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.

Gerard Murphy

Kith and Kine

A compendious work on the ostensibly obscure and specialist subject of the origins of cattle breeds manages to incorporate a good deal of fascinating human history over several millennia, recalling in the process the literary work of Herman Melville or WG Sebald.

Murder on the Bandon River

A new study of the Dunmanway, Cork massacre of Protestants in 1922 brings some fresh evidence to bear and tries to be fair-minded. It is also hard to quarrel with its main conclusion - that the killings were motivated mostly by revenge for the killing of an IRA leader rather than being specifically targeted at informers.