Suzanne Strempek Shea and Mags Riordan, who is the subject of Shea’s new book, ‘This is Paradise’.

Introduction I eavesdrop, frequently. It’s in the writer’s job description to be nosy, and noticing. Always. To spot the ticking second hand of the w(...)

‘Speaking in Malawi recently, President Michael D Higgins said that the legacy of Irish missionaries “continues today through the inspirational work of their successors here in Malawi and across the globe”.’ Above, President Higgins and   his wife Sabina arriving at the National Museum of Ethiopia in Addis Ababa on the first day of his   official visit to Ethiopia, Malawi and South Africa. Photograph:  Chris Bellew / Fennell Photography

This year marks the end of the UN Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). The MDGs were visionary, with clear targets to improve lives threatened by dise(...)

Torrrential rains of the last few days have washed away crops and coltures at the Milima area in Chikhwawa, Malawi. Photograph: Bonex Juliusbonex Julius/AFP/Getty Images

The death toll from flooding in Malawi has more than tripled with 176 fatalities and at least 200,000 displaced, according to the government.Vice-pres(...)

‘Last month I reported on President Michael D Higgins’s visit to Africa. For this occasionally jaundiced Irishman it was a heartening experience. So much of the best in our people is daily experience there. Meeting Irish missionaries and compatriots with NGOs felt like something of a rejuvenation.’ Above,  President Michael D Higgins at the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa in  Addis Ababa where he  delivered the keynote address on the fourth day of his  official visit to Ethiopia, Malawi and South Africa. Photograph:  Chris Bellew /  Fennell Photography

It’s the season of goodwill, so let’s attempt it. That honest Staffordshire man Dr Samuel Johnson once said “the Irish are a fair people: they never s(...)

The paradox of remarkable economic growth in many African countries, combined with the enduring legacies of poverty, disease and hunger were central t(...)

President Michael D Higgins and his wife Sabina on their arrival to Kazumu International Airport, Lilongwe, Malawi on the ninth day of the President’s 22-day official visit to Ethiopia, Malawi and South Africa. Photograph:  Chris Bellew

Irish missionaries were Ireland’s original pioneers in Africa, President Michael D Higgins has said in Malawi. Six Irish missionaries with long servi(...)

President Michael D Higgins and his wife Sabina at the Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources in Malawi.Photograph: Chris Bellew /Photography 2014

Such was the devastating effect of the Famine on the Irish people that they have yet to find language to describe it, President Michael D Higgins said(...)

 President Michael D Higgins and his wife Sabina are continuing their official   visit to Ethiopia, Malawi and South Africa. Photograph: Chris Bellew/Fennell Photography

President Michael D Higgins has warmly welcomed the Government decision to send three members of the Defence Forces to assist in the fight against Eb(...)

President Michael D Higgins who is visiting Ethiopia, Malawi and South Africa: “These are our  fellow children of the planet. We have to decide that we will allow the people to live and to survive at least . . . Feeding children on 80 cents a day and to be short of the 80 cents is a scandal to humanity.” Photograph: Joe Giddens/PA

It might have been a scene from Yeats’s Among School Children, there in the Tierkidi refugee camp in Ethiopia’s Gambella province on the borders with (...)

 President Michael D Higgins: visit to Ethopia, Malawi and South Africa intended to strengthen bilateral relationships. Photograph: Eric Luke

President Michael D Higgins will leave Dublin this afternoon on an official two-week visit to Ethiopia, Malawi, and South Africa. He will be accompani(...)