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.

Essays

Singing Ireland’s Song

Maurice Earls
Books drawn on in this essay include: Bard of Erin, The Life of Thomas Moore, by Ronan Kelly, Penguin Ireland, 624 pp, £25.00, ISBN: 978-1844881437 Memoirs...

HISTORY

A Place for the Arts

John McAuliffe
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.

RESPONSE

Misrepresentations

Frank Connolly
  In the September issue of the Dublin Review of Books, Emmet O’Connor describes my book United Nation – the case for integrating Ireland as...

poetry

A Restless Imagination

Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin
Frank McGuinness is a writer of openness and adventure. Openness to form: while best known as a playwright, while highly regarded as a poet since the 1990s, he has made forays into other genres, writing short fiction in the early 1980s and publishing two novels in the last decade; openness to varying manner and textures, which can range from tightly focused social realism to fantasy. The list of his stage and film adaptations suggests a keen literary appetite, eager to try anything.

IRISH LITERATURE

Inventing the Republic? II

Joe Cleary
As might be expected, the immediate response to the Rising of those that were or would soon become the leading Irish writers was probably as complex as that of the Irish public more generally. If a generalisation might be risked, the letters and other early writings of 1916 suggest a sense of stunned incomprehension, this sooner or later modulating in some cases into a grudging respect for the executed leaders.

History

Idols and Good Old Gods

John Minahane
The arrival of Christianity in Ireland and the unhelpful notion of ‘paganism’

LIBERAL BRITAIN

Changing the Question

Richard Humphreys
The triumph of liberal Britain, which survived the eclipse of the party

Literature

Percy at the Wake

Flicka Small
The troubadour who mangled ‘Moore’s Melodies’ and inspired Joyce

Joyce’s Eye

Jenny McDonnell
Modernism and the influence of ‘cinematicity’ on perception

Observing Proportion

Karl O’Hanlon
The hyphenated music of Maurice Scully’s shadowy airs

BELFAST

Shipyard Radical

Henry Patterson
The life of Belfast trade unionist and revolutionary socialist James Baird

A Cosmopolitan Voice

Adam Coleman
A selection of from the pages of the prestigious ‘Dublin Review’

Part of the Union

Brian Sheehan
Fighting for decent salaries and conditions for low-paid civil servants

Back to the Womb

Geraldine Moane
Manchán Magan’s guided tour through the landscapes of ancient Ireland

POPULAR MUSIC

Many Rooms

Jeremy Kearney
A fascinating and at times unflinching autobiography from Paul Brady

HISTORY OF IDEAS

Out of the Doldrums

Richard Pine
The second Irish cultural revival of the late 1950s and early ’60s

THE UNITY DEBATE

Too much too soon

John Wilson Foster
The unconsidered perils of the nationalist rush to Irish unity

BIOGRAPHY

On the Precipice

Katrina Goldstone
The short but productive life of Joseph Roth, elegist of Habsburg Austria

CRIMINAL MINDS

Murder Most Foul

Patricia Craig
The achievement of a great entertainer, ‘queen of crime’ Agatha Christie

ESSAYS

I’m Dangerous, Me

Kevin Power
Shriver’s irritation: a pose that doesn’t add up to a set of ideas

HISTORY

‘The Catholic Church’

Fergus O’Donoghue
What ‘everyone knows’ about Catholic Ireland, and the more complex reality

BLOG

Celebrating Bricktop

Brian Boyd
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...

Death in the Valley

Thomas McCarthy
Poems of flight, new beginnings, sad partings and rich harvests

Rumpled Giant

Gerald Dawe
The greatest 20th century poet writing in English along with WB Yeats

The Grapes of Mirth

Andreas Hess
The traditions and development of a very special Spanish wine