The Story of an Adjective

The Story of an Adjective

About ten years ago when reading Making An Elephant by Graham Swift I came across the works of Russian writer Isaac Babel, bought some of his books, including You Must Know Everything, and what a treat it is. He is probably best known for his Red Cavalry cycle of...

read more
Barcelona/Belfast

Barcelona/Belfast

My friend Glenn Bradley writes from Barcelona - I took a well earned break for my 50th Birthday last week and headed off with my lovely wife Joh to Barcelona. It's very refreshing to go away and take a break, to clear your head, and just get into something else. Isn’t...

read more
The Gadfly

The Gadfly

I was in Dublin yesterday to record a short story with the artist/composer Stano and was telling him and his friend Denise Dunphy the story of Ethel Lynch from Cork who became famous in the USSR for her novel The Gadfly. I wrote a feature about that book many years...

read more
‘Rock and Roll I Gave You the Best Years of My Life’

‘Rock and Roll I Gave You the Best Years of My Life’

John McMillan, an Irish writer (who lives in England), is a fairly self-effacing man who just gets on with the job in hand without fanfare. He has produced an impressive number of semi-autobiographical novels which are endearing and present little snapshots of the way...

read more
“Water is too good for them” – Update

“Water is too good for them” – Update

RTE’s Sean O’Rourke, the subject of my post on Saturday (see below), interviewed Richard O’Rawe this morning about his new book on the late Gerry Conlon, In The Name of the Son. At the end of the interview O’Rourke then referred to the content of his Friday programme...

read more
Buried Secrets and Brutal Truths

Buried Secrets and Brutal Truths

I watched the first two parts of Ken Burns' documentary on BBC last night,The Vietnam War, and was angry from beginning to end. Reminded me of a an article I read about twenty years ago regarding how the establishment tried to hide the truth about its dirty war but...

read more
The Southern Partition of Ireland

The Southern Partition of Ireland

WHILE the discourse regarding a possible reunification of Ireland (hastened because of the implications arising from Brexit) has increased in tenor, so too it appears has been a re-doubling of attempts by the establishment and media in the Twenty Six Counties to...

read more
The Beliefs of Mahatma Taylor

The Beliefs of Mahatma Taylor

Today’s Irish News carries a story, headlined "Lord Kilclooney says nationalists ‘are not equal’ to unionists". Taylor told the newspaper, that a unionist majority meant nationalists could not claim equality – though they were entitled to equality of opportunity....

read more
Staying On by Paul Scott

Staying On by Paul Scott

Finished reading again, for the third time, one of my favourite novels, Staying On by Paul Scott. It was published in 1977 (when it won the Booker Prize), a year before Scott’s death at the age of fifty seven from colon cancer. Set in 1972 it tells the story of...

read more
Married Quarters by Shane Connaughton

Married Quarters by Shane Connaughton

Every now and then you come across an Irish novel where the language and the storytelling are in such harmony as to reach the pitch of perfection. The writing is fluent and confident and you bond immediately with the story from the first page, entering into the...

read more