Philip Larkin

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Between January 1st, 2016, and December 31st, 2017, of 456 pelvic and acetabular referrals to Tallaght, 29 (6.4%) were cycling-related, a 90%  increase on 2016

George Orwell’s citations of emblematic Britishness in The Lion and the Unicorn: Socialism and the English Genius (1941), include “old maids bicycling(...)

By December, we may be watching Game of Thrones from a cosy post-Brexit bunker

Time to look forward to 2019. In the coming year we will continue to wonder why anybody would want to be host of the Oscars or manage Manchester Unite(...)

Mourners at the funeral of Eileen Battersby in Drogheda at St Peter’s Church, Drogheda, Co Louth.  Photograph: Donall Farmer

Literary critic, author and journalist Eileen Battersby was a “brilliant”, “beguiling”, “beautiful”, “courageous”, “dynamic” romantic who lived by her(...)

 Crowds at the statue of the Virgin Mary  at Ballinspittle, Co Cork in 1985. Photograph: Jack McManus

A line from Philip Larkin was on my mind while working on this project. Not the famous reference to his parents, but an aside about beginnin(...)

Patrick McCabe: “I love Stephen Rea an awful lot.” Photograph: Bryan Meade
Patrick McCabe: On My Culture Radar

Current favourite book I’m reading Required Writing by Philip Larkin. He’s an extraordinary figure. I think he’s one of the greatest poets that ever (...)

The interior of Newman University Church in Dublin. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

When I tell them that I was invited to Dublin to direct the Notre Dame-Newman Centre for Faith and Reason, the reply I get a fair bit from people is: (...)

Paul Simon: the most subtle of cerebral US singer-songwriters performs for the last time in Ireland at the RDS, Dublin. Photograph: Vincent West/Reuters

When the opening chords of Paul Simon’s beautiful elegy America soar out one last time this evening across the RDS arena in Dublin, emotion, memory an(...)

 Loreto On The Green, Dublin,  students Ruth Redmond, Ashbourne; Amber McCann, Rush; Jane Loughrey, Ranelagh; Eavan O’Toole, Rathgar and  Sophie Dolan, Rathgar, following their Leaving Cert English exam. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Tens of thousands of students breathed a sigh of relief when widely-predicted poets John Montague and Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin appeared on English paper(...)

On Chesil Beach: a solid exercise in applied sadness

If you want a sense of the cultural distinction that once existed between England and the United States you could do worse than set Dominic Cooke’s On(...)

A portrait of author Ian McEwan at the Soho Hotel in London. Photograph: Lauren Fleishman/The New York Times

Ian McEwan’s bananas arrive at the table. “I had a craving for a banana,” he says, half-apologetically: “Would you like one?”  Having just spent(...)

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