About us

Powerscourt, Co. Wicklow, April 2021.
Peter Vandermeersch
Francine Cunningham

In August 2019, Peter Vandermeersch moved to Dublin to take up the job of publisher of Independent News and Media (INM), which publishes The Irish Independent, The Sunday Independent, The Herald, The Sunday World, The Belfast Telegraph and numerous regional titles.

Peter who studied medieval history at the University of Ghent, started his career as a journalist in Belgium. For the Flemish paper, De Standaard, he was a correspondent in Paris and New York. In 1999, he became editor-in-chief of De Standaard in Brussels. In 2010, he moved to Amsterdam where, for nine years, he was editor-in-chief and director of NRC Handelsblad.

Peter Vandermeersch, who has both Belgian ánd Dutch nationalities, is the author of books on the French president François Mitterrand and former U.S. President Bill Clinton. He has also published a book on Dutch culture and society. For more than twenty years, he has been a well known commentator on Belgian and Dutch radio and television. On Twitter @pvdmeersch has more than 90,000 followers. You can also follow him on Instagram (p.vandermeersch).

‘Now, I’m living here in Ireland and every day I look at this wonderful country with a mixture of bemusement and admiration. Sometimes I am astonished, other times I am appalled. But I am always trying to understand. In my part of this blog, I am trying to explain to people from Belgium and The Netherlands, elsewhere in Europe and the rest of the world, the strange and great country that is Ireland. In my pictures too, I am attempting to show the beauty of Ireland and its people.’

After growing up in small town Northern Ireland during ‘The Troubles’, Francine Cunningham had a well-spent youth as a journalist in Dublin. Then, like so many before her, she emigrated in the Nineties. Francine has since lived, worked and studied in France, Belgium and at Harvard University, U.S.A. Devoted to creativity and innovation, she has degrees in literature, philosophy and law. She has represented the the music industry and the news media sector on policy issues at European level. Francine currently has one foot in Ireland and one foot in Brussels, where she works for an international law firm, advising companies on EU regulation in the technology, content and media sectors.

I did not expect to move back to Ireland. Not ever. In a strange twist of fate it was my Belgian-Dutch husband who actually got posted to Dublin. So here I am. A gone-native European accidentally washed ashore in my home country. In my part of this blog, I’m offering a fond but unsentimental view of anything that rings my expat bell, from manners, dress codes and house hunting to the highly evolved Irish woman compared to the average Irish man. Notes from a country changed utterly, yet sometimes shocking similar to the one I left so many years ago.’

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