From left: ‘Irish Times’ journalists Maeve Donnellan, Nell McCafferty, Mary Maher, Geraldine Kennedy, Gabrielle Williams, Renagh Holohan (seated), Christina Murphy, Mary Cummins and Caroline Walsh.

Just before Christmas, on one of several aborted gift-shopping expeditions, I found myself sheltering from torrential rain in Chapters bookshop on Dub(...)