Based in London; Formerly of New York, Buenos Aires, Fife, and the Western Cape. Saoránach d'Éirinn.
A writer, blogger, historian, and web designer born in New York, educated in Argentina, Scotland, and South Africa, and now based in London. read more
South Africa

Pretoria Philadelphia

South Africa’s parliament meets in Cape Town and its highest courts in Bloemfontein but as the home of the executive it is Pretoria that has precedence as the nation’s capital. read more


Supermac and the Sarduana

As an ex-Guards officer and Old Etonian, Harold Macmillan felt comfortable amongst black African patricians in a way he couldn’t amongst members of the ruling white African elite from humble backgrounds. read more


Lionel Smit

Een van die mees geskoolde portretskilders vandag is die Pretoriaanse kunstenaar Lionel Smit. lees meer


St Paul’s Survives

Crossing the Thames as I walked home from the pub last night, I looked down the river and saw the sturdy dome of St Paul’s Cathedral standing out, illuminated in the winter night. read more


“Events did not choose the terrorists; powerful white people did.”

In the aftermath of Mugabe’s clumsy downfall, Helen Andrews explores the Rhodesian crisis and attempts to answer the question: could it really have gone any other way? read more


Physical Energy

I came across it by surprise one day, walking through the park. It was almost eerie — all the more so for being unexpected. read more

The Arab World

Nahum Effendi and Cairo’s Lost World

Stumbling across this newspaper clipping about Gen. Naguib attending a Yom Kippur service was a sad reminder of a lost world. read more

Persecuted Christians

‘The right thing to do is to act virtuously, rather than just talk about doing so’

Despite the country’s small size, “fate and God have compelled Hungary to take the initiative” on persecuted Christians, prime minister Viktor Orban argues. read more


Gallen-Kallela at the National Gallery

The National Gallery marks the centenary of Finnish independence with a showing of Akseli Gallen-Kallela’s landscapes. read more

London Life

Pimlico Forever – Belgravia Never!

It started with hints and rumours, ill-whispered talk on street corners and tiny little changes, but now it’s all gone too far. Belgravia, it seems, has designs on annexing Pimlico. read more


The ‘Other Modern’ in Portugal

Salazarism never upheld anachronism or the practice of an archaeological type of architecture, writes Joana Brites. It did not reject modernity entirely. read more



One of the finest cities I have had the privilege of visiting, only lightly touched by the grim hand of modernism. read more

South Africa

F.C. Kolbe and the Tulbagh Drostdy

He lectured on aesthetics and Socrates, wrote many works analysing Shakespeare, corresponded with Smuts on holism, and was a Catholic priest as well. F.C. Kolbe was a distinctive polymath. read more


Urgent Action for Catholic Free Schools

Since the Free Schools programme was introduced in 2010 more than 400 new schools have been approved for opening, providing over 230,000 new school places across the country. But right now Catholic free schools are under threat. read more


Justice in the Royal Gallery

The right of trial by one’s peers was one of the triumphs of Magna Carta. For commoners, it meant being judged by one’s own ilk, but for peers of the realm it meant trial by the House of Lords itself. read more


Hougaard Malan

One of the few photographers who manages to almost, nearly capture the beauty of the South African landscape. In each and every shot the scale and drama of the location shines forth. read more


V for Victory (en Vryheid)

The twenty-second letter of the alphabet became a powerful symbol during the Second World War, but ‘V’ doesn’t stand for ‘victory’ in Afrikaans. read more


Borges’s Biblioteca

“The National Library I had known during my adolescence was a different one,” writes Alberto Manguel. “It stood on Mexico Street in the colonial neighbourhood of Montserrat.” read more


First Gypsy Woman Martyr is Beatified

The Catholic Church has beatified its first gypsy woman in a ceremony in the Spanish city of Almería on the southern Mediterranean coast. read more


Gandhi in Fascist Rome

Returning home to India from London in 1931, the genial Indian nationalist leader Mr Gandhi decided to call in on that most ancient, venerable, and eternal city of Rome. read more


The Old Scots College

The Pontifical Scots College is probably the oldest Scottish institution abroad and certainly one of the most important, both historically and today. read more


Fillon: Which Right?

François Fillon is the presidential candidate of the French right — but which French right? A Québécois website applies a Rémondian analysis to M Fillon, in cartoon form. read more


The slums of the Louvre

Balzac described the slums that existed right up to the walls of the Louvre palace — and even inside its courtyard — as “one of those protests against common sense that Frenchmen love to make”. read more


The Delarue Proposal for Parliament

MPs are kicking up a fuss about the controversial proposals to shut down the entire Palace of Westminster during renovations but the architect Anthony Delarue has come up with a plan allowing them to stay on site. read more


The Crown of Stars

‘On the Feast of the Immaculate Conception 1955,’ Fr Julian Large preachs, ‘the new flag of the European Union was inaugurated, emblazoned with twelve stars on a blue background.’ read more


Floating an Idea for Parliament

As MPs battle over plans for the restoration of the Palace of Westminster, the global design firm Gensler has weighed in with its own proposal. read more


All Change for Argentine Newspapers

One of the saddest pieces of news to hit the Cusackosphere in 2016 was word that the Buenos Aires Herald was ending its 140th year by moving from daily to weekly production. read more


The Steps of the Throne

From Irish peers to retired bishops, a curious assembly of individuals have the right to sit on the steps of the throne in the House of Lords. read more

Web Design

Warwick Street Church

Over in Soho there is a curious little church with a fascinating history, which I’ve just had the privilege of designing a new website for. read more


The McGillycuddy of the Reeks

How lovely to see a member of the Gaelic nobility having a letter in the newspaper. read more


“Get me ze Führer!”

The British are, of course, obsessed with the Nazis. This is partly thanks to the many really quite good (and eternally rewatchable) war films produced during the 1950s and 1960s. read more


The French Way of War

I’ve been reading Lartéguy recently so was intrigued to hear of another French writer formed by his military experience, Pierre Schoendoerffer. read more


From Realm to Republic

South Africa’s 1961 constitutional transition coincided with a change of currency. read more


Champagne and the World

I’ve often said that champagne and the Catholic faith are the only two universally applicable things in the universe – appropriate for births, deaths, good times and bad, early, late, or a mundane afternoon. read more


South Africa in the Old Days

This historical film about the early days of the Cape was probably produced for the van Riebeeck tercentenary festival of 1952. click to view


The Earl Attlee

“Don’t you dare call him ‘silly old Attlee’,” Churchill said. “Mr Attlee is a great patriot.” read more


Challoner’s House

After a perfect breakfast on Saturday morning I decided the three-and-a-half miles home from St Pancras were best managed on foot and happened to stumble upon No. 44, Old Gloucester Street. read more


South African VCs in the Russian Civil War

Several South African officers — including two Victoria Crosses — volunteered for service in the Russian Civil War and made a valuable contribution. read more


An Hollandic Hovel

I can easily imagine getting a lot of writing done while listening to LPs of baroque music through a haze of cigarette smoke in a garret like this. read more


Holy Trinity Kingsway

Not much information is available about this church. The ambitious tower was never built, nor was there much money to complete the interior. read more


Stockholm in the Swinging 60s

The Solemn Opening of the Riksdag is seen here in a recording from 1960 during the reign of Gustaf Adolf. read more


1950s Ireland, the Church, and the Arts

In the latest Irish Arts Review, artist and Aosdána member Alice Hanratty condemns today’s easy notions of the repressive Church-dominated Ireland of the 1950s. read more

South Africa

Sir Christoffel Brand

Look at this cragly visage! It belongs to the first Speaker of the House of Assembly in the Cape Parliament. read more


The L.A. Times on Papa Pacelli

It’s interesting to read the Los Angeles Times’s coverage of Pius XII’s election in the difficult year of 1939. read more

Ireland / Cusacks

Christmas on College Green

There are some good (if brief) shots of the Irish House of Lords chamber in this Christmas ad for the Bank of Ireland. read more


Hamburger Abendblatt

The German advertising agency Oliver Voss created this series of ads for Hamburg’s daily evening newspaper. read more


Mendicant Architecture in Mediaeval Oxford

An interesting video from two American academics with some three-dimensional reconstructions of the Dominican and Franciscan houses in the city. read more


Judging Dress

With the United Kingdom’s Supreme Court in the news, the Sybarite weighs in on the important matter of judicial dress. read more


Calligraphic Correspondence

What a pleasure it must be to receive a letter from the designer Frank Ortmann. read more


The Dutch in Rhodesia

…and why they stayed. Marnix de Bruyne has shed new light on the post-war wave of Dutch immigration to Rhodesia with his new book. read more

Book Design

A Handsome Hamsun

Book design is sadly neglected in the English-speaking world. In paperbacks, the French reign supreme, while the Teutons and Scandos design the most elegant hardcover books. read more


Church of St James, Spanish Place

Always interesting to see a building you know well from a perspective you’ve never seen before, as in this photo of St James, Spanish Place, taken from Manchester Mews. read more


Arms of the Oudtshoorn Oratory

An explanation of the arms of the Afrikaans-speaking Oratory of St Philip Neri in Oudtshoorn, South Africa. read more


Russia’s Demographic Turnaround

Most large developed countries have been facing demographic crises, but the FT reports Russia appears to be turning a corner. read more


Courtyard of the Palazzo Bonagia

A photograph looking towards the rococo staircase with its steps, columns, and balustrades of red marble from Castellammare del Golfo. read more

New York

The Old Dutch Church of Sleepy Hollow

If there is any season which is plus New-Yorkaise que les autres then it must be autumn, and around the time of Hallowe’en in particular. read more


Johannes Kip’s View of London

The Dutch engraver & printer Johannes Kip followed William of Orange to London after the English Revolution of 1688, and produced this splendid view of London and Westminster. read more


‘Decisions, decisions…’

The Dublin Civic Trust has a blogpost on the Bank of Ireland’s 1802 competition to redesign the former Houses of Parliament on College Green. read more


Party in the Overberg

Alongside a bazaar, a braai, and dancing, a speech by Sir De Villiers Graaff is the selling point of this poster advertising a United Party get-together in the beautiful Overberg region of the Cape. read more


Letter to the Editor

A senior academic suggesting that the demise of Heythrop was an episode in a long struggle between “outward-facing, inquisitive, challenging” theology on one side and “inward-looking, submissive, unquestioning” theology on the other is telling. read more


A Fifty Pound Note

The recent arrival of the new fiver has caused some flurry of excitement and one of the notes finally reached the Cusackian exchequer in Salisbury on Friday night. read more


Oliver VII

Antal Szerb is probably better known as paragon and only member of the interwar neofrivolist school of literature. read more


The Red Mass in Edinburgh

The opening of Scotland’s judicial year was marked this past Sunday by the Archbishop of St Andrews & Edinburgh offering the customary Red Mass in St Mary’s Cathedral. read more


Oxford: An Architectural Guide

Geoffrey Tyack writes with a fluid style that accesibly conveys a great amount of specific detail without the reader feeling the least bit overwhelmed. read more

South Africa

Die Ou Swaai Pomp

The old water pump in the Cape Town neighbourhood of Oranjezicht was part of the system created by Jan Frederik Hurling in the 1790s for his farm, Zorgfliet. read more


St Pancras Town Hall

The façade is a little clunky but flowers soften this stern civic edifice with a bit of welcome frivolity. read more


Master Mitsui’s Ink Garden

Among Daniel Mitsui’s latest works is a Chinese ink drawing on a Catholic theme. read more

The Office


My old desk when I was working at The New Criterion in New York. read more

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