I am so at home in Dublin, more than any other city, that I feel it has always been familiar to me. It took me years to see through its soft charm to its bitter prickly kernel - which I quite like too.

Blogs et cetera


The Trials of the Red Prince

Enda O’Doherty
The presidential, and subsequent legislative, elections in France earlier this year told us a number of things about the changing nature of the nation’s politics. First, that the main contest is now, and has been since 2017, not that between left and right but that between centre and far right


The Dunmanway Killings

Brian M Walker
Brian M Walker writes: The recent TG4 documentary Marú in Iarthar Chorcaí (shown on December 7th) looked at the killings of thirteen civilians which...


The Killer and his Little Friend

Philip Ó Ceallaigh
A decade ago, Zakhar Prilepin was a Russian extremist, and the political party he belonged to was banned. These days he is the mainstream....


Brian O’Doherty: 1928-2022

Luke Gibbons
They are described by their shadows. Brian O’Doherty on Edward Hopper With the death in New York of the Irish-American artist, writer and critic Brian O’Doherty,...


A Winter of Czech Discontent

Alena Dvořáková
To understand the seriousness of the recent anti-government protests in Prague, one needs to rewind a bit. It’s been nearly a year since the...


The Big Boo

Ross Moore
In his memoir My Mother-City the poet Gerald Dawe writes of mid-twentieth century Belfast’s pervasive Calvinist atmosphere, which lasted well into the 1960s. It’s...


Javier Marías 1951-2022

  Javier Marías, who died on Sunday in Madrid from pneumonia, contracted after a bout of Covid, was probably the Spanish writer best-known outside his...


Sabina Right or Wrong?

Maurice Earls writes: Following the Treaty of Limerick, Ireland’s capacity to put an army on the field capable of defeating the English ended. For...


The Low Pay Trap

Marie Sherlock
Marie Sherlock writes: Looking from the outside in, Ireland is a paradox of plenty. Despite the havoc wreaked by the pandemic, our economy expanded...


The Irish Psyche

Maurice Earls
  Maurice Earls writes: It was reported recently in the Financial Times that the British might cut off gas supplies to Ireland this winter. And...


Isolation Anxiety

Maurice Earls
Maurice Earls writes: In response to the invasion of Ukraine and more particularly in response to the European reaction to that invasion, people in...


Cathal Coughlan 1960-2022

John Fleming
John Fleming writes: A sturdy melodic voice emanates from a man whose face and twisted body communicate some existential torture. Precise narrative lyrics work with...

Defending History

Maurice Earls
  Maurice Earls writes: A story entitled “Three Glimpses of Life”, written by Patrick Kavanagh in preparation for his landmark novel Tarry Flynn, is a...


David McKechnie 1976-2022

Enda O’Doherty writes: Back in the 1990s I went on a short “study trip” to Germany as part of a small group of journalists,...


Living with Big Brother

Tom Hennigan
Tom Hennigan writes: After the swift unravelling of the Soviet Union, its strategic thinkers scrambled to justify Russia’s demand for continuing influence in lands...


Down With Cows!

Maurice Earls
  Maurice Earls writes: Micheál Martin was in Washington for St Patrick’s Day and caught Covid, or perhaps he brought it with him. Either way...


Not Dead Yet

Dave Duggan
  Dave Duggan writes: In 1990, Routledge published The Death of the Irish Language by Reg Hindley. I was writing radio drama in English and...


The Mould Broken

  Enda O’Doherty writes: With the publication yesterday (March 7th) by France’s constitutional council of the list of approved candidates, the campaign for the presidential...


The men that is now

  Maurice Earls writes: Everyone agrees that James Joyce, who was born 140 years ago today (February 2nd), was unusually observant. Somehow he captured what...


Can we afford the price of greed?

Enda O’Doherty writes: When people choose to comment on the affairs of another country it can often be that, as they speak, they are...


Frank Callanan 1956-2021

  Frank Callanan died suddenly at his Dublin home on December 12th last year. Frank was a distinguished senior counsel and historian. The author of...


How can you sell Killarney?

Enda O’Doherty writes: One of the more amusing moments in the neither long nor glorious history of far-right politics in Ireland came in the...


Mahon in the Milky Way

Michael O’Loughlin writes: Back in the mid-1980s, after several years living in Amsterdam, I rashly decided that what that great city needed was a...


The Execrable System

Maurice Earls writes: Gaelic culture and society collapsed in Ireland from the late seventeenth century on following several centuries of attack and military defeat....


Man is a Giddy Thing

Enda O’Doherty writes: “It’s tough to make predictions, especially about the future,” the celebrated American baseball catcher Yogi Berra is reported to have said....