for November, 2016

Nearly there Folks

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Twigs, wigs, cardboard axes and glittery wings … props are flying round the classroom as pupils at St Patrick’s Primary in Celbridge rehearse for Once upon a Folktale. It’s two weeks until the storytelling competition organised by IBBY Ireland with the school, and yarns are spinning all over the place. Children will be telling traditional […]


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There’s a lot of it about. Shouting sisters, shouting brothers, shouting fathers, shouting mothers, get out of the bathroom, into the car, shouting in class, the playground, Parliament, on  the road, the pitch, the podium, shouting at the TV, the toaster, the time, the price, in demonstrations, protestations, remonstrations, attacking,  name-blacking, defending, unfriending, distracting, reacting, […]

Younger and wiser

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Amid all the Trumpery this week (was ever a name so perfect? The Oxford English Dictionary defines trumpery as ‘showy but worthless’, deriving from the French word tromper, ‘to deceive’), a class of teens in a County Offaly school made a great argument for lowering the voting age to 16. Their honesty and self-awareness during […]

Upside downs

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Words are the most beautiful, precious, miraculous gifts of humanity. They’re also the most annoying little monsters. Writers, politicians, parents, teachers – most people, come to think of it – get their knickers in a knot about which ones to use. But the more we chase words, the more they skip off round the corner […]