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.

Issue 71, October 2015

Seizing the Capital

The occupation by the Provisional Government’s Army of the military barracks in Dublin laid the seeds of victory for the pro-Treaty side at the outbreak of the Civil War. Even though anti-Treaty forces seized many barracks across the country, control of the capital was the key.

Lost Leaders

Two biographies of 1916 organisers Thomas MacDonagh and Eamonn Ceannt reveal strongly contrasting personalities, the former a cultured and cosmopolitan figure who saw his death as a symbolic sacrifice, the latter a determined fighter who had no wish to surrender or die.

Some Northern Poets

The lives of the Catholic nationalist community in the North, but also its wider migrations and fate in the fledgling new Irish Free State and in Britain, North America and further afield is a fascinating history of adaptation and adoption as much as restlessness and disaffection.

Faith of our Filí

John F Deane has written an honest book and filled it with some beautiful poetry. His life and times in Achill and beyond are described in the sort of prose that reminds you, and even jaundiced Irish-speaking reviewers too, why people like the English language

Cocking A Snook

‘The Lepracaun Cartoon Monthly’, which ran from 1905 to 1915, was Dublin’s leading satirical publication. While its sympathies were more with Sinn Féin, Home Rule campaigner John Redmond, in his triumphs and failure, was to feature extensively in its pages.