Category: Reviews

Rebuilding the shattered fanes

Picking up the Shards by Donal Murray (Veritas, €12.99 / £11.52) The author begins with a story about Cardinal Francis George, Archbishop of Chicago. Before he died, in a conversation with some of his priests he said: “I expect to die in bed, my successor will die in prison and his successor will die a martyr…

Irish liberators of Europe

A Bloody Dawn: The Irish At D-Day by Dan Harvey (Merrion Press, €14.95) Joe
 Carrol   The author, a retired army officer, has done extensive research to establish the role played by Irish participants (from the North as well as the South) in the D-Day landings in Normandy on June 6, 1944. He has also included…

A meeting place for every citizen

The Mansion House and The Irish Revolution, 1912-1923 by Mícheál Mac Donncha (Dublin City Council / Four Courts Press, €25.00) Thomas J.
 Morrissey   The author of this work was Lord Mayor of Dublin, 2017-2018. He has a deep feeling for Irish history, especially with regard to the years 1912-1923. During those years the Mansion House…

Callan kicks off ‘Divorcing God’ debate

So, you want to explore the state of religion in the country today, what do you do? Send an agnostic, avowedly cynical, gay comedian to do the job? Well, it might work? That’s what happened with Divorcing God (RTÉ1, Wednesday) presented by Oliver Callan. The show was interesting, there were some reasonably fresh perspectives, observations…

The summits of sheer stupidity

Mainly About Books by the books editor   I have been wondering over recent days what Achille Ratti, later in life Pope Pius XI, would have thought of the recent images of toe-to-heel climbers, some 300 of them, ascending Mount Everest to take a selfie at the summit. In the course of this insane “bucket-list…

Why is Irish not our spoken language?

Gaeilge: A Radical Revolution by Caoimín De Barra (Currach Press, €14.99) This is an interesting polemic which argues that Irish should and could be restored as the generally spoken language of most people in the Republic of Ireland. In the introduction the author acknowledges that most people have already made up their minds on this…

Dublin way back then

A Different Dublin: The 1960s through the lens, photographs by Bill Hogan (Currach Books, €19.99) Bill Hogan was a cinema projectionist in different cinemas across Dublin in the 1960s. He worked largely at night, so most of the daylight hours were his own to indulge his developing interest in street photography. He was largely inspired…

Confessional reform of abrasive talk show hostess

Late
 Night
 (15A) I’ve often wondered when they’d get around to doing a millennial version of Sidney Lumet’s Network. Here it’s crossed with The Devil Wears Prada. It’s the story of how Katie Hopkins becomes Ellen DeGeneres, how Margaret Thatcher becomes Theresa May. Emma Thompson is misogynistic chat show hostess Katherine Newbury, a televisual dinosaur.…

What to read about Medjugorje

Medjugorje, which has grown into one of the most popular pilgrimages for Catholics around the world in recent decades, lies in the southern Herzegovina region of the state of Bosnia and Herzegovina, in which Catholics make up a mere 14% of the population. For many centuries, this area of Eastern Europe was under Ottoman rule,…