From the Papers

On Turnips

The British Foreign Secretary Liz Truss is trying to square the circle on the effects of Brexit on Northern Ireland. She once told a distinguished American audience that Brexit would affect only ‘a few farmers with turnips in the back of their trucks.’

Australia has a different meaning for a turnip, the kind of word we use for someone of limited understanding of the world.

Irish at Last

John le Carré was the ultimate Englishman. A former officer with British Intelligence, he took up writing classics like The Spy Who Came in From the Cold and Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy. He was so disgusted with Brexit that he decided to investigate taking out Irish citizenship. As it happened, his grandmother was from Cork, so it was no problem. In one of the last photographs his son took of him before his death in December 2021, he was smiling and wrapped in an Irish tricolour.

Mary Lou and RTÉ

Sinn Féin  president Mary Lou McDonald has taken a defamation case against RTÉ over an item on Morning Ireland in February. An anti-censorship group in London has taken the matter up with Europe.


Tinteán has no political affiliation, and stays well away from politics. However, we wish to alert our readers, particularly those outside Australia, that our new Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has an Irish connection. He was brought up by a single mother in a council house in inner-West Sydney. After returning from an international meeting two days after being elected, his first visit was to her grave: it was the anniversary of her death 20 years earlier. His Wikipedia entry tells that she was Irish-Australian.


Photo: South Australian Tourism Commission

Backpacking has long been one of the favourite ways of seeing Australia. Now the South Australian Tourism Commission is offering a £499 return flight from British and Irish airports, including Dublin, which must be booked before October 31. The travellers would work for about four months in wineries or fruit picking and could then move on to travel or for further work. Tourism Minister Zoe Bettison said ‘jobs with great salaries would fund backpacker adventures.’ See