Author: Lily Murphy

LILY MURPHY is twenty-four years old and comes from Cork city in Ireland. In September, 2010 she graduated from University College Cork with a degree in History and Politics.

The Catholic Church versus the IRA Hunger Strikers of 1923


In the Ireland of 1922, a civil war tore through the land and in its path it ripped apart families and friendships. It also created a deeper wedge in an unstable society where the church grappled for top position in an emerging new state.

The Irish Republican Army had fought a War of Independence against British rule for over three years and, led by the young enigmatic Michael Collins, it managed to push the British government to the negotiating table.

Ireland Says "Yes" to an Equal Society


On May 23, 2015 Ireland finally threw off the shackles of a conservative Catholic past and voted in favor of social equality.

The Irish electorate was asked to vote in a referendum to include gay marriage in our constitution and we agreed in great numbers to this proposal.

Many young people who had to leave Ireland in recent years due to austerity, managed to make the journey back home to vote yes. They sailed home and flew home under the hash tag “home to vote” which lit up Twitter and many had aspirations of returning for good once the land of their birth shakes off its recessionary hangover, but for the meantime they can proudly boast they took part in creating a Irish society everyone can live in.

Letter from Ireland: That Other Referendum


On May 22 this year, people in the Republic of Ireland will exercise their democratic right by going to the polls to vote on two proposals to change the constitution. The first proposal is to allow same sex couples the right to marry each other. It is a proposal that has created much debate across the nation but one in which many favour and looks set to pass comfortably. The second proposal is one which has sparked less of a debate and it is worrying.

Liam O’Flaherty: Leader of a Four Day Revolt


Liam O’Flaherty is regarded as one of Ireland’s finest writers of the twentieth century, but before he rose to literary prominence, O’Flaherty led a little known and short lived occupation of the Rotunda Concert Hall in Dublin city just days after the formation of the Irish Free state in 1922.

Born off the coast of Galway on the Aran Island of Inis Mor in 1896, O’Flaherty served with the Irish Guards during World War I. After experiencing severe shellshock in Flanders he was discharged with a disability pension and led a somewhat nomadic life for the next few years.

2015: A Time for Outrage?


Two years have passed since one of the great political and social thinkers of our time departed this world.

On 26 February 2013 Stephane Hessel died at the age of 95. Hessel enjoyed a long life, from his birth in Berlin to his final breath in Paris, where one of his last works Indignez-Vous! (Time For Outrage) was published.

Dreamed a Dream by the Old Canal…….


This year marks 100 years since the birth of Ewan MacColl. Born James Henry Miller in Salford on January 25,1915, he adapted the stage name of Ewan MacColl to acknowledge his strong Scottish heritage. 


From a Dream to a Nightmare

The Irish Green Party in Government

It was supposed to mark the beginning of a new era in Irish politics. The Green Party entered into a coalition government with Fianna Fail in 2007 bringing with it the ideas of a new greener economy and all the hopes and aspirations of environmentalists, but instead their time in power turned out like a comedic tragedy.

Ireland: Still Up Recession Creek Without a Paddle

On December 6th 1921 the Anglo-Irish treaty was signed. It was an agreement between Britain and Ireland to end the Irish war of independence and create peace on the war ravaged island of Ireland, but the main clause of the treaty was that six counties of the north of Ireland would remain under British rule while the remaining twenty-six counties could enjoy limited freedom as a self governing dominion of the British empire.

Letter from Ireland: Queen Lizzy’s Tour of Shame

Here’s another one for the Irish history books: Queen Elizabeth II making a state visit to the Republic of Ireland, the first British monarch to do so since 1911. The visit began on May 18, and massive security made sure that most of the island was experiencing a lock down. She and her husband, Phillip, made Dublin their first port of call.

Letter from Ireland: Zoom, Zoom The Irish General Election 2011

Zoom zoom zoom zoom / The world is in a mess
With politics and taxes / And people grinding axes
There’s no happiness.

— So sang Ella Fitzgerald all those years ago