‘Best Catholics in the World…’

‘Best Catholics in the World…’

My review of Derek Scally's book, The Best Catholics in the World was published in last Saturday's Irish Examiner, 9 October. Here it is: That old Latin phrase, Corruptio optimi pessima (the corruption of the best is the worst of all) explains the magnitude of the...

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Old Friends

Old Friends

Behind West Belfast sits Black Mountain. Hardly a towering elevation it is round with no discernible peak. Yet to locals it is an intimate friend, embracing and mystically comforting, from one’s childhood through to old age. It is loved. It is beautiful and charming...

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THE ART OF LISTENING

THE ART OF LISTENING

Ciaran Quinn is the Sinn Féin Representative to North America. Here he reviews Northern Protestants on Shifting Ground by Susan McKay. -oo0oo- Susan McKay’s book is a master class in the art of listening and a damning indictment of the failure of dialogue.* The book...

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Wilde on Aestheticism and Socialism

Wilde on Aestheticism and Socialism

My German publisher, Elsinor, has just reissued Oscar Wilde’s essay The Soul of Man Under Socialism, edited and annotated with a preface by my German translator, Jörg W. Rademacher and an afterword by Michael Szczekalla. The new edition of the book, and the irony of...

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Death of Otelo de Carvalho

Death of Otelo de Carvalho

Otelo Saraiva de Carvalho, who led Portugal’s ‘Carnation’ Revolution in 1974 died this week at the age of 84, at the Military Hospital in Lisbon. On 25 April 1974 Carvalho who’d been an army officer serving in Portugal’s colonies, fighting the MPLA in Angola and...

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The Refugees

The Refugees

My friend and German translator, Jörg Rademacher, sent me two (bilingual) books on refugees and displacement. The Austrian composer Ernst Krenek’s novella, The Three Overcoats of Anton K., influenced by The Trial, is a Kafkaesque nightmare about a trapped man living...

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The Hard Crowd

The Hard Crowd

My review of Rachel Kushner's book of essays, The Hard Crowd, was published in last Saturday's Arts Section of the Irish Examiner. Here it is: THE title derives from lyrics of a Cream song, White Room: ‘At the party she was kindness in the hard crowd.’ It was released...

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Republican Days

Republican Days

An Phoblacht has begun a series of podcasts and I was honoured to be the first person interviewed. It was about my experiences in publicity during the struggle, first as editor of Republican News, then as editor after the merger of An Phoblacht/Republican News, and...

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People Massacred While Heath Sailed The Sea

People Massacred While Heath Sailed The Sea

I stood in front of the gates to his long driveway. The £5m house, inside a two-acre walled garden, was huge for a one-parent family (with no family), but I smirked with satisfaction at the fact that the council had forgotten to take down the sign.* When I was growing...

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‘Honest and Painful’

‘Honest and Painful’

Andrée Murphy reviews the recently published memoir, Where Grieving Begins, by former IRA Volunteer Pat Magee, with a foreword by Jo Berry whose father was killed in the Brighton Bombing. It is published by Pluto Press. Pat was sentenced to multiple terms of life...

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