Ask me why I’m voting Yes.
For all our friends in crisis.
For all the nurses, midwives and doctors I know who have to carry a copy of the Constitution when caring for my pregnant friends.
For the shade in legislation, not the black and white of the Constitution.
For all the parents who have to make decisions they’d rather not make.
For all the women I know who travelled to another country for their medical care, and never said a word.
For any woman who has ever felt trapped in her own body.
For all the taxi bus and train drivers, ferry workers and pilots who brought our sisters abroad for care they should get at home.
For shame to go away.
For Ireland to face its self.
For the bereaved.
For the anonymous.
For the truth.
For the raped.
For the women who can’t share their stories, who can’t voice their pain.
For anyone who can change their mind when faced with the reality of the 8th.
For my wife and daughters.
For listening to women.
Seven more things to read, hear and see this week, some longer reads too, giving a chance to think and consider as we go.
Tim Don, Ironman and extraordinary human being, knocked from his bike in October 2017, crushing two C2 vertebrae vowed to run a 2:50 in the Boston Marathon on Monday. Some story from Lindsay Crouse.
He did it in 2:49 by the way
This week I write to you from Dunmanway, Co. Cork. Being on the road has become part of my life now, seven months into my new job. The places we visit are as different from each other as is possible, but they have in common a desire to do their best for the teachers and learners that walk their halls every day. And (tortured segue alert) this group of articles I read, often in a snowbound Clonmel, are equally eclectic, and just as united in their ability to draw my interest.
First Mark Hilliard writes of the cruel life an unnecessary deaths in a Cavan orphanage 75 years ago. A welcome reminder of what our country used to be like.
Michael O’Loughlin provides us with a timely reminder of how the echo of the Holocaust is still to be found across Europe, as above perhaps the past isn’t as far away as we might like to think.
Now this piece by Joshua Rothman spoke to me, as a person who often stood at a perfectly functioning, expensive piece of technology which drove me around the bend when it broke down. Paper jams. Printers. Photocopiers. Read on.
Every teacher knows that feeling when the printer jams, well, it’s someones job to think about that jam, and try to eliminate it. This piece by @joshuarothman is a great read
The midterm has arrived! Conscious as I am that teachers might have more time than usual to read in the week ahead, this week I give you two pieces to get you thinking: first Alex Quigley on reading and writing in this blogpost The Shape of Stories; and second Kenny Pieper, who regular readers here will know well by now, writing on the right and responsibility of teachers to be involved in real change in education, he’s writing about Scotland, but this blogpost has real resonance for Irish teachers too, perhaps teachers everywhere. On Brexit, that great crumbling of our regard for British democracy, in this article, Marina Hyde compares Teresa May to a Swansea City manager who has all the confidence that comes from being given the full support of the Board of Directors. She doesn’t stop there, and it isn’t all funny, but it is so right. Anika Burgess, writing for Atlas Obscura on the photography of Caitriona Dunnett on the secret tracks and trails that lead to Mass Rocks across Ireland is fascinating insight into Irish History, and beautifully illustrated with images of inaccessible but familiar places. Aidan Dunne writes here on Emil Nolde, an artist I’ve only recently discovered, and he shows the stillness of his painting is matched by the complications of his life.
My podcast choice this week this week is again from the RTE History Show: this time it covers significant and interesting anniversaries coming up in 2018. Very useful for updating the diaries of History teachers. This week’s cover image came from here.
It’s hard to believe that I’ve spent eighty weekends doing this exercise. Collecting writing I want to share more than in a single tweet has become a tradition: laptop out after dinner on Sunday, picking out the best, setting up the tweets and writing the blogpost. Always a pleasure. Writing is an exercise, reading the same, hoping never to get out of any of these habits.
Michael Harding on Marty Whelan, but as always saying things about so much more than a headline can encapsulate.
This piece by Jeremi Suri traces the history of the nuclear hotline, and of the the use of hotlines to diffuse conflict in general. History nerd alert.
A photo’s power is huge, this one has taken on a life beyond the moment it captures and it changed the course of the Vietnam War. Maggie Astor on Eddie Adams’ photo of Nguyen Ngoc Loan executing Nguyen Van Lem, in Saigon on February 1, 1968.
Brightening, by Doireann Ní Ghríofa, is an amazing new poetic take on Austin Clarke’s Planter’s Daughter which so many of us read and taught down the years from the Soundings Anthology.
Jennifer O’Connell has written so powerfully here, asking how much has really changed since the 1980s Ireland that drove so many women to the margins.
For the podcast of the week, here’s an RTE History Show interview on Alger Hiss with his son Tony who continues to believe in his father’s innocence. Human history colliding with world events.
And finally, for the coverage image I went here.