Monday 20 November 2017

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

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

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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