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.

Adrian Paterson

Listening to the Women

Voices are central to the project of revolution, just as they are afterwards, and not only as a metaphor. If the 1916 rising was staged – and a surprisingly large number of participants in the event had a background in the theatre – no one could say that it went quite according to script.

Traffic in Mockery

The selling off of Ireland’s cultural heritage makes for decent business. Recently the treasures of what the auctioneer described as ‘Ireland’s greatest literary and artistic family’ netted just shy of £2 million. Where, if indeed anywhere, does the public interest come into this?

Not Biting Their Tongues

An exhibition at Trinity College Dublin shows the wonderful variety and vigour of writing about the visual arts in Ireland in the 1890s and the early years of the last century, a phenomenon which the prestige of more purely literary work tends to make us forget.

Synge’s Violin

In requiring “regular metrical pulses” of “folk” music White is surely smarting from an overexposure to the regular grumbling of the bodhran, which indeed the great and grumbling uilleann player Seamus Ennis suggested was best played with a knife. Ennis’s point of course was that folk music lives in the gaps of strict “metre”, and of course the uillean pipes themselves may be played far from the bounds of absolute regularity, to say nothing of the wilds of sean-nós singing.