The Tyranny of History
In Israel and Palestine despair is all that is left.
Thirty years ago, in the fledgling years of the Northern Irish peace process, I was a student at Trinity College in Dublin. Trinity was still, at that point, different from other Irish universities in that it attracted significant numbers of students from Northern Ireland, both catholic and protestant, nationalist and Unionist. It was Ireland’s oldest university but no longer its establishment one. (One of the striking things about Leo Varadkar is not just that he is gay and of Indian extraction but that he is the first Taoiseach in the history of the Irish Republic educated at TCD).
These were the years in which the so-called Celtic Tiger was still a cub. Ireland was changing but you could still find plenty of ruined, vacant, buildings in Dublin’s city centre. Temple Bar was actually cool and not yet the tourist trap is has since become. It took a long time to get anywhere, for european money had not yet helped transform Irish infrastructure. The catholic church’s grip on Ireland was…