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.

Home Society


A Place for the Arts

In 1921, the second Dáil innovatively nominated a minister for fine arts, Count Horace Plunkett, and two staff. In his nineteen weeks in office, Plunkett organised one public event, a sexcentenary celebration of Dante. Then his ministry was subsumed into a department of education. Plunkett’s appointment was the first of many false starts, as the state, like many others throughout the twentieth century, struggled with the idea of supporting the arts as a good in itself.

Celebrating Bricktop

A recent serendipitous find in the Oxfam shop in Belfast and costing all of £1.75, Professor Sharpley-Whiting’s account (she’s a US academic specialising in African-American and Diaspora studies) of the African-American women who travelled to Paris during the roaring 1920s to showcase their creativity away from the restrictive Jim Crow laws of their native land […]

The Good Fight

American foreign correspondents at large in an age of optimism

Good Things

Reading the cookbook as an instance of self-expression and social display.

The Blind I

Avoiding speaking of the violence that is going on around us

From Trendy to Ted

Reflections on the TV career of comic actor Dermot Morgan

The Bouncing Czech

The outrageous life and strange death of publishing tycoon Robert Maxwell

Hello to Berlin

Dropping in, not dropping out: Irish emigrants find a new destination

Station of the Cross

Irish television: a dangerous medium is launched in a Catholic country

The Road to Justice

The long fight for recognition of the Magdalene laundries survivors