Category: Reviews

Echoes of Pope Francis’ visit

Pope Francis in Ireland: Commemorative Souvenir by Mags Gargan and the staff of The Irish Catholic (Columba Books, €24.99) Pope Francis in Ireland  (Veritas, €4.99) Joy of Love, a family perspective by Gráinne Doherty (Veritas, €7.99) The recent congress and the visit of Pope Francis, despite what was mooted in advance by critics, passed off very well. Certainly…


Following the Pink Ribbon Path by Mary Redmond Ussher (Columba Books, €14.99) This book reminded me in a way of Markings, Dag Hammarskjöld’s only book.  Hammarskjöld described his book as “a sort of White Book concerning my talks with myself – and with God”. Both have the same commonplace book structure of the author’s thoughts mingled with…

A brace of memorable events bless the music world

Pat O’Kelly   Two recent Dublin events marked significant occasions. The first brought the Irish première of James MacMillan’s Stabat Mater as the closing concert of New Music Dublin at the National Concert Hall. The second came with the retirement, after 42 years devoted service, of Prof. Gerard Gillen as organiste titulaire of the Pro-Cathedral.…

A local legend’s lively life

Spoilt Rotten: Memoirs of Jack McKenna by Jack McKenna (North Kerry Literary Trust, €15.00; contact St. Johns Arts & Heritage Centre, The Square, Listowel, Co. Kerry; tel: 068-22566) This autobiography, by a novice author as old as the century,  is a valuable local history written from an urban perspective. For many years the author was in charge…

Pope portrayed as catalyst for end of violence

(12A)   Did the 1979 visit of Pope John Paul II to our shores eventually impact on the Good Friday Agreement that saw “the force of argument”, as this fascinating documentary puts it, replacing “the argument of force”? Or as Seamus Heaney said, helped “hope and history rhyme”? It frames his visit in the context…

Safeguarding the nation 
from itself

Soldiering Against Subversion: The Irish Defence Forces and internal security during the Troubles, 1969-1998 by Dan Harvey (Merrion Press, €19.99) Joe 
Carroll   The role of the Defence Forces (the army, naval service, and air corps) in ensuring that the Troubles in Northern Ireland did not spill over into the Republic and undermine the stability of the…