Harry beat me to it this morning with my planned review… well, if you can’t beat ’em join ’em!

We had a phenomenally successful launch with a very large attendance, the biggest yet. I haven’t done the accounts but we raised more than €900.00 for Brother Kevin who couldn’t attend due to illness.

I think I have distributed books to all Authors who attended, if I’m wrong please let me know and I’ll provide them as and when we meet for Inkslinger sessions.
We oversold my expectations on the night and I’m now short of some copies for those who didn’t turn up on the night, but no panic, I’ve ordered more.
If you haven’t received your copies, please let me know when you will be in the IWC and I’ll bring them with me. I don’t want to be lugging around a heavy satchel of handsome volumes if you aren’t going to be there.
Meantime, congratulations to all a sundry on a very successful project and a very warm and fulfilling night. Give yourselves a huge round of applause.

We did some “quare” stuff, said Harry – to quote the great poet and story teller, Brendan Behan. ” The wine flowed freely” by Katie was great… very apt!

I love the hymn “Gone” and Eva brought it back in her story.

“Swiped Right on Tinder” by Brendan Palmer was a classic.

“The eight minute flight” reminded me of the flight from Papa Westray to Westray in the Orkney Islands.. not for the faint hearted.

Davey’s music and Liv’s singing put some real class to the evening.

Thanks for a great evening, Inkies, as fabulous as ever.


Scotland – oh dear!

What have we been saying for the last year… Scotland has no commitment to Sustainable Tourism and Climate Change.  Aka the rocket and the NC500… both projects receiving profligate amounts of public money.

This man is even more  committed to services to the community than the author is.

Pentland Hero

Orcadian Andrew Banks sought to develop a ferry service between Gills Bay and St. Margaret’s Hope on Orkney, and all kinds of obstacles were put in his way.  Lord George Robertson’s foreword sums it all up in the highly acclaimed book “Pentland Hero” by Roy Pederson. It was a scandal, a true  story of how the Orkney Islands were betrayed by the very government which were paid to help such enterprise.  The story continues.  The route between Thurso and Scrabster is still heavily subsidised, and Mr. Banks has never received a penny of public funds.  The author met Mr. Banks on several occasions.  An honour indeed to meet such a public spirited and dedicated man, determined to good for his community.  Governmental skulduggery does not come into it.  It was all designed to crush his dream of a better and more economical service for the public.


A parallel outline of a is now been sketched out by the author of this blog who had the audacity to have the idea of the North Highland Way between John o Groats and Durness as a sustainable tourism, multi use route.  She was ridiculed, browbeaten and threatened by public services, including Police Scotland.  Eventually she had to leave the country.  She still fights her corner from beautiful Ireland, with the Irish firmly behind her.  Like Mr. Banks, she will never kowtow to the authorities, and will expose them yet again for what they are – uneducated, narrow minded, no idea of public services, no idea of environmental protection, no idea of consultation or democracy, just a determination to suppress a project just because the author would not provide the feasibility study and business plan free of charge.  They said they wanted to “assess” is without even having read the specification. For goodness sake, the “Enterprise” Council don’t even know what a “dormant company” is.

The story is not one of a lifeline services to the remote Orkney Islands nor a potentially life threatening situation for the people of St. Margarets Hope if Mr. Banks ever does stop the service, but one of a government determine to prevent private enterprise while supporting Venture North and the NHI with public money.

Royal British Legion

London’s attitude to the veterans of armed forces, many of whom are in Northern Ireland, is appalling. The author has experienced problems with the Belfast Head Office as well.  In London, it appears that Northern Ireland veterans are treated with contempt and as second class citizens.

I  had an unfortunate experience with the Royal British Legion in London, which was eventually resolved, but ended in my membership being cancelled, just because I had the audacity to complain that they had taken my money twice.  The Portadown branch did their best to resolve the situation, but the I,  a veteran Corporal of 219 Wessex General Hospital, was summarily removed from the membership list.  I am still waiting for an official response from London, three months later.  I am a journalist, I will not give up.

It is not Northern Ireland which is the problem, although the Belfast office do not help.  Inefficiency and deference to London does not begin to cover it.  It is high time the Royal British Legion was reevaluated across the board, and their books audited.  Fat cat salaries being paid in London while the veterans  are expected to do everything on a voluntary basis.  There are of course dedicated volunteers, but that is not the point.  Northern Ireland should be treated better in many ways, as pointed out by Lyra McKee’s partner to the British Prime Minister last month.

I received the following from the RBL as a so called response to a request for a response to my letter of over 3 months ago.


If  I can help in any way alleviate this situation, please do not hesitate to contact me, and I will endeavour to ask the various organisations I am a member of to assist.

As I have previously informed you, you asked for your money back meaning that of course you are no longer a current member. You were certainly not “ejected” to use your terminology. Of course if you want to pay again then you will become a member once more. If you would like to join you can either go online, fill out a paper application form available at your local branch or join over the phone on 0800 307 7773. We do hope you do re-join so we can welcome you back as a member soon. If you do need any further advice please do not hesitate to contact us.

I said that I was “ejected”  I did not ask for my money back from the Branch – the then committee gave it to me because London wouldn’t.  Then they did refund the money and informed the Branch, not me, that I was no longer a member.  This is totally unprofessional.

Now they have closed the ticket, and refused to respond.  Respond they will.  They will get an email every day until I receive a proper professional response to my letter.  This is sent automatically from the software I use.   I will not respond to them further.

Take one minute to give your views.



“No tears in the reader, no tears in the writer.

No surprises in the writer, no surprises in the reader – Robert Frost

I first wrote this article for the Inkslingers writing group at the Irish Writers Centre in Dublin.  It went down a storm, and caused much discussion in the pub.

“Shocking!  Just shocking! Putin rigs US election, Chile, Iraq, Haiti, Libya, Bay of Pigs, Vietnam, Korea”.  Why are we not surprised, are not all elections rigged?  Why blame poor old Putin?  We only get what we deserve, weak governments who couldn’t negotiate their way out of a paper bag.  Chilean miners, suppressed, Iraqis – poor old Saddam, he was doing his best.  Haiti, don’t know enough about that to comment, Bay of Pigs – American outrage again.  Again in Korea and Vietnam.  Then of course my old favourite, the good Colonel Gaddafi – summarily bumped off in 2011 as he wouldn’t kow tow to the west.  He did his best for his people – education, housing – leadership – not like the shower we have now.  The Secretary of State for Northern Ireland – where is she in this mess called Brexit?  Hiding under a cushion somewhere as she has upset the Irish.  Never ever upset the Irish.  God is on their side.  She doesn’t even know the difference between a Protestant and a Catholic.  Mrs. May running round like a headless chicken, kow towing to Europe.  She has done her best.  It wasn’t good enough.

One thing these countries have in common is that they have all apparently breached Human Rights.  Their people are suppressed they have no say.  Just like the Irish.  Sarah Harding, partner of the murdered journalist, Lyra McKee, hit the nail on the head.  The British government have never cared about Ireland despite them sacrificing themselves and their country.  I digress.  Libya, Iraq, Chile, rich in oil and minerals. Let’s not kid ourselves that the British government gets involved for humanitarian reasons.  Meanwhile, Libya is being stripped of its gold – shipped out – washing currency.  The 500 euro note was the same size as the Libyan dinar – of considerable less value and not tradeable on the world markets.  They Libyans “washed” them and took out the metal strip and made 500 euros notes.  The European banks withdrew the 500 euro note before it destabilised the whole corrupt set up of the “Union”.  Mrs. Merkel has said that there must be a hard border between north an southern Ireland before progress could be made – undercutting the negotiating position.  Hang on …. wasn’t it the Berlin wall which was ripped down in the 1980s amongst great celebrations all over the world.  Trump wants to build a wall on the Mexican border.  What is it with these people. Just as North and South Korea hold out tentative olive branches, Merkel and Trump want to undo all the good that’s been done by building physical obstacles.  Next Libya will rall and the Americans and British will go steaming in to rebuild it.  Believe me, those guys can do it themselves.  They have all the education and the contacts, including the Irish and Spanish, they don’t need the west ripping off their crude at knock down prices in exchange, like the Koreans did in the 1980s.  Maepsy cars changed for oil – good cars but not up to the quick sand I inadvertently drove into one day out on the wilds of the outskirts of Benghazi.  I had to be rescued by a strapping Swedish chap from Skanska.  Life in these places – Iraq, Libya – they were good years for expatriates.  They had good lives if you didn’t openly oppose the regime.  Who is right?  An open society of no democracy and clear  corruption, or so called democracy if you toe the line, and a façade of respectability? Learn the systems of both and you will understand that corruption and greed are everywhere.  Currently the Scots are planning to build a rocket on peat bog.  The environmentalists will have a field day.  The French and the Chadians are, according to my sources, taking the Libyan gold – no doubt leaving wide open pits and no remedial environmental work done.  Look at the Piper Alpha disaster – a cover up.  Try asking the Scots for anything they don’t want to give up, even under FOI and you will soon find Police Scotland at your door.  Look at Loughinisland – two journalists arrested for doing their job, and two contraventions of EU regulations on Sustainable Tourism and Climate Change.  Who does anything about that?

Who is right – the so called third world and its dictators or those who pretend to uphold the law, but underneath are ten times worse… not upholding the law unless it suits them?  Do these countries invade Britain because of its so called democracy?  Maybe they do – under cover – look at the nineteen year old girl wanting to come back from Syria after having fought for ISIS?  Is she for real.  Having lost two children to malnutrition, should she have been allowed back after going out there to fight – or did she come back to undermine the system, followed no doubt by her husband who will call “Human Rights.  I have a family here.”


Think about it.  Who is right? An overt terrorism / freedom fighter or those who would undermine from the inside.