Darina Molloy on the latest offerings from Irish writers

Exciting Times By Naoise Dolan Exciting times, indeed … if by exciting you mean shocking, startling, hair-raising and mind-blowing. Certainly not thrilling, exhilarating, or intoxicating. But Naoise Dolan wasn’t to know that her book would be published slap bang in the middle of a global pandemic; she’s probably had a moment or two of wry reflection since about the title. Dolan’s...

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Hamill’s Best Piece of Writing

By Tom Deignan The year was 1997 and I was fresh out of college, with a head full of words and dreams, an ambition to tell stories that were not being told, and to dive into the hurly-burly of big ideas about America and the world. In other words, I really needed a job. By then I had already been corresponding (which is to say, pestering) great wordsmiths and storytellers like Peter...

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Saint Pete of Brooklyn

By Terry George I’ve met a few true geniuses in my life: the actor Daniel Day Lewis, the orator Bernadette Devlin McAliskey, the musician Van Morrison. I’ve been lucky to meet a few living saints; Bishop Desmond Tutu, the priest Desie Wilson, but I’ve met only one genius/saint; a person who combined almost unquantifiable talent in a particular field combined with a level of...

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John Hume: Hero in Irish Peace Process

By Niall O’Dowd In July 1998, the Northern Ireland power-sharing government sat for the first time. It was an incredible historic breakthrough and John Hume could take full credit, even though he was in fading health. Senator Edward Kennedy among others came to witness his incredible achievement. It was an honor to be there on the day. STORMONT, JULY 1998: He shuffled rather...

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A Leader who Championed Peace

By Deaglán de Bréadún The recent passing of John Hume evoked comparisons with other Irish leaders who sought in their time to advance the cause of Irish self-government and independence by peaceful means. The greatest achievement of Daniel O’Connell (1775-1847) was Catholic Emancipation: he played a leading role in ending the ban on Catholics from sitting in parliament and holding...

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