Roisin Murphy at Sonar 2015

Why I’m in love with Róisín Murphy

19 November 2015 16:59

Róisín Murphy, the Irish singer-songwriter, is currently touring Europe with her Mercury Prize-shortlisted new album, Hairless Toys. The album, with its…

Freddie Scappaticci, who is alleged to be the British spy, code-named Stakeknife. He denies being an informant

The ‘Stakeknife’ investigation and the dark reality of double agents

22 October 2015 13:16

The decision by Barra McGrory, the Director of Public Prosecutions in Northern Ireland, to recommend an official investigation into the…


Here’s what happens when you create a ‘safe space’ at a pro-life event

13 October 2015 11:15

You know all that stuff about ‘safe spaces’, places on university campuses where you’re not allowed to say or do…

Jeremy Corbyn and Gerry  Adams

How Jeremy Corbyn could boost David Cameron’s majority

6 August 2015 11:46

Tories tend to think that Jeremy Corbyn as Labour leader will be fabulously useful for their party, returning them an…

Euclid Tsakalotos addresses the Sinn Fein annual conference in Londonderry in 2015 (Photo: Paul Faith/Getty)

Euclid’s theorem of the Irish

10 July 2015 9:00

The excellently named Euclid Tsakalotos has become the Greek finance minister after the sacking (tsaking?) of Varoufakis. He was educated…


Irish Catholicism’s response to gay marriage hasn’t been totally incoherent

30 May 2015 15:33

Matthew Parris, in a characteristically elegant essay in this week’s magazine, complains about the rubbish quality of the arguments against…

(Photo: Paul Faith/Getty)

Is gay marriage just a fad?

30 May 2015 10:00

Now that Ireland has voted Yes to same-sex marriage, it will be widely believed that this trend is unstoppable and…

Is there nobody of any intellectual stature left in our English church, or the Roman church, to frame the argument against same-sex marriage?

As a gay atheist, I want to see the church oppose same-sex marriage

27 May 2015 16:55

I see. So now we have the result of the Irish referendum on gay marriage, and now we’ve heard the…


Ireland’s gay marriage vote was never an equal contest

24 May 2015 0:20

In more ways than one it’s impossible to be heard above the din right now in the wake of the…

Image: Getty

Gay marriage will split the Catholic Church

23 May 2015 23:49

Ireland, for so long the most overtly Catholic state in Western Europe, has voted for gay marriage by a stupendous margin –…

After one bakery declined to make this  cake, another agreed to do it (Photo: QueerSpace Belfast/Facebook)

The free market is still the greatest force for reducing prejudice

20 May 2015 15:20

I suppose if you’d told someone in Northern Ireland 25 years ago that the most contentious issue come May 2015 would…

Ashers Bakery (Photo: Charles McQuillan/Getty)

The ‘gay cake’ case highlights a new intolerance developing in Ireland

20 May 2015 10:12

In what sense, precisely, has a bakery in County Antrim contravened discrimination law by refusing to ice a cake with a…

Pro-same-sex marriage campaigner Glenna Benson poses with yes badges at an event ahead of the Irish same-sex marriage referendum (Photo: Paul Faith/Getty)

Ireland’s ‘tolerant’ elite now demonise anyone who opposes gay marriage

19 May 2015 11:05

If you think it’s tough being a Tory voter in 21st-century Britain, try being a ‘No’ voter in this week’s…


I don’t trust these latest obesity predictions from the nanny state

6 May 2015 22:05

Seventy-four per cent of men and 64 per cent of women in Britain will be overweight or obese by 2030, or…

Pro-Russian separatists on a road near Uglegorsk (Photo: Dominique Faget/Getty)

Want to understand the conflict in Ukraine? Compare it to Ireland

11 February 2015 10:03

What seemed this time last year to be a little local difficulty in Ukraine has metastasised to the point where…

Pope Francis says it is OK to smack your children to discipline them — as long as their dignity is maintained (Photo: Alberto Pizzoli/AFP/Getty)

The pope is right – smacking your kids is sometimes OK

10 February 2015 13:35

One good thing has come out of the fuss over the pope’s comments about it being ok to smack your…

Sorting and packing in a printing works. (Photo by Topical Press Agency/Getty Images)

The Spectator at war: Preachers of sedition

27 November 2014 8:30

From The Spectator, 28 November 1914: If the press is to be muzzled, why do not the muzzling laws hold…

Dublin 1912: a crowd gathers on Sackville Street (as was) for Herbert Asquith after the government introduces a bill for Irish Home Rule. Photo: Getty/Hulton.

A federal UK? Home Rule all round? We have been here before.

24 October 2014 11:48

There are fewer truly new things in politics than you think. The present constitutional uncertainty – which, it should be…

Morning kit inspection at a camp of the Ulster Volunteers Force, the unionist paramilitary force, at Ballywater on 12th July 1914. (Image: Topical Press Agency/Getty Images)

‘Unity at home and strength abroad’. Britain prepares for WW1 by postponing Irish home rule

30 July 2014 17:57

The outbreak of war between Austria-Hungary and Serbia in July 1914 forced British politicians to postpone the Amending Bill for Irish…

Alleged Hyde Park bomber John Downey. Image: Oli Scarff/Getty Images

Why won’t suspected terrorist John Downey be tried?

18 July 2014 14:57

The Hallett Review was published yesterday. This is the review ordered by the Prime Minister in February after the collapse…

Aidan Gillen in a still from Ken Loach's Jimmy's Hall

Dick-swinging filmmakers like Ken Loach constantly write real women and our struggles out of history

2 June 2014 14:04

I hadn’t seen a Ken Loach film in years because I got sick of his schmaltzy sexism but yesterday decided…

Europe's Oldest Surviving Iron Chain Suspension Bridge Connecting Scotland And England To Be Closed

The Bearable Lightness of Being A British Scottish Nationalist

21 May 2014 13:54

Backstory: I wrote a post suggesting that Scottish Nationalists’ rhetoric might these days usefully be compared to Doublethink. I suppose…

The Funeral Takes Place Of Former Labour MP Tony Benn

If the sight of Martin McGuinness at state occasions repulses you, blame the Tory Party

11 April 2014 11:31

Well, those who get themselves worked up about the presence of Martin McGuinness around the Royal Family would not have…

First State Visit Of An Irish President

The Irish Question, as recorded by The Spectator

10 April 2014 17:36

As the Irish president is making the first visit to the United Kingdom by an Irish head of state, some…

First State Visit Of An Irish President

An extraordinary event in the history of Anglo-Irish relations

9 April 2014 14:11

If there’s one thing a poet is good for, it’s memorable circumlocution, which is why Michael D Higgins (the D…