Category: Reviews

Ireland makes her place in the world

Ireland: A voice among the nations by John Gibney, Michael Kennedy & Kate O’Malley (Royal Irish Academy, €30.00) Joe
 Carroll Ireland’s foreign policy over the past 100 years may seem secondary to how the country has evolved politically, economically and culturally, but this book shows how closely they are intertwined. This is “an official history…

The second city

101 Reasons why Cork is Better than Dublin by Jim Fitzpatrick (Mercier Press, €6.99 / £5.99) Dubliners will need a lot of persuading that there is any substance in Jim Fitzpatrick’s notion that Cork is a better place: if it is why are so many Corkonians in Dublin? The rivalries of the two cities are…

The unique Irish enthusiasm for Lourdes

The Village of Bernadette: The Irish Connections – Lourdes Stories, Miracles & Cures by Colm Keane & Una O’Hagan (Capel Island, €14.99) Lourdes has long been a premier destination of Irish pilgrims. It has answered to something in the Irish psyche. This is the theme that the husband and wife writing team of Colm Keane…

A TV week overshadowed by a big loss

With the debate about married men becoming priests stirring it up at the Amazon Synod, we got to hear a somewhat related story closer to home last Friday. Nationwide (RTÉ1) featured the intriguing and uplifting story of Fr Seán Hyland from Portarlington. He married Liz, they had two children Seana and Ciaran, but sadly the…

The people’s priest, bar none

It Has to be Said by Brian D’Arcy (Sliabh Bán Productions, €24.00/£22.00) Next month, Fr Brian D’Arcy will celebrate a half century in the priesthood. This book is a second tranche of his life story, at the beginning of which he thanks his Passionist brethren for all their understanding since he entered their order in…

Scenes from vanished Irelands

View Ireland: Collecting Photography Curated by Anne Hodge, Curator of Prints and Drawings; and Sarah McAuliffe, Curatorial Fellow, NGI Hugh Lane Room, NGI, Merrion Square West, Dublin 2, runs to 2 February 2020 The first image that meets the eye of the visitor to this select show of Irish photographs is one of Evelyn Hofer’s…

A socially revealing Victorian murder

The Kirwan Murder Case, 1852: a glimpse of the Irish Protestant middle class in the mid-nineteenth century By Suzanne Leeson (Maynooth Studies in Local History/Four Courts Press, Dublin, €9.95) Ian
d’Alton The Maynooth Studies in Local History is a prodigious series of scholarly works (this is number 141) focusing on the local as illuminating wider themes.…