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.

Tom Inglis

Whatever You Say

No news: letters from John McGahern, who didn’t like writing letters

After the Deluge

People’s inability during the pandemic to behave morally and refrain from actions that threaten the common good has meant that in protecting the public states will have to rely more on law than persuasion. Legal enforcement is coming down the road ‑ as surely as it did with drink-driving.

Mistaking Identity

We are inclined to think of social identities as traits that are common to all members of a group, that a person cannot help acting like ‘a woman’ or ‘a Frenchman’. But identities are fluid and dynamic. People perform their identities, playing up, or down, their social roles and positions.

The Rock in Rough Weather

Those who still see a future for Irish Catholicism argue that in a materialist and individualistic age it can minister to ‘a deep spiritual hunger’. But there is little evidence that Catholics see church teachings as a means of living a good life, or its prayers and rituals as a means of being spiritual.

Christian Knowledge

There are many factors that made the Irish state that came into being in 1922 different from other nation states, not least that it was born out of colonial conflict, that its coloniser dominated the world capitalist system, that its coloniser was just across the Irish sea and that six northern counties had refused to join the new state.

How to be a Dub

Is it sufficient to have been born in the capital to be a true Dub? What if your parents and grandparents were born there too, but on the middle class southside? Would this let you in or do you have to have been born within the sound of the Hill 16 roar and talk like dis?

Just Make Do

With the slow death of God and religion, and the unsatisfactory nature of philosophy or what postmodernists call grand narratives, the beauty and pleasure of everyday life may be the only thing people can hold onto.

Getting and Spending

For centuries the climate dictated the way we made our living, the way we lived our lives. We are an indoor people. For centuries we made sense of ourselves and our lives by sitting around the fire telling stories. This way of being, of not talking about oneself, but rather telling stories about other people and events, made its way into the pub, that essentially male space which, with the development of Catholic capitalism, grew and multiplied.

Sucked Into The Tube

A Great Feast of Light: Growing up Irish in the Television Age, by John Doyle, Aurum Press, 320 pp, £14.99, ISBN: 978-1845131951 The entertainment technology in...