Wholly Grael

Every now and then, as a journalist, you end up shaking hands with a giant. At the weekend I met someone who has accomplished almost everything you could want to do as a sailor. Torben Grael won medals for Brazil in five separate Olympics. Between the years 1990 and 2000, he finished on the podium…

Keeled Over

The keepers of sailing’s worst-kept secret have finally put their hands up and come clean. As the Volvo Ocean Race prepares to set out from Boston today, en route to Galway and the first every Irish stopover, the Irish team have admitted that they have little hope of keeping up with the pack. The dogs…

Does not compute

“NGOs that are really good and efficient should survive and grow, and those which really don’t add value and can’t be competitive should wind up. ‘‘You’re wasting money that could be applied to the poorest people in the world in a much more efficient way. Unless you can do it efficiently, I don’t think you…

Ghraib Digger

Errol Morris is hitting the headlines at the moment for his film Standard Operating Procedure, an eye-opening snapshot of the life inside Abu Ghraib, famous for those pictures. Morris’s film features in-depth footage from interviews with the prosecuted grunts who carried out what are now the best-know acts of prisoner abuse in history, give or…

SBP piece – Survival Day

Link here to my piece that appeared in last Sunday’s Business Post on Survival Day, the Aboriginal celebration that takes place when the rest of Oz is celebrating the joys of white colonialism. Top quote, from Aboriginal muso Kev Carmody, on the fact that Aboriginals were only included in the census, and brought under the…

Doing the Marathon for Mum and MS

I had never seen this photo here before my mother died. It’s of her, aged about 21 (I assume), clutching a champagne bottle, with a glass on her head and obviously, from her facial expression, a fairly high blood/alcohol level. I found it as I sorted through her things in the house, tucked into an…

Interview with John Connolly

I had the pleasure of interviewing author John Connolly yesterday, far and away one of the most enjoyable interviews I’ve had in a long time. Interviews can be quirky, and as a journalist, you’re always conscious that you’re imposing on someone to fill space on a page and make a living. You feel like you’re…