Category: Reviews

A culture flaming on the midnight sky

Burning the Big House: The story of the Irish country house in a time of war and revolution, by Terence Dooley (Yale University Press, £25.00/€30.00) The Anglo-Irish descendancy from the mid-19th century is the stuff of grand tragedy. Everywhere there are echoes of the elegiac. The men and women of the caste were relatively wealthy,…

What the files reveal about Ulster’s defenders

UDR Declassified, by Micheal Smith (Merrion Press, €18.95/£14.50) The Ulster Defence Regiment (UDR) was set up in late 1969 as the Ulster Special Constabulary (B Specials) was being disbanded as a result of its role in the sectarian violence which broke out in Derry and Belfast the previous August. Inevitably, large numbers of the B…

Reaching out to those who have suffered loss

To Bring Comfort and Consolation: Bereavement Ministry,  by Paddy Shannon SJ, foreword by Bishop Donal McKeown (Messenger Publications, €14.99/£12.95) While our daily newspapers and television bring us continual news of war and disaster, our historians reinforce this state with multitudinous echoes of past loss and the toll it took. There are days when there seems…

A road to Rome that could have been better illuminated

Journey Into Light: The Challenge and Enchantment of Catholic Christianity, by Roderick Strange (Hodder and Stoughton, €20.99/£16.99) In Journey Into Light, Msgr Roderick Strange sets himself quite a task – to convey The Challenge and Enchantment of Catholic Christianity, as the subtitle says, in little more than 200 pages. Measured against this ambition, the book…

We’re happily back on track

This week’s NSO event at the National Concert Hall (tomorrow May 6) brings young Portuguese conductor – Joana Carneiro – to its rostrum for the first time. Her programme includes Mahler’s Songs of a Wayfarer with mezzo Tara Erraught and Stravinsky’s 1947 revised version of his ballet Petrushka. However, before these familiar and popular pieces…

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Covert nature of abuse in its various forms

There are a number of films available on Amazon dealing with the theme of sexual and other types of abuse. It’s a subject we hear quite a lot about nowadays. While the material doesn’t generally make for comfortable viewing it’s something we shouldn’t shy away from. Miss Violence was widely acclaimed at the Venice film…

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