Kevin Toolis

Kevin Toolis is the author of Rebel Hearts: Journeys Within the IRA's Soul

Why this year’s Edinburgh fringe was so obsessed with death

The Edinburgh Festival is finally over, but why was this year’s event so obsessed with dying? Death is the new Black, at least according to the artists at the fringe where our mortality has been eviscerated, diced, disembowelled, deconstructed and fed back in a torrent of death shows to an army of avid theatre goers

Brits have a troubling approach to death

You never forget your first corpse, do you? Cold, visceral, mute, lying there immune from the world and its cares. But, for many people in Britain, seeing a dead body has become a rare spectacle – something that many of us may never see at all. Given that we will all one day die, this

The Good Friday Agreement and the amnesia over the Troubles

It was an overcast Sunday morning in January 1983 and two IRA gunmen were waiting outside Belfast’s St Brigid’s church. After attending mass, judge William Doyle was settling into the driver’s seat of his green Mercedes. He was hoping to escape the congregation throng when two Provisional IRA killers, wearing duffel coats with their hoods

The decline and fall of the DUP

Along with death and taxes, life has only one other certainty: the DUP will never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity. Fresh from insulting Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer in the annual St Patrick’s Day Washington jamboree as a man who needs to ‘read a history book’, the DUP leader Jeffrey Donaldson has now antagonised

A schism in Ulster is inevitable

The fate of the Stormont Assembly, and a Brexit resolution of a kind, now rests on the uncharismatic shoulders of DUP leader Jeffrey Donaldson and his judgment call on the Windsor Framework. If Donaldson declares the abstruse new EU trading arrangements on the enhanced flow of chilled meats to Ulster a victory, then Stormont will

Stormont isn’t worth saving

It is a question all good cardiologists must ask themselves every day: when do you stop trying to resuscitate the patient on the operating table? The same question could be asked of Stormont, Northern Ireland’s ever crisis ridden legislature: when do we stop bothering? In the latest round of life-saving treatment, His Majesty the King,