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I’m a freelance journalist, published by the BBC, RTÉ, The Irish Times, The Guardian, The Globe and Mail, Radio Canada, Le Point, La Presse and many others.

 

In recent times, I’ve covered stories like the aftermath of Islamic State in Iraq, the rise of Hungary’s far-right, war in Cameroon, narco-trafficking in Guinea Bissau and modern slavery in Pakistan. I also write a monthly column and culture features for Die Zeit's English-language magazine, Spotlight.


Previously based in Belgium and Canada, I now work from my native Scotland. I do both print and broadcast – in English and French. Contact me here.

Recent work - UK/world

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Internecine feud in Kurdish ruling clan

The Irish Times (08/21)

Lahur Talabani was the south London boy who brought the fight to Islamic State in his native Kurdistan, playing a leading role in intelligence and counterterrorism. Now his Surrey-raised cousin wants to boot him out the country.

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Yazidi women and girls still enslaved

The Irish Times (08/21)

Around 2,800 women and girls enslaved by Islamic State are still missing.

It is thought that many of those who survived may be trapped in the increasingly dangerous Al-Hawl detention camp in northeast Syria.

(Photograph: Lolav Media/Ginestra Film)

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Turkish attacks on northern Iraq

RTÉ (08/21) @19.18mins


Turkey's attack on Sinjar during an official visit by Iraqi PM Mustafa al-Kadhimi to mark Islamic State's genocide of the Yazidi people sent a clear message. Turkey does not consider Iraq to be a sovereign nation.

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Relatives of family killed in M6 crash thank Irish people

The Irish Times (08/21)

The story of Karzan Sabah Ahmed and Shahen Qasm, who died with their baby in a crash in Galway. People from across Ireland raised funds to send them home to their family in Erbil.

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Sturgeon's worst nightmare

RTÉ (04/21) @23.34mins


Alex Salmond, risen from the political dead, returns with tartan nat challenge to dominant SNP.  His comeback raises uncomfortable questions about independence, brushed under the carpet during Covid.

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The Sturgeon factor

RTÉ (06/20) @13.18mins


Scotland’s handling of the Covid-19 pandemic has been almost as dismal as that of England. Yet, on the streets, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon is more popular than ever, and support for independence is surging.

Recent work - culture

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London's top 40

Spotlight (08/21)

North, south, east and west - tips for glorious views and open spaces, exciting markets and museums, unusual places to eat and places to think – and much more. 

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Interview: William Sitwell

Spotlight (12/20)


Interview with William Sitwell, restaurant critic for The Telegraph, whose book on eating out was published just as every restaurant in the world had closed. But Sitwell, who writes with the wit of the raffish old-school toff, is accustomed to being out of step with the zeitgeist.

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The Great Stink of London

Spotlight (09/20)


Travel feature taking us right back to London in 1858, just as the city's inhabitants are 'isolating' indoors from a hot fog of pestilence rising from the sewage-filled Thames . Highlight is a visit to The Rookery, aka Little Ireland, where residents are dying en masse from cholera.

Selected from archives

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Mosul’s new masters

The Irish Times (03/20)


After Isis, came the mafia. In Mosul, a jumbled assortment of Iran-backed militias, known collectively as the Hashd al-Shaabi, compete for their share of the spoils of war.

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The vapers of Mosul 

BBC Radio 4 (03/20) @11.14mins


Out on the hustle with three buccaneering entrepreneurs, selling vapes in war-torn Mosul. Moslawis are born entrepreneurs. Given half the chance, they can make their city great again.

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‘You live with these men as a slave. It’s free for them to do anything’

The Irish Times (10/19)


Naveen Rasho endured five years of hell at the hands of Islamic State. She survived the fall of the caliphate in Baghuz, only to face the fresh horror of detention at Al Hawl camp in Syria with her captor’s three brides.

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Global Ear: Dé:Nash

The Wire (08/19)


Hungarian rapper Dé:Nash mines his country’s collective consciousness, satirising the Fidesz regime’s use of ancient legend and historical grievances to craft a new national narrative.

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’Licence to kill’

New Internationalist (05/19)


Cameroon’s bloody conflict between the regime and separatist rebels has been raging nearly three years. Government forces wield their ‘licence to kill’ liberally, with utter impunity.

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Interview: Guinea-Bissau’s president

Al Jazeera (03/19)


José Mário Vaz, president of Guinea-Bissau, appeals to world for help in fighting the cocaine cartels that he says are still using the fragile state as a trafficking hub.

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Inside Hungary’s post-truth laboratory

New Internationalist (08/18)

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Pakistan’s bonded labourers fight back

The Irish Times (07/18)

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Imran Khan battles conspiracies in Pakistan election

The Irish Times (07/18)

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A kilo of cocaine

BBC Radio 4 (04/18)

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Making honey from Africa’s killer bees

The Guardian (12/17)

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Philip Taylor – La politique, je l’ai dans le sang 

Le Point (12/17)

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Interview with Liberian president George Weah

The Irish Times (10/17)

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Liberia’s forgotten child soldiers

Al Jazeera (10/17)

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A dictator in the family

The New Statesman (02/17)

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Trans people risk lives in Turkey

GlobalPost/PRI (12/16)

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Interview with Gambian president

The Irish Times (12/16)

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Lunch with Boris Johnson’s Turkish cousin

The Irish Times (05/16)

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Being Muslim in France

Al Jazeera (12/15)

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Paris attacks report

GlobalPost (11/15)

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Fighting Russia’s propaganda machine

GlobalPost (08/15)

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It’s a ‘No’ from Greece

vieuws.eu (07/15)

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A prison without bars

Al Jazeera (03/15)

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Making maple syrup

BBC News (05/14)

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The crack-smoking mayor

BBC News (11/13)

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Trouble in paradise

Noseweek South Africa (05/13)

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Interview with Alex Salmond

La Presse (08/12)

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In search of Philip Marlowe

The Montreal Gazette (05/12)

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‘Illegal’ midwives on call

The Montreal Gazette (08/11)

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Canada’s contraband capital

BBC (04/11)

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Deadly Secret

Canada’s History (04/11)

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Spirits of a community

The Montreal Gazette (02/11)

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Holiday in Asbestos

The Guardian (05/10)

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Chagos people press to return home

GlobalPost (09/10)

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War and peace

Police Review (07/10)

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Fighting for their identity

The Irish Times (07/10)

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Holy rivalry over Kateri

The Montreal Gazette (03/10)