Welcome to my website!
Here, you will find details of my Career and Life, Books, and Media & Public Appearances. I also make available a collection of my journalistic writings. Just below, you will find a new Moral Matters Column (uploaded each Friday) and a selection of my Saturday Essays from the Irish Daily Mail. At the bottom of this page, I have selected a quote from my writings in the hope that it will help you kick off your day on a contemplative, thought-provoking, but always life-affirming note.
June 21, 2017
We must have high hopes… even in times of real sadness
Too much sadness now, too much desolation in a world too weary to respond. Fractured hopes, shattered dreams – people unable to cope with their lot. Uncertainty and doubt make it seem like all is lost. And yet, we sense that beneath all the turmoil there is something good and real and enduring. Sometimes, we can’t name it, but we know it is there. Sometimes, it simply catches us by surprise. The child – our child – sings in the school concert. He and his friends are leaving soon and this is their last chance to shine. They sing an emotional version of High Hopes, a song by the Irish group Kodaline. I have never heard of the group or the song. But once they start to sing, their parents’ tears begin to flow. The boys have so many high hopes and it is our prayer that they shall realise each one. A simple song and the worries of the day drift away…Read more
June 10, 2017
Why do we let this evil flourish here?
I was in a neighbour’s house when my phone rang. It was February 2005 and my wife was heavily pregnant with our first child. I took the call presuming it had something to do with her pregnancy. From the outset, the caller – who had a Middle eastern accent – was aggressive and hostile. He demanded to know if I was the ‘Mark Dooley who wrote about Islam in last Sunday’s paper’. When I confirmed that I was, he launched a ferocious tirade. ‘You must be an agent of the Jews!’ he roared, before saying: ‘If your article brings any police attention on us, I will hold you personally responsible’. His sinister threat left me cold because I knew from his tone that he meant every word of it. The following Friday I was scheduled to debate British journalist Robert Fisk on The late late Show…Read more