assaulted by a female colleague at work. The woman was black, my correspondent white, adult and male. The attack was unprovoked. He believes he was attacked because of his sex and colour. He told his colleagues, who urged him to be more sympathetic to his attacker on account of her history as a black female.
The final days of Fidel Castro, when they arrive, will provide an interesting glimpse of the state of western political consciousness. Already, in the commentaries that greeted news of his recent illness and standing-aside from the Cuban presidency could be observed the ambivalence that derives in part from his status as an icon of 1960s pop culture in the West. But it runs deeper than this. Castro, because of his role of opposition to the United States, is the archetypal hero of the western neurotic imagination.
While RTÉ One's War Stories featured dignified accounts of young Irish men who fought during the second world war, Sky One scraped the bottom of the TV barrel with Asbo Fever
RTÉ has drawn up new guidelines for staff reporting on sieges and kidnappings following criticism of its coverage of the "siege" at Abbeylara which ended with the killing of John Carthy. The new guidelines say Garda requests not to reveal certain information "should be strictly adhered to".
The Drivetime slot was the only daily programme in the new autumn RTÉ Radio 1 schedule ready to start on Monday 4 September. Derek Mooney and Páraic Breathnach are yet to get to the starting line, so we're getting Rattlebag specials and early Late Dates until they are.
The annual Fianna Fáil think tank, which started on 4 September in Westport, provided newspaper editors with much-needed respite from the summer 'silly season'. After eight weeks of parliamentary recess, during which they were forced to devote their front pages to trivial matters such as Israel's invasion of Lebanon, the barbarism of our prisons and our renegade police force, they grasped the chance to focus on the really important issue: the banal utterances of politicians.
Two publications featured food specials this week with differing levels of success.
WH Auden once wrote that a writer's politics are of more danger to him than his cupidity or greed. If a story is formed by ideas exterior to it, if there is some sort of socially-engaged intention, the work produced is not art, but polemics. Unlike our magazines, and our radio, even our television news, we want our novels, our plays, our paintings to be pure. We don't want to be lectured on history. We don't need another lesson on social activism. We don't need somebody else telling us how to live. Yet another politician is more than we can stomach.
The news that RTÉ had requested the Mayo County Sheriff to collect from Beverley Flynn the sum of €1.8m owed in costs arising from Flynn's unsuccessful libel action against the station would, in a properly functioning democracy, have occasioned outrage. The untrammeled glee in media circles at Beverley Flynn's situation is not merely unedifying – it reminds us yet again of how poorly adapted our media are to promoting the interests of democracy.