Darragh Roche

Darragh Roche

Darragh Roche is an Irish freelance journalist writing about politics, society and culture.

He studied History and English at the University of Limerick and American studies in Budapest, Hungary.

The Irish border: Take out a map and look at it

It's funny that the border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland is called the 'Irish' border. Yes, it's on the island of Ireland, but it certainly wasn't an Irish idea. At least, the vast majority of the island's citizens didn't want the country to be cut in two...

Do you trust the Conservatives to feed your family?

It's happened. People are finally taking the risks of Brexit seriously. In Europe, politicians are talking about giving Britain the chance to stay in the EU. Prominent Irish media have urged their government to help Britain by extending the Article 50 deadline. And the Independent has launched a petition for...

No, Jeremy Corbyn will not destroy the UK

"Keeping Jeremy Corbyn away from No. 10 is an essential national endeavour" the Daily Telegraph thunders. The reliably Conservative newspaper took some time off from trumpeting Brexit to once again attack the Labour leader. These attacks are becoming more hyperbolic by the day. The Telegraph is trying to convince its...

How much national humiliation is Britain willing to accept?

In a classic episode of Yes, Minister the hapless minister Jim Hacker and adroit civil servant Sir Humphrey Appleby desperately try to stop a visiting African president from making a controversial speech in front of the Queen. The fictional country's leader successfully extorts money from the British government in exchange...

Brexit may destroy the Conservative Party

Brexit chaos continues to engulf Westminster. David Davis and Boris Johnson have resigned, along with a number of minor Conservative figures. The long awaited Brexiteer rebellion may finally have begun. And it could be fatal for the Tory Party. It's hard to underestimate the trouble the Conservative Party is in...

We’re watching the slow death of American democracy

The United States of America is at a critical moment in its history. The president is a demagogue with a contempt for democratic norms and the rule of law. The party that elected him is filled with his lackeys, extremists who want to use him to push their regressive ideas...

How would Trump handle Brexit? Just ask North Korea

In Boris Johnson's recent leaked remarks, for which he has still not been sacked, the Foreign Secretary said “Imagine Trump doing Brexit. I have become more and more convinced that there is method in his madness.” Most people laughed off this comment as yet another example of Johnson's toadying up...

Theresa May’s cowardice leaves Northern Ireland in the dark ages

On 7 June, the UK Supreme Court will issue a ruling on Northern Ireland's restrictive abortion laws. The Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission (NIHRC) has argued that the law criminalises 'exceptionally vulnerable women.' Abortion is illegal in Northern Ireland except where the woman's life is at risk or there is...

In Trump’s World, Liberals Need A Bastard Of Their Own

What did Trump do right? That's the only question that matters for progressives and liberals now. Donald Trump doesn't care what any of his opponents think. He doesn't use sanitised politispeak to discuss simple issues that affect real people. If he thinks someone is an idiot or an idea is...

Rise Of The Robosexuals

There's an episode of Futurama called 'Proposition Infinity'. It parodies the debates about gay and lesbian marriage in America by presenting a contentious referendum on the rights of robots to marry humans. Obviously, the idea of walking down the aisle with artificial intelligence isn't on the public agenda. But we...

The Aliens Are Coming But How Will We Cope?

When the astronomer Percival Lowell claimed he had found canals on Mars, that might have been the first truly scientific attempt to prove alien life exists. Today, Lowell's Martian canals are an embarrassment to the Arizona observatory that bares his name. But if Lowell was wrong about the specifics, he...

Owen Smith is Mr Bland – The Last Thing Labour Needs

The Corbynistas have tried to paint Owen Smith as a villain. He worked for Pfizer (that well-known evil corporation), he wants to privatise the NHS (the evidence for this is startling in its flimsiness) and he's tearing the Labour Party apart (unlike the Trots who've culled the shadow cabinet). The...

Yes, Virginia, It Is Fascism

When he called Mexicans rapists, the Hitler comparisons were hyperbolic. When he said he'd ban Muslim immigrants, 'bigot' was closer the mark. When the wall got ten feet higher, he was just a nativist. But Donald Trump's acceptance speech at the Republican national convention pushed him beyond typical right-wing populism....

Turkey’s Failed Coup Is A Godsend for Its Wannabe Tyrant

It took no time at all for the authoritarian Turkish government to turn the failed coup into a PR victory for the regime. Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's unbelievable claim that Turkey's 'democracy' has won the day is as grounded in reality as Donald Trump's ideas about Mexicans. The crackdown has already...

Goodbye Corbyn, Hello Chaos!

The Labour Party is tearing itself apart. Jeremy Corbyn's lukewarm support of the Remain campaign is just the excuse many Labour MP s have been waiting for. Corbyn's overwhelming surprise victory in Labour's leadership election upset moderate and right-leaning Labour members. Though Corbyn did his best to satisfy his parliamentary...

Time for a Republic of London?

Still suffering from the EU referendum earthquake, the wheels may be coming off the UK already. Scotland gave a resounding 'No' to the Eurosceptic lobby setting the scene for another independence vote. Northern Ireland chose to remain despite the DUP's self-serving europhobia. Voters in both countries can rightly claim they've...

The Great Divorce: Politics and Truth

The Associated Press once stated it had stopped fact checking former Congresswoman Michele Bachman because it was taking up too much time. Bachmann was notorious for spouting internet conspiracy theories, unfounded claims and crazy titbits she heard from random strangers. In 2016, fact-free politics have become the norm. Donald Trump...

Mass Shootings Are Not The Price Of Freedom

Another mass shooting, another story about how America's lax gun laws helped a killer. Orlando shooter Omar Mateen purchased his AR-15 assault rifle legally, despite the FBI's suspicions about him. Terror suspects can be placed on a no fly list but not a 'no gun' list. The AR-15 is the...

So It’s Brexit. Then What?

Many high ranking Tories told the Scottish people that a vote for independence was a vote for dire uncertainty. How would an exit from the union work? How long would it take? How would years of potential confusion affect in investment in Scotland, jobs and trade? That argument seemed to...

‘Believe in Yourself’ and More Meaningless Advice

One surefire way to win the approval of the social media masses is to appeal to their sense of vanity. Better still is providing easy solutions to complicated problems, and problems that exist entirely in a person's mind. Enter 'Positive Thinking' – a movement that combines common sense advice with...

Trump 2016: The Bigots Have Spoken

The last opposition to Donald Trump has melted away. First Ted Cruz and now John Kasich have given up the fight that most commentators thought was hopeless anyway. The Republican establishment has gone from plotting to outmanoeuvre him to pathetically accepting their fate. Shenanigans at the party's convention are now...

‘No Platform’ Feeds The Right’s Narrative Of Fear

I've been to many university debates and spoken in more than a few. I've heard one man compare gay marriage to Nazism, a 19-year-old claim he was a 'survivor' of abortion and an Israeli student joke about killing more Palestinians. Sometimes outrageous or offensive statements cause shock, more often delayed...

Banning Headscarves: Where Prejudice Meets Idiocy

Look at photos of Irish women from the 1950s and '60s and you'll see plenty of covered heads. Women of all ages wore wool shawls pulled over their heads as they went about their daily chores, bustling children off to school, buying fresh fish at little stalls or rushing off...

A Guide To America’s Conservative Utopia

America's leading Republican candidates for president, Donald Trump and Ted Cruz, have rabidly loyal grassroots voters. Both men's supporters viscerally hate the other and use social media to slander and brutalise the other man. Outside the conservative bubble, there is barely a hair's breadth between Cruz and Trump. One is...

Drug Tests For Welfare? Watch This Space

West Virginia is the latest US state to introduce drug testing for welfare claimants. As one lawmaker  put it, no-one living off his tax dollars should be 'laying around on welfare and drugs'. Florida recently required all welfare claimants to submit to drug testing, though the courts later ruled the...

Losing The Battle For Europe’s Soul

The desperate masses moving through southern Europe will soon face the gruelling process of refugee assessment now that the EU has reached a morally questionable deal with Turkey. Panicking European governments have handed Turkey a political victory and sentenced thousands of migrants to an uncertan future. The EU will 'swap'...

The Queen and the Brexit: Does it really matter?

The Sun is in an unenviable position. The tabloid's recent report claiming the Queen made eurosceptic remarks to Nick Clegg has prompted a formal complaint from palace authorities. For a paper that trades on its knee-jerk patriotism and publishes frequent gushing pieces on the monarchy, a false story about the...

Democracy’s Worldwide Retreat

As British voters prepare for the greatest act of democracy in decades, the concept of democratic government is in retreat almost everywhere else. It's easy to criticise Britain's archaic first-past-the-post system and unelected upper house, but the last five years have seen referenda on Scottish indepence and electoral reform, stronger...

The surrealist Twitter art of George Galloway

By Darragh Roche Confession time: I follow George Galloway on Twitter. Like the dozens of political accounts in my newsfeed, Galloway's can usually pass unnoticed in the blur. Recently, however, I was drawn to his page following some posts about the Grassroots Out campaign – a pro-Brexit group that's seen...

Trust me, I don’t even know what I earn

By Darragh Roche It's not often MP s have the moral high ground when it comes to money. They get paid by the taxpayer, claim expenses for silly things and provide questionable value for money. But when a Commons committee put some simple questions to the European boss of Google,...

Trash Journalism Is A Threat To Democracy

Some recent news items: Celebrity Big Brother contestant's possible affair, Oscar nominee takes his clothes off, Madonna's son seen with 'suspicious-looking' cigarette. This kind of trash journalism is everywhere. It clutters social media and arrogantly masquerades as socially relevant information. Every serious journalist should choke on stories about Kim Kardashian's...

The Rhodes’ Statue Debate is a waste of everyone’s time

By Darragh Roche Anyone who thinks taking down a statue of Cecil Rhodes will strike a blow against racism is delusional. The small, loud and opportunistic group of Oxford students demanding that Oriel College remove the statue are wasting everyone's time and will achieve nothing. The statue of a man...

Australia’s Long Goodbye Will End With A Whimper

Britain's imperial legacy is complex and widely disputed but one curious side effect is the number of independent countries that still have the Queen as head of state. Australia, Canada, New Zealand and a bevy of small nations are part of her domain, despite Britain having little or no authority...

The London Economic

Talking About Race isn’t Divisive, it’s Necessary

The most baffling aspect of the recent all white Oscars nominations was not the lack of ethnic minorities. That's par for the course thanks to the ageing, mostly white and male Academy voters. The really disturbing part was reaction from some online commentators, including journalists, who criticised the #OscarsSoWhite hashtag....

Something is Rotten in the United States

The greatest democracy on earth had a troubled and divisive 2015. Unarmed African-Americans were killed by police with shocking frequency, a leading presidential candidate brought racism and bigotry into the political mainstream and America's influence abroad was further eroded by crises partly of the country's own making. America starts 2016...

Caitlyn Jenner is Conservative, Get Over it

Caitlyn Jenner was briefly a saint to the left thanks to her global coming out as a woman. When Bruce became Caitlyn the world became just a little more accepting of transgender people and for that she deserves credit. However, many on the left, especially social justice advocates, have snapped...

Katie Hopkins is a Bully, we Should Treat her Like One

Donald Trump likes Katie Hopkins. This is not a world-changing surprise. Trump discovering Hopkins is like two idiots in Nickelback t-shirts meeting each other at a music festival and instantly getting along. You could say they like each other because they agree on almost everything (Trump will probably denounce fat...

It is Time to Let 16-year-olds Vote

THE EU referendum is the most important vote in Britain in a generation. It will influence the UK for the rest of the century. Everything from Scottish secession to peace in Northern Ireland to the international economy are involved. It is a national disgrace that 16 and 17-year-olds will be...

Hatred of Muslims is the anti-Semitism of our time

Anti-Muslim rhetoric is reaching dangerous levels on both sides of the Atlantic. US Republican politicians have suggested databases for Muslims, closing mosques, interning Muslims and depriving them of constitutional rights. Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orbán claims leftists are playing into the hands of a Muslim plot to take over Europe...

Working Poor will be Cameron’s Legacy

Working poor will be Cameron’s legacy Everyone from Labour to the Sun claimed victory when Chancellor George Osborne reversed his plan to scrap tax credits for working families. But as the Independent reported, the poorest in Britain are still getting poorer. The Conservative government’s planned cuts to welfare will see...

Starbucks or Syria: What Civilisation are we Fighting for?

By Darragh Roche Sitting in a packed Starbucks across from the Brandenburg Gate a few years ago, a Berlin-based friend pointed out the former Soviet embassy across the street, once the largest in the world. Sipping a frothy cappuccino in a café where the staff spoke English, I didn’t realise we...

Page 2 of 3 1 2 3