Flann O Brien

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 In the decades before the death penalty was abolished, an Irish government never managed to hire a native hangman

Of all the State’s failures in the century since independence, there is at least one from which we might take reasonable pride. In the decades before (...)

Myles na gCopaleen: launched his literary career with fake letters to The  Irish Times

In the “Diary” column of the London Times on Thursday, there was a finely wrought pun that, while amusing, seemed oddly familiar. It involved the curr(...)

‘I suspect Keats doesn’t feature much in the latest collection of essays from the Journal for Flann O’Brien Studies: entitled “Gallows Humour”.’ Above, Flann O’Brien. Photograph: The Irish Times

A reader of yesterday’s column has taken me to that always unpleasant venue, Task, over my use of the phrase “main protagonist”.  Since the conte(...)

10-10-20: a set of numerals sure to resonate with Irish people of a certain age,  thanks to years of exposure to farming advertisements eulogising that formula of nitrogen, phosphate, and potash, the soil-nutrient “Big Three”.

Saturday is National Fertiliser Day, a holiday you may not have heard about before, which is understandable, because I just made it up. At any rate (...)

The statue of William Smith O’Brien on O’Connell Street in Dublin. Not only does its inscription have two languages, it also has two meanings.

Writing about the statue of William Smith O’Brien earlier in the week, I neglected to mention what may be its most interesting feature, the bilingual (...)

Conor Pope in Dublin Airport, where passengers are down to under 300 a day. Photograph: Enda O’Dowd/The Irish Times.

Normally on a lovely June bank holiday Monday like this one (fingers crossed the sun is still shining!) Pricewatch becomes obsessed with summer and tr(...)

“Just as the display of holy pictures in a house does not guarantee the inmates are leading lives of piety, so the display of literary iconography in bars does not imply a devotion to actual reading.” Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Among the latest non-events in this year of things that didn’t happen was Mylesday at Dublin’s Palace bar. An annual feature since 2011, it commemorat(...)

2 Avoca Terrace, Blackrock, Co Dublin.

It’s hard to pick the best feature of 2 Avoca Terrace in Blackrock, as this is a property that ticks a lot of boxes. Set in a terrace of just four ho(...)

The Arts Council has launched a policy on the fair remuneration of artists, the essence of which is well captured in the accompanying hashtag: #paytheartist. Photograph: Maxwell’s

Patrick Kavanagh spent much of his life in penury. Samuel Beckett resorted to translating articles for the French edition of the Reader’s Digest. Bria(...)

Irish 19th-century elliptical side table €2,500-€3,500 at Hegarty Antiques

Tuesday, December 10th Fonsie Mealy, Talbot Hotel, Stillorgan, Co Dublin, Rare Irish books and general sale. In excess of €350,000 realised wit(...)

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