John Mcgahern

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John McGahern saw art as ‘a religious activity which is keeping faith to the sources of one’s being and it is, in the pure sense of the words, a form of prayer and praise’. Photograph: Frank Miller

Without attributing a personal spirituality to the late John McGahern, worthy of note is what is contained in his novels. On literature he wrote: “Not(...)

Gary Sheehan, Christmas 1982. ‘In early 1983, I renewed lost acquaintance with Gary when we found ourselves doing the Garda medical the same day.’

In the opening chapter of John McGahern’s The Barracks, Garda Sergeant John Reegan returns home from a bicycle tour of duty, drenched and moody, on “a(...)

Claire Keegan: the Wexford author’s unsentimental, unshowy style seems a perfect fit for a story that pits one man against the power of the Catholic Church

“Something small and hard gathered in his throat then which he tried but felt unable to say or swallow.” Bill Furlong, the protagonist of Claire Keega(...)

John le Carré: the writer took out Irish citizenship, which he was able to claim through his maternal grandmother, at the end of his life. File photograph: John Macdougall/AFP/Getty Images)

I never liked the term Anglo-Irish. Particularly when the subject was Irish literature, it functioned as barely coded sectarianism. It was a way of co(...)

The former Cootehall garda station, with Tom Inglis peering through the window. Photograph: Brian Farrell

The former cell at the barracks in Cootehall, Co Roscommon, is now a unisex toilet. The upstairs “married quarters”, where John McGahern; his father, (...)

Maureen Meehan, Cootehall, Co Roscommon: “I miss my neighbours and having people in for a cup of tea.” Photograph: Brian Farrell

Maureen Meehan from Cootehall, Co Roscommon, has four daughters living close by, but when Level-5 restrictions kicked in she didn’t waste time agonisi(...)

Choreographer Liz Roche: among those admitted to Aosdána’s circle of 250 artists due to vacancies arising in the last year. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

Author Kevin Barry, film-maker Pat Collins, architect Valerie Mulvin and painter Mairead O’hEocha are among new members elected to artists’ associatio(...)

Philip Lynch: “From the outset, I was wondering why the farmer, a fit and healthy-looking man, was not milking his own cows.”

As soon as I finished my Leaving Cert, I placed an ad seeking farm work, in our local weekly newspaper, The Anglo-Celt. There was plenty to do on our (...)

Photograph: Getty Images

It’s many years since I last tasted damson jam. It may be so long ago, in fact, that I was still calling the fruit “damsel” then. I must have been a t(...)

The Greatest of These (1943), by Francis McManus, tells of how a priest’s insistence on setting up a school for the poor in his parish sets him on a collision course with his wealthy parishioners and, ultimately, his bishop. Photograph: Getty Images

Francis McManus (1909-1965) is known to those of us of a certain age because his novel depicting a priest’s revolt against authority, The Greatest of (...)

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