National Post articles, by me.



Here’s a selection of what I’ve been writing for the National Post


Update on Irish driving licences in Ontario


Update: The Ministry for Transport in Ontario has said it is “working on finalizing” the arrangement, which is still to be reviewed by the Minister here in Canada.  The actual start date for the exchange has not yet been determined.

Pushed on when the Minister might review the arrangement, a spokesperson said: “we have no timeframe at this point.”

Licence swap on the way, still no actual date though…

Minister for Transport, Tourism & Sport Leo Varadkar has signed an agreement to allow for mutual exchange of driving licences between Ireland and Ontario.

The deal will be a huge benefit to the thousands of Irish citizens living and working in Ontario, as well as to people from Ontario now living and working in Ireland. Ontario is Canada’s most populous province and includes the city of Toronto,

“I’m very pleased we have reached this agreement with Ontario and which has been sought for some time by Irish people living in the Province. Ontario has the largest number of Irish residents of any Canadian province and this agreement will allow them to exchange their Irish driving licences for Ontario licences, rather than having to register as learner drivers.

“This process has involved a great deal of work, and I particularly want to thank the Road Safety Authority and the Irish Embassy in Canada, as well as the authorities in Ontario.

“When I asked the RSA to open discussions on exchange arrangements with the Canadian provinces, I asked them to prioritise Ontario due to its high number of Irish residents. Now that we have reached agreement, it should be possible to reach speedy agreements with the other Canadian provinces.”

The agreement will now be counter-signed in Ontario, and given effect via regulations to be brought in within the next fortnight.

Mental Health campaigners cite ‘landmark victory’ after NZ court rules abuse can cause schizophrenia

Mental Health campaigners are citing a ‘landmark victory’ after a District Court judge in New Zealand upheld an appeal by a sexual abuse survivor against a decision (in relation to a claim for financial compensation) that sexual abuse can not cause schizophrenia.

The opinion of two psychiatrists that there is no evidence of a causal link was overturned when a third psychiatrist, David Codyre, presented what the research actually says.

The judge overturned the decision, citing the work of Clinical Psychologist Dr John Read and a previous UK judge’s similar decision.

Here’s a link to the ruling:

Plan in the Philippines: “We are responsible for providing relief for people, yet we are also affected.”

Plan International has launched a global appeal for US$25 million to support the immediate needs of the survivors of Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines.

Plan International staff on the ground in the Philippines worst affected area talk about how difficult things are:

“We are staying positive and doing what we can, but I can see the staff from Plan’s local team are tired and exhausted. Some have lost their homes. Others have lost everything they know.

It’s a difficult situation to comprehend, as we are responsible for providing relief for people, yet we are also affected.”

Read more on these blogs:

Sierra Leone, a west African nation of extreme contrasts

Sierra Leone is a country of great beauty and great poverty. I travelled there in 2011 for 10 days where I experienced this firsthand.

In the rural areas, you are met with beautiful scenes as depicted in the pictures below.

But the capital Freetown is squalid, dirty, overcrowded and the people live in unsanitary, unsafe conditions. (Click Clare Keogh link for those images)


Extract from Irish Examiner article:

IT IS eerily quiet in the gloomy wards of the Princess Christian maternity hospital in the heart of Sierra Leone’s capital, Freetown.

There are no crying babies or proud new mothers, and far from being a vibrant bustling place, there is a melancholy air.

Long empty corridors lead to basic and unsanitary delivery suites and wards where worried women lie in wait.

Read more:

PDF here: Sierra Leone

Photography and blog links: