Going forward, an appalling phrase, somehow associated with the last recession.
In a Word: phrase

There are things in life I will never understand. What people mean when they say “give it up’ . . . for Bill or George (any damn one but Sue!). Or whe(...)

John Ruskin in 1882

More than 20 years before his nightmare in Reading Gaol, Oscar Wilde had a rather happier experience of hard labour in England.  For two months (...)

Maud MacCarthy under the pseudonym Swami Omananda Puri

It was when I was working on the book, The Invisible Art, A Century of Irish Music, 1916-2016, that I first registered the name Maud MacCarthy. She w(...)

Nathan Slattery (10 months) from Blackhall Place, Dublin 7,  gets to grips with a toy Santa while shopping on Henry Street. Photograph: Frank Miller

The worst of it, surely, is over. The weeks – or was it months? – of frenzied shops and crazy traffic. The braindeadening cheesy muzak and the nerve-(...)

Count Laval Graf Nugent Von Westmeath: born in Ballynacor, Co Westmeath, in 1777

In her classic account of travels through 1930s Yugoslavia, Black Lamb and Grey Falcon, Rebecca West visited a castle formerly owned by one of Ireland(...)

Demonstrators  on the French overseas island of La Reunion on Monday demonstrate as part of the gilets jaunes (yellow vest)  movement to protest against fuel prices.  Photograph: Richard Bouhet/AFP/Getty Images

Protest movements in France invariably carry echoes of class warfare and the 1789 revolution. The yellow-jacketed gilets jaunes, who managed to mobili(...)

“With hindsight, not least following the past two years, the world might be a better place had Columbus been detained in Galway.”
In a Word . . .

One of my favourite debating motions from undergraduate days in Galway was “That Columbus went too far”. Of course, Columbus’s journey westwards acros(...)

Prime Time’s presidential debate: moderator David McCullagh with Joan Freeman, Liadh Ní Riada, Michael D Higgins, Seán Gallagher, Peter Casey and Gavin Duffy. Photograph: Julien Behal

“Sorry, I’m a little confused,” Joan Freeman interjected about midway through the seemingly interminable Prime Time: The Presidential Debate (RTÉ One,(...)

Colm Tóibín. Photograph:  Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

There is a peculiar intensity about some streets in Dublin that gets more layered the longer you live in the city and the more stray memories and asso(...)

GK Chesterton: rallied to his country’s side

Reading contemporary reports of the RMS Leinster disaster, which happened 100 years ago last Wednesday, it’s striking how the outcome of the first Wor(...)

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