Welcome to Head Down Eyes Open, a blog from an Irish guy with 20 odd years in journalism and humanitarianism.
The name of the blog is inspired by a quip from a rugged street fighter in the depressed neighborhoods of London in the early eighties. His name was 'non-stop MacNally'. He came from my own hometown of Ballinasloe in County Galway. "Head Down Eyes Open" was his advice to me on how to survive the rougher side of life in London. And on how to avoid arrest on account of being Irish.
This advice has stood by me over the years as I traipsed discreetly, pen and camera in hand, through the conflict zones of Chechnya, Abkhazia, Nagorno Karabakh, Bosnia and Kosovo, Afghanistan and Pakistan, Eritrea and Ethiopia, Sudan and Somalia, Israel and Palestine and of course, the troubled Northern Ireland.
This is my first foray into blogging and I want to involve some fellow journeymen such as Dennis McClean and Joe Lowry. They will introduce themselves in good time. I would like this blog to tackle contemporary humanitarian issues with all the honesty and experience that this collection of bloggers can muster. There should also be enough room left over to discuss music, song, sport, politics, travel, culture, more politics and maybe the odd cocktail recipe.
It will have an international perspective from a platform of Irishness. It will strive to keep the Aspidistra Flying!