A selection of pieces published in local and national publications and online from 2005, on social journalism, comment, travel, TV and humour. I publish a regular UK travel blog as well as my own blog on books, writing, travelling and other bits and bobs. I also edit and proofread on various topics for a range of clients. Further writing samples available on request.
Hierarchy of victimhood, Daily Ireland
Anyone convicted of a crime in Northern Ireland has an automatic 50% remission on their sentence. But why does this include rapists and sex offenders like Thomas Hamilton, released three years into a seven-year sentence for three brutal rapes to murder pensioner Attracta Harron? Laura Canning reports on how rape victims are the unrecognised 'others' in the Northern Ireland war.
Traveller discrimination still rife, Daily Ireland
The Molloy family spent Christmas on a bishop's lawn in Ennis, Co Clare. Moved on twice from their home by Ennis Urban District Council (UDC), the couple and their seven children had literally nowhere else to go. It was up to the Bishop of Killaloe, Dr Willie Walsh, to offer them a place in his grounds. The Molloys are an Irish Traveller family. They had nowhere to go that Christmas because a High Court order closed Ennis's only official halting site for Travellers. With no official site, anywhere the family parked, anywhere they set up their home, was illegal.
Women prisoners in N Ireland 'failed by the system', North Belfast News
We reported last week how women prisoners in Northern Ireland were found to be suffering serious human rights abuses at Hydebank Wood. The Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission (NIHRC) last Thursday (5 July) released a report into the conditions of women prisoners here, with one of the report's authors accusing the Northern Ireland Prisons System (NIPS) of 'failing in its duty of care'. This week we look at the report in detail, showing how the prison system is failing women in Northern Ireland.
travel and tv
- Fantabulous volumes - a children's bookworm trail for Roald Dahl Day
- Coastal critters - where to sea marine mammals in the UK
- Call of the wild - ten top foraging foods
- How to make blackberry brandy - and other boozy autumn foraging recipes
- Tasty trails - top ten British food trails
- Beautifully bonkers - the best of weird Britain (Part the First) and Part the Second
- The big cats are out there - a guide to British beasts
- Great Expectations - the art of online reviewing
- Wandering around the small screen - TV locations in the UK
- Say toodle-pip and pitch up close - a visitor etiquette guide to UK camping
- Camping in literature
- Eye on the Box TV column, Christmas special, North Belfast News
'Well, did you have your sad bitch Christmas?' was how I was cordially greeted in the office on returning to slavery on the 27th.
- Eye on the Box, summer TV countdown special (I hate Big Brother edition), North Belfast News
TV is a comfortingly cyclic thing. Christmas: The Wizard of Oz and someone carking it in the snow in Albert Square.
consumer and comment
- It's time for Sammy Wilson to go, Guardian
- Missing the point on paedophile priests, Guardian
- How to reclaim your bank charges, Andersonstown News
- Our right, too, Guardian
books and literature
- Reviews of Enid Blyton's Malory Towers series, including a What Happened Next? piece which outraged many loyal Blyton readers, and Treeks and New Girls, a piece on themes in the books.
- Reviews of the St Clare's series
- Those Dreadful Children
- Literary travel: a bookworm's trail of Britain
- Fantabulous volumes - a children’s bookworm trail for Roald Dahl Day
- For mini bookworms - best summer book festivals for creative kids