Happy Birthday Aspire Magazine

ASPIRE Magazine is officially one year old and is the top selling business magazine on iTunes. It is a business magazine with a difference.  On its first birthday last month, Nick Broadhurst, editor and founder, came out with a new and improved mission statement. The mission of the magazine and its contributors is to help people become GameChangers. Nick defines a GameChanger as someone who wants to make a positive mark on the work. “They put their mission first and are driven by empathy rather than ego. They create change in the world because they care,” he explains. “How they meet their mission is inconsistent. Rather than following an existing path, they create their own and leave a trail. They embody resourcefulness, the courage to disrupt and the commitment to pursue the unreasonable.  “What they create is the infrastructure for a new paradigm. They recognize Einstein’s sage advice that the greatest problems we face can’t be solved using the same level of thinking that created them. Thus, they focus on building a new model that makes an existing model obsolete.   Your interest in this magazine is a telling sign that you recognize a new model of business is being […]

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Fear versus Courage

I first discovered fear when I was about eleven years ago. Don’t get me wrong, I’d had the usual childhood in which I was frightened by scary stories at bedtime, imagined monsters under the bed and once a particularly thrilling piece in Enid Blyton’s Five go to Finniston Farm. The scene which scared the pants off me was a mysterious face at the window at night. Truth be told, that idea can still give me the willies. And as a codicil, that particular expression, the give one the willies, comes from the Willow tree, often associated with sadness, graveyards and fear. There, I never knew that either until I wrote that line and had to go and google it, for it looked so strange on paper. But true fear happened when my younger brother and I visited family friends one summer. The other family were holidaying about an hour outside of Dublin and my parents were invited to visit for the day. The other family had a boy who was a year or two older than me, and he had a number of covert magazines. These magazines, he had purchased with his own money, were hidden under his mattress but […]

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Uniquely Dublin

Ok, I didn’t win, I didn’t even make the long list but there were some 500 entries and only 10 in the long list, of which one, my good friend Robert Duffy was chosen. I enclose his entry after mine (lol – this is my blog, sorry Robert, lol) So we were given the task of writing about Dublin, and it’s uniqueness, in just 100 words. I came up with this: Freezing winter nights, laced with Dublin particulars, and hazed with orange lights around the Green. Slipping into a warm hostelry, sipping cold stout, the antithesis of comfort yet warming within. Oh, go on, a whiskey chaser then. Spring days come stretching slow. We are green because of our rain, ample amounts of it and temperatures mild and cunning. Sudden sunshine too, rainbows over the Spire. Tourists take quick pictures in the glare. Summer, because of calendar dates not weather, gushes over us and more green. Tourists loving it. Autumn, sometimes Indian, more often not. More rain. Repeat! It didn’t cut the mustard! But Robert’s did – go Robert! What about the wonderful gush of imagination surging from the slabs of Westmoreland Street? Bright book upon book, our declamatory Pat, […]

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Arm young people with facts, not fear

I was going to add my twuppence worth into the ridiculous outrage in the past few days over the ‘threesome’ article. In fairness I had a lot of fun on Twitter talking about it. I also listened to Liveline and was bemused. Have we nothing better to worry about? Yes, in fact we do: rising employment, increased repossessions, suicides, poverty, teenage bullying, stress, despair, mass emigration, lack of proper health care, people lying on trolleys in hospitals, growing polarisation between rich and poor, and that poor child who drowned yesterday. We have a lot to worry about. Providing facts about sexuality is not a bad thing. Just because you know about a certain sexual act, does not mean you have to do it. Knowledge is power. From knowledge comes choice. Ignorance only creates fear. Anyway, I don’t want to labour the point, the good people at Spunout have expressed themselves very well and I enclose their statement here.   Arm young people with facts, not fear. Published: March 23, 2013 Young people are having sex whether the Sunday Independent or Deputy Michelle Mulherin like it or not. Some of them are having sex with more than one person, and sometimes with more than one […]

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Divorce is a dish best served cold

A recent complaint before The Law Society would suggest warring spouses should think twice before seeking legal heavyweights to resolve matrimonial differences. The subject of the complaint, the current Minister for Justice Alan Shatter, was unanimously and totally exonerated of all claims in the case which arose from a difficult family law dispute between Michael Izatt and Jillian Godsil. The complaint was brought by Godsil who had retained Shatter as her divorce lawyer until he came off record mid-way through her divorce proceedings. His actions prior to that point, and indeed subsequent, were the object of the long winded, but ultimately rejected, complaint. Godsil may be known to some as the Irish divorcee who sold her house on YouTube until the banks stopped the sale. She was landed with a mortgage of some €1million on a house worth less than half that amount when her ex, returning to the UK to go bankrupt, gave the entire mortgage to his ex-wife and their two young daughters. Last month, she was served repossession papers, so she dropped the asking price of her well-known Georgian Manor House to €250,000 and has received a formal offer. However, her bank refuses to talk to her […]

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Suicide and Young People

Yesterday I was the funeral of a child, a 14 year old, who died by suicide. One of the most upsetting funerals I have ever attended. His sixth class teacher spoke at the end. He had us laughing about the impish ways of the young lad. But at the very end of his tribute he looked around the packed church where many of the mourners were only children themselves. He said: “I wanted to end on a note of positivity. I wanted to give you something positive to walk away with. But as I look around this church and see the carnage and the heart broken people I cannot.” He paused. “Instead,” he said. “I will quote Martin Luther King. He said if you cannot fly, then run. If you cannot run, then walk. If you cannot walk, then crawl.But whatever you do, keep moving forward.” I had the privilege to be part of this short and very moving video on suicide – if you have a few moments look at Edward White’s video here It is called ‘Let’s stop suicide together’ I was also privileged to be part of Norah Boran and Alan Lavender’s #DepressionHurts video here It is called ‘It […]

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Longlisted for the Doire Press 2nd Annual International Chapbook competition

I would to express my thanks to the good people at Doire Press for long-listing my short story in their 2nd Annual International Chapbook competition. The long list of entries was taken from all over Ireland, as well as England, Scotland, Canada, Australia and the States. Doire Press very kindly said the standard was very high and gave their congratulations to all the writers on the long list. The nineteen other authors are listed below. The short list will be announced on February 13, 2013. (* Indicates a writer with multiple shortlisted stories) Ruth Aylett (Edinburgh) Neil Burns (Belfast) Jodi Chilson (Idaho, US) Graham Connors (Dublin) Garbhan Downey (Derry) Jillian Godsill (Wicklow) Paddy Halligan (Cavan) Claire Hennessey (Dublin) Robert Higgins (Longford) Matt Hutchinson (London) Jay Kauffmann (Virginia, US) Martin Keaveney (Mayo) Brian Kirk (Dublin) Conor McManus  (Cork) Maeve Mulrennan (Galway) Clodagh O’Brien (Dublin) Eithne Reynolds (Dublin) Maire T. Robinson (Dubin) Dan Sheehan (Dublin) *  

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The Next Big Thing

On Wednesday 2 January my ‘Twitter/Crime/Modest’ friend Susan Condon tagged me in an online blogging initiative called The Next Big Thing which is a series of questions about writers’ next projects. The idea is to draw attention to writers and their blogs and to lead readers to writers they might not have come across before. I have given Susan three labels as one is not enough. We first met as strangers in 2011 on the steps of the Westin having recorded a Christmas charity single that went into the Irish charts at number eight. Four of us started a conversation literally as we were leaving and have been in frequent contact ever since. Twitter is great for making new friends in real life. Crime is of course Susan’s thing. So much so, her husband sometimes lies awake nights wondering if he is safe.  Recently I had a very funny conversation with Susan and another friend and crime writer Lousie Philips at Maria Duffy’s book launch. The two girls regaled me with stories of how they searched for gory details online on how to kill someone, what happens when you stick knives in funny places and then about bodies decomposing. Their […]

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Happy 2013 – Please may we have some more kindness …

I always think the first week back in January is the toughest. The Christmas decorations are still lying about, there are leftover mince pies in the canteen if anyone could stomach them and we travel to and from work in darkness. We spent the weeks leading up to Christmas and the New Year in a mad panic to see all our friends, spend time with our family and text the world and his wife broadcast New Year wishes. Then suddenly it stops. No more crazy shopping, gluttonous eating and seasonal drinking. And our wallets are considerably diminished. Before the darkness was lit by crazy lighting of every kind, now these are dismantled and all we have is car lights and windscreen wipers sweeping rain and oncoming beams out of our eyes. And someone says, Can you see the stretch in the evenings? Just before Christmas I was interviewed by the Wicklow People to ask about my New Year’s Resolutions and I attach the copy here. I have five resolutions in total. As I stand on the far side of Christmas and firmly in the New Year, I think my last one is the most important – Kindness; having the grace […]

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My Sister was Singing for Hiliary Clinton

My sister was singing for Hillary Clinton.  I was attending a reading In Trinity College. Late of course, I crawled my way through the rain-inspired traffic that choked the Dublin streets.  Hillary’s convey passed us with a full police escort. We pulled over by Lesson Street as the forerunner guards on high-powered bikes cleared a path through the steamed up, bumper-to-bumper cars. We drummed impatient fingers on steering wheels as official saloons, corporate buses and defence force coaches forged a path like geese through the built up crush of vehicles. As they passed, we swarmed back into the road and carried on with a grim determination as if sheer dint of will would force the car in front to move faster, or to move at all. My sister was singing for Hillary Clinton. I was hoping to reach Trinity College by 7pm but the traffic and the rain and the convoy were all stealing my precious time away. As I rounded onto Dawson Street, I saw more yellow flashing lights and guards and cars and yellow tape tied across the road. The traffic was corralled down Molesworth Street, which suited me as my destination carpark lay this way, but even […]

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