The James Connolly Reader: writings of a class warrior
Marking 150 years since his birth, this book of his writings reveals the anger behind the firebrand.
Marking 150 years since his birth, this book of his writings reveals the anger behind the firebrand.
A collection of interviews about Martin McGuinness published on the first anniversary of his death never comes close to providing a balanced portrait of the the IRA chief turned peacemaker.
Matteo Salvini might best be described as Italy's answer to Donald Trump. The leader of La Lega (The League) has a policy platform called "Italians first", loves to provoke opponents through...
Early last year, crime novelist Jo Spain was at home watching television with her husband Martin. She suddenly turned to him and remarked:...
The Disclosures Tribunal still has a long way to go. Already, however, Justice Peter Charleton has done the State some considerable service.
Paul Beatty is tickled pink. I have just shown him a YouTube clip of Jimmy Rabbitte's motivational speech in The Commitments, the one that begins, "Do you not get it, lads? The Irish are the blacks of Europe," and ends, "So say it once, say it loud, I'm black and I'm proud!"
Antipodean Booker-winner Thomas Keneally's new novel tells the story of a liberal priest's uncovering of paedophilia in the Catholic church during the mid-1990s.
When Caroline Preston was a child, she often heard her father screaming in his sleep. The World War II veteran had never fully recovered from his army experiences, which included storming the beaches at Normandy on D-day in 1944.
Katherine Lynch is ready for her close-up. Quite a few close-ups, in fact. Looking around her makeshift dressing room I count 21 outfits and a dozen pairs of shoes, most of which she has been busy trying on for the last three-and- a-half hours.
Former Labour cabinet minister Justin Keating's stimulating diaries take sideswipes at a long list of public figures, from Tony Blair to WB Yeats and Mother Teresa.
Mary Lou McDonald is presumably not a big fan of Fawlty Towers. She once tried to quote from it in a Dáil speech by comparing her opponents to the sitcom's hapless Spanish waiter Manuel. Unfortunately for Sinn Féin's deputy leader, her quip backfired when she referred to the character played so memorably by Andrew Sachs as "Manolo".
Jeffrey Archer likes to think he has just made a 102-year-old Irish woman very happy. Last month, he sent her an advance copy of This Was A Man,...
Roddy Doyle is a smiler. Almost every publicity photo of the bestselling author shows his boyish...
Alan Carr perches on a hotel lobby sofa, flanked by a life-size skeleton that has presumably been left there for Halloween purposes. "This is my date for tonight," he cackles gleefully, noting that...
Whereas Charles Haughey's volume of speeches was seen as a vanity project, Michael D's lofty tome is a thought-provoking anthology packed with ideology.
Imagine that you have been sexually assaulted by a major Irish celebrity.
John Hume's public life is over. At the end of Maurice Fitzpatrick's fine new documentary In the Name of Peace: John Hume in America, a poignant caption informs us that its subject was too ill to take part. In fact, as Hume's wife Pat has revealed, the 80-year-old former SDLP leader now suffers from dementia and often cannot recall things that happened half an hour ago.
"IT looked like they’d dropped concrete blocks on every bone in his body.”
Seán O'Callaghan did not expect to die from natural causes. He often told friends that the chances of him ending up with an IRA bullet in his head were at least 80pc.
Patrick Kielty used to have a lot of fun at the IRA's expense. When the peace process took hold in the mid-1990s, the stand-up comedian from Co Down (whose father was murdered by loyalist gunmen) had a routine in which he mocked Irish republicans' tendency to split into tinier and tinier factions.
Roddy Doyle has always been something of a character himself. When he taught English at Greendale Community School in Kilbarrack, one of his pupils was the future playwright Enda Walsh. “He had a cabinet at the back of the classroom with the most exciting modern literature,” Walsh has recalled, “and he had an earring, a Specials badge and red Dr. Martens. Need I say more?”
In the recent Hollywood biopic, Jackie, there is a scene that shows John F Kennedy's newly bereaved widow on November 22, 1963, talking to a group of advisers known as the 'Irish Mafia'. "We need to have the Irish Cadets," she says. "For the funeral. Jack loved them. He saw them perform in Dublin last summer."
When Margaret Thatcher was evicted from 10 Downing Street in November 1990, one of her former cabinet ministers came up with a striking analogy to describe the drama he had witnessed.
Eamon de Valera could not have been prouder of Bunreacht na hÉireann. For the man who famously claimed that he could always tell what the Irish people wanted by "looking into my heart", this was the closest he ever got to shaping Ireland in his own image. Speaking at a Fianna Fáil ard fheis shortly after the Constitution had been passed in 1937, he declared, "I would be very glad indeed at the hour of my death to stand over it."
One of Foil, Arms and Hog's favourite sketches has the self-explanatory title, Never Take an Irish Person Literally.
'All the world's a stage." William Shakespeare's famous line from 'As You Like It' would also be a perfect slogan for the 2016 Dublin Theatre Festival, which has a strong international flavour.
Hercule Poirot did not enjoy his first stay in Ireland. When Agatha Christie sent her iconic detective to the west coast in a 1940 short story called The Apples of the Hesperides, he suffered badly at a hotel with broken windows and terrible food. "It was a land where common sense and an orderly way of life were unknown," the famously fastidious Belgian lamented. "The standards by which he lived were here not appreciated."
We may be about to see history in the making. There is now a growing expectation within Leinster House that, after nobody is elected Taoiseach next Thursday, Fine Gael and Fianna Fail will begin talks on the possible formation of a new ‘grand coalition’.
When Brian Lenihan Jnr was Minister for Finance and battling cancer, he often chewed garlic in order to stop himself from falling asleep.
Lucinda Creighton has become a terrible tease. Yet again, the former Fine Gael junior minister is dropping hints about turning her Reform Alliance into a fully fledged political party.
Irish politics is about to enter a brand new era.
JOAN Burton is about to face the toughest decision of her political career.
Come back, Troika, all is forgiven. The Government has only just got its hands back on the national purse but already there are signs that it wants to go on another spending spree.
Enda Kenny is getting ready for his close-up. On Sunday night the Taoiseach will make a live television address to mark Ireland's official exit from the EU/IMF bailout.
WHO IS out to get Paddy McKillen? The list of suspects is certainly a long one.
It was the moment when Vincent Browne was given a taste of his own medicine. Last Monday night the irascible TV3 presenter devoted his show to the sensational Anglo Irish Bank tapes uncovered by the Irish Independent. Instead of congratulating political editor Fionnan Sheahan on the journalistic scoop of the year, however, Browne opened the programme in bizarre style by demanding to...
BERTIE Ahern has done the right thing. By announcing his departure in a dignified manner today, he has ensured that most of us will remember him for the right reasons.
AS the drama unfolds throughout the day, there’s just one thing about this cliffhanger election we can say for certain.
VINCENT Browne is a hard man to keep up with. Having expressed second thoughts over the war in Iraq, two weeks ago, he promptly doubled back (sort of) last Wednesday.
AT HIS best, Vincent Browne can be a really fine columnist, committed, well-informed and admirably willing to challenge conventional wisdom. At his worst, he writes as if he's addressing a room full of disciples, all desperate for the master to tell them what to think.
LAST Monday night, the New York Post scooped the rest of the world with the dramatic front-page splash that John Kerry had taken the safe option and chosen Dick Gephardt as his vice-presidential running mate.
THE week just ended was a truly wonderful one for the people of Iraq. It follows, therefore, that it was a truly awful one for the anti-war brigade.
THE people at RTE just can't seem to make their minds up about George Bush. Their news bulletins consistently portray him as either a blithering idiot or a dangerous warmonger.
SHORTLY after the disastrous invasion of Cuba at the Bay of Pigs in 1961, John F Kennedy summoned Allen Dulles, the Director of the CIA, to the Oval Office.
SO, how many times have you seen the photos of Lynndie England and the unfortunate prisoners of Abu Ghraib? Well, if you get your news from RTE or the Irish Times, the chances are that the images will be etched on your brain for the rest of your life.
NO DOUBT about it, Mark Little puts a lot of people's backs up. Partly it's because the Prime Time presenter is so obviously one of life's over-achievers. Partly it's because he doesn't bother to do the decent thing and play down either his intelligence or his ambition.
FOR those of us who support the war on Iraq, these are frustrating times. In America, Republicans are cheering themselves up with a humorous story about liberal commentators. Here it is, with the names changed for an Irish readership. Charlie Bird, Michael D Higgins, Fintan O'Toole and a US soldier are walking in the jungle when they are captured by cannibals and prepared for
ON THE afternoon of May 18 last year, at the general election count centre in Mullingar, Mary O'Rourke's political world fell apart. The early tallies had confirmed her worst fears: she would lose the Dail seat she had held for the previous 21 years. For a woman who was, in her own words, "absolutely in love with politics", it was a devastatingly cruel moment.