Red October 1917: From Petrograd to Leningrad

The writing was on the wall for the Russian royal family prior to the 1917 revolutions when their trusted confidante, licentious mystic Rasputin, was elaborately murdered at the Yusupov Palace in late 1916 (poisoned, shot, beaten and drowned). Whilst the post-February revolution Provisional Government began the slow task of putting the wheels of democracy in … Continue reading Red October 1917: From Petrograd to Leningrad

A morning with UN Ambassador Samantha Power

It’s not everyday you get to spend a morning with a United Nations Ambassador in your home county. So I jumped at the opportunity to attend a Q&A session with Samantha Power at the Charlie Chaplin Comedy Film Festival in Waterville last month. In what was a major coup for the South Kerry festival, Samantha Power was … Continue reading A morning with UN Ambassador Samantha Power

Visiting Putin’s Parish

“You take holiday in Russia. You are crazy…but welcome.” The man who uttered this to me in a St. Petersburg café wasn’t the only one who thought I was crazy visiting Putin’s Parish. Indeed, all but one person in my social circle questioned my sanity. It was a series of subliminal coincidences which prompted me … Continue reading Visiting Putin’s Parish