Friday 14 December 2018

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The newly introduced red deer at Bunratty Castle and Folk Park. Photograph by Eamon Ward

As a new herd finds its home in the grounds of Bunratty Castle, our reporter meets its deer keeper 

Bunratty is all about history. Strolling around the famous Castle & Folk Park, located just a few miles outside the Clare county town of Ennis, the visitor passes easily between eras: from a sleek post-millennial reception/entry area to the recreation of a 19th-century Irish village and farming life, and further back to the 15th-century castle itself, with its medieval banquets and lavish adornments.

Gargle: On the lash in The Snapper

The Divil's Dictionary: From 'Notions' to 'The Pain' - the words and phrases that capture the Irish way of life 

The ongoing Brexit snafu has introduced a bucket-load of buzzwords and neologisms to English (including, of course, 'Brexit' itself). Hard/soft Brexit, regrexit, Italexit, remoaners, strong and stable, Article 50, Brexit means Brexit, regulatory alignment, Brexiteer: just some of the many terms tossed about by politicians and commentators struggling to make sense of a chaotic situation.

Cork actor Chris Walley near the Noel Coward Theatre in London. Photo: Gerry McManus

The young contender... Cork actor Chris Walley 

In virtually every way, Jock Murphy, lead character in The Young Offenders, couldn't be more different from the actor, Chris Walley, who plays him. Jock swaggers through the northside of Cork in this rudely hilarious film (and now TV series) as bold as brass: thieving bikes, stealing roof-lead, snogging the headmaster's daughter in front of him, and generally getting up to all sorts of mischief. He's obnoxious, foul-mouthed, irredeemably stupid. Chris Walley, on the other hand, is softly spoken, perceptive, erudite and unusually thoughtful for a mere stripling of 22.

Two for the price of one: Paul Perry and Karen Gillece

Secrets and lies but not nearly enough surprises 

This crime novel opens with 40-year-old garda forensic photographer Lindsey Morgan attending a crime scene outside Borris in Carlow. She remembers it's near Thornbury Hall: an Anglo-Irish country pile that is home to her closest school-friend, Rachel. Partly on a whim and partly some deeper impulse, Lindsey travels out and meets Patrick, Rachel's older brother, for the first time in a quarter-century. He, and the house, seem in a state close to disintegration.