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.

Philip O’Connor

The Polariser

He was the most important Irish intellectual of the twentieth century, though he got many things wrong, some of them in the pursuit of consistency. Or he was a renegade who went back on every progressive view he had championed in his earlier life. Two views of Conor Cruise O’Brien heard at a recent debate.

Crushing Democracy

Probably no independence movement in history, anywhere, enjoyed the overwhelming democratic mandate of the First Dáil, which was suppressed by Britain. Yet curiously the meaning of that election and of its consequences continues to be raked over and disputed.

The Green Island

A valuable study of the treatment of Ireland in sections of the German print media shows an evolution from a reliance on a jumble of cliches about the nation – often of English provenance – to a more informed engagement, particularly on the part of Hamburg’s ‘Die Zeit’.

Beyond the Failure Narrative

A version of independent Ireland’s economic history which ignores the unfavourable starting point and then goes on to compare our performance with states whose circumstances were clearly different is more in the nature of a myth than a balanced historical account.

Lifting the Boats

Saving the Future: How Social Partnership Shaped Ireland’s Economic Success By Tim Hastings, Brian Sheehan & Padraig Yeates, Blackhall Publishing, 200 pp, €25, ISBN: 978-1842181355 The...