Posts Tagged ‘Ireland’

Cowen and Fianna Fail in Denial

Tuesday, January 18th, 2011

We deserve the leaders we get. If Fianna Fail vote confidence in Brian Cowen tonight, its opponents will be delighted and FiannaFail will not deserve to survive. Period. Listening to Cowen, the subtext to his every utterance is ‘denial’. How anyone with an ounce of sense could believe that Cowen is the best man for the job beggars belief. And he tells Morning Ireland on RTE Radio 1 just now that the way he handled the IMF bailout was grand. Even though his stooges Ministers Dermot Ahern and Noel Dempsey were haplessly televised together shaking their head denying the IMF were about to move in one week before the IMF bailout. Well might Dempsey and Ahern grab their pensions and run. Neither would be re-elected. But if FF vote Cowen back in tonight, voting confidence in their ‘leader’ who has led Ireland to such ignominy and distress (denied by Cowen, of course), then FF deserves to go the way of tyrannosaurus rex. Voting for Cowen tonight is nothing other than lemmings sauntering over cliffs and turkeys voting for Christmas. If they do so, they cannot blame Cowen for their demise but themselves. Will De Valera turn in his grave if Sinn Fein leads the Opposition in the next Dail ahead of the rump of FF?

A Step Into the Dark

Tuesday, January 19th, 2010

Hello friends!

Welcome to my website. One step forward, two steps back. I set up this website for a different purpose – to help academic writers and editors in getting their books published – but that ambition for a site has had to be parked for the moment. (Although I invite scholars needing help to get their work published to contact me at editor@joearmstrong.ie) So here I am, a writer, finding myself with a blank canvas and a potential intergalactic readership of six billion. Well, sort of…

Nature abhors a vacuum, so I’ve a hunch this site will become something of worth as I take a step into the dark with it.

I used to be a columnist with The Irish Times, which was a great privilege for me. I wrote at least one column a week for that famous newspaper for seven years, and two columns a week for five of those years. One column I wrote, called Man Alive, looked at men’s health. It was subsequently published by Gill & Macmillan in the Common Sense series, entitled: Men’s Health-the Common Sense Approach. I got a real buzz out of that – it was translated into several languages. Imagine my delight, one Christmas Eve to receive some book which I thought I’d been sent to review only to discover it was my own book in Hebrew! Of course, I wasn’t even able to recognise my name on it.

I also self-published a book called Write Way to Stop Smoking. I learned a lot about publishing by doing that. That was launched by the then Irish Minister for Health, Micheal Martin, who introduced the smoking ban in public places in Ireland. My book was widely acclaimed, with many doctors and psychologists, including a leading light in the World Health Organisation, saying very nice things about it. I’m still a journalist and a columnist. I write for Reality and Face Up, two magazines published by the Redemptorist Fathers. I love writing for ‘the Reds’. Gerry Maloney, who edits both magazines, is a delight to work with.

I’d another book published last year. It was my first co-authored book and it was a history of Muckamore Abbey Hospital in County Antrim, Northern Ireland. I’ve also had other books and booklets published. For example, the Irish Congress of Trade Unions commissioned me to write the booklet Workplace Stress in Ireland, which was well received. I’ve written heaps of reports over the years, edited others and I’ve hundreds of published articles. For the past three years I’ve been commissioning books for an academic publisher, as well as writing columns, reports and having a new book published.

I’m currently on the committee of Irish PEN and I’m a member of the AFEPI, the Association of Freelance Editors, Proofreaders and Indexers (not that you’d believe me with the typos I let pass here!). I used to be a school teacher. I spent five happy years teaching at St Bonaventure’s Comprehensive School in Forest Gate in the East End of London. It’s now a Technology College. Michael Wilshaw, the head teacher at that time, did such a good job he was knighted for his services to education.

I’m married and have two children. If you have an academic book that you’d like to have published, send me an email to editor@joearmstrong.ie Drop me a line too if you’d like me to write a column or report or if you need stuff edited. I don’t have heaps of time, but if the column or report interests me you’ll have my attention. I look forward to hearing from you.

Enjoy this moment!

Tuesday, January 19th, 2010

Now that I’ve deleted hours and hours’ worth of stuff which I’d generated for the origianl purpose of this site, I want to take the bare look off the site by launching into the deep. The best word of the wise I heard in the last year or so was a conversation I struck up with a guy – ah, the wonders of technology – who had taken remote control of my computer, even though I was sitting in the wilds of Meath in Ireland and he was Somewhere In India! God-knows-how but the conversation turned to wisdom. What was the wisest thought he could offer me? ‘Enjoy every moment,’ he said. What a wise pointer, to guide us in this moment, which is the only moment we’ll ever know!