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.

John Minahane

Barefoot Kings?

Sifting the evidence on civilisation in Gaelic Ulster

Ireland’s Adventure in Spain

During the first few years of the seventeenth century there was a remarkable Irish migration to Spain. The migrants came principally from southwest Cork and south Kerry. Both sexes were well-represented, and all ages, rich and poor, higher classes and low – possibly 10,000 people.

Recovering Princes, Respected Prelates, Reduced Poets

There appears to be some repressive force, almost an enchantment, affecting academic thinking. The experts cannot or will not suspect, let alone address, the crucial position of poets in Gaelic civilisation and in Ireland’s enigmatic history.


A new history of the English-approved aristocracy of Ireland in the seventeenth century shows remarkable command of official sources but reads as if the other Ireland, that is the vast majority, scarcely existed.

Bitter Truths

A new generation of Slovak poets has rejected the central themes of the communist and Christian past, now seen as lies or illusions. But the truths of post-communism are hard on the spirit.

Documents of a Spiritual Resistance

Of the love poems, the two outstanding examples are by an archbishop of Tuam, Maol Mhuire Ó hUigín. One is addressed to a young man called Eoghan, but the point is to warn this youth not to fall in love with a woman, as the poet has done ... “Don’t look,” is the message, “and if you find yourself looking, look away!” But as the poet goes on to describe the eye, the cheek, the lip that Eoghan may see if he looks, the calf, the instep, the foot, it is obvious that he cannot take his own advice. The misanthropy or misogyny which often comes into poems like this is absent.

Fencing Ireland’s Poets

Irish Bardic Poetry and Rhetorical Reality, by Michelle O’Riordan, Cork University Press, 455 pp, €55.00, ISBN: 978-1859184141 There’s an odd European country which loves to...