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Sunday 4 December 2016

Myopic vision of 'the aul sod' has yet to be uprooted on American soil

Published 11/11/2012 | 05:00

US contributions to Irish studies often seem as if they came from outer space, writes John-Paul McCarthy

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Gabriel Byrne's bracing criticism of The Gathering "shakedown" reminded me of a stunning scene in HBO's Boardwalk Empire.

The crooked boss of Prohibition-era Atlantic City, Enoch 'Nucky' Thompson, has organised a St Patrick's Day dinner for his Irish comrades. As the porter begins to take hold, the dinner fragments into two seething factions. The Irish-American hosts don't like the self-pitying tone of their Irish-born visitors. They feel that their gun-running work isn't sufficiently appreciated.

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