NO POPE HERE

NO POPE HERE

In 2004 I wrote a chapter for a book by Liberties Press, 3 Days in September: When the Pope Came to Ireland in which I was scathing of John Paul II and the Irish Catholic hierarchy. Forty years later, and as the Republic of Ireland prepares for the visit of Pope...
Behind The Mask

Behind The Mask

In 1970, within months of the conflict breaking out here, two books, long in gestation, were published: The IRA by Tim Pat Coogan; and The Secret Army by James Bowyer Bell. I remember speaking to several veteran republicans who had been interviewed and who defended...
O’Flaherty Festival Programme

O’Flaherty Festival Programme

This year’s O’Flaherty Festival programme has just been released. The annual event, which is aimed at promoting the writings and work of Liam and Tom O’Flaherty, will be held over the weekend of 25th/26th August, on Inis Mór. Full details can be got...
Buddy Bolden – King of Jazz

Buddy Bolden – King of Jazz

Finished Coming Through Slaughter by Michael Ondaatje, one of his earliest novels, published in 1976. It wasn’t as good as, again, another of his earlier novels, In The Skin of a Lion. It’s the story of Buddy Bolden, a legendary cornet player in backstreet New...
Resistance Poets

Resistance Poets

This is a photograph of Nordahl Grieg, a Norwegian, who was killed as a war correspondent on a bombing mission over Berlin. A poet, novelist and journalist, he was a Stalinist until the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact between Hitler and Stalin at which point he became an...
The Cyclist

The Cyclist

This is from my book, All The Dead Voices, which was published in 2002, and was dedicated to my sister, Susan, who died at the age of forty four. In 1974 Susan moved to Antrim and in 2001 she died in the hospital there from an autoimmune disease, Primary Biliary...