Mark Twain

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There may even now be a few traditionalist hold-outs in Ireland where “meat” is still rhymed with “mate”

It’s not quite as divisive as the great “scone” pronunciation controversy, which we were discussing here recently. But on foot of that, Tony O’Doherty(...)

Ellen “Nellie” Cashman: it was said that her name was known in every mining town from Mexico to Alaska

There can’t have been many gold miners in the American wild west who, at their funerals, were also spoken of as candidates for “canonisation”. But the(...)

 John Templeton:  “The four most dangerous words in investing are ‘This time it’s different’ ”  Photograph: PA/Wire

Sometimes, you can find more wisdom in a single sentence than in an entire book, and that’s particularly true amongst the investment and trading frate(...)

Eureka stockade leader: Peter Lalor, in an illustration by Ludwig Becker from 1856. Photograph courtesy of the State Library of Victoria

On December 1st, 1854, gold miners in the town of Ballarat burned their mining licences in protest at the unelected government of the colony of Victor(...)

Seán McSweeney and Gerard Smyth. “We found that the places we remembered overlapped in various ways,” says Smyth.  Photograph: Barry Cronin

Though both were born and brought up elsewhere, painter Seán McSweeney and poet Gerard Smyth have strong associations with a region of Co Meath, and b(...)

Showman: William Bourke Cockran  addresses a rally in  San Francisco. Photograph: FPG/Hulton Archive/Getty

On the corner of Fifth Avenue and 58th Street in Manhattan, roughly where Apple’s flagship Fifth Avenue retail store is located today, once stood the (...)

A new work by Dublin-based painter and NCAD graduate Shane Berkery of Donald Trump, whose rhetoric has the hallmarks of ‘gapped knowledge’. Photograph: Shane Berkery

The way we speak and the way we think are becoming increasingly divorced from the way we are being educated. Despite all the reforms (or attempted re(...)

Bob Dylan performing in 1993: he “widened the scope of poetry more successfully than many of the Beat poets”. Photograph: EPA

I’m listening to Billy Joe Shaver And I’m reading James Joyce Some people they tell me I got the blood of the land in my voice For those still wond(...)

Michael Colgan: he has forged indelible associations between the Gate and the works of Beckett, Friel and Pinter and  boosted the careers of Conor McPherson, Selina Cartmell and Wayne Jordan. Photograph: Cyril Byrne / The Irish Times

There is an anecdote that Michael Colgan, outgoing artistic director of the Gate Theatre in Dublin, likes to share with any acquaintances considering (...)

I do not like them, those glum neo-Puritans. Those who have assumed it as a mission in life to make misery. Those who lacerate our simple pleasures, r(...)

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