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News, current affairs & arts from Ireland

A lost weekend in Wales. Ireland v Wales at the Millennium Stadium, 2005

Published in Village. Coming off the train at Cardiff, a crumpled looking fellow in a Welsh jersey is standing with a sign around his neck: “Ticket please, will swap for sister.” Two others are talking about the touts. “Mate of mine, he was offered £1400 each for two tickets yesterday.” “What’d he do?” “Kept them… read more +

Guaranteed! moves to the screen

We are currently in pre-production on The Guarantee, a film version of Guaranteed! for TV3, produced by John Kelleher Media and supported by the BAI and IFB. Ian Power is directing. More here.

Lives in black bags. An investigation into the care system

My investigative series for RTÉ’s Drivetime on children in care is now on Soundcloud. This was funded by the Mary Raftery Journalism Fund. An accompanying essay, consisting of oral histories, was published in The Dublin Review 53, and is available here. The Sunday Times published a companion opinion piece.

Filming the theatre: NT Live & the Abbey

“My dream,” says Fiach Mac Conghail, director of the Abbey, “would be to have The Plough and the Stars during Easter Week 2016 broadcast globally. It’s a no-brainer.” Whatever about staging Sean O’Casey’s anti-heroic 1916 play at the Abbey during the centenary celebrations, broadcasting it globally? Just a few years ago, such an idea would… read more +

‘The whole place stinks of corpses’ John Calder & Beckett’s Endgame

January 29 2014: John Calder’s Godot Company is back on tour, with Happy Days. This article was written for the Irish Independent on the occasion of their tour of Endgame, in September 2009. See also this article for Le Monde Diplomatique. * “The whole place stinks of corpses,” says Hamm. “The whole universe,” says Clov…. read more +

From street to stage: interview with Phil Kingston (2009)

Phil Kingston was in his first year at London’s prestigious Central drama school when a senior staff member gave him some sage advice. “You can be a musician and a smackhead, but you can’t be an actor and a smackhead.” Kingston was a heroin addict. He paid for his addiction with his commission from work… read more +

From the archive: An interview with Ulick O’Connor, Irish writer

Ulick O’Connor, once famous for something literary, vaguely remembered, sits in his three-storey Victorian home in Rathgar, surrounded by books and mementos. He writes, still, and manages his archives, and fulminates about the lies and ineptitude of those in power, and involves himself in theatre. He is welcoming but tired. “I’ve had a terrible three… read more +

Doc on One: My Name is Lydia Foy

My radio documentary for RTÉ, My Name is Lydia Foy, can be streamed and podcast here.

The Mount Street Club: an oral history

During an earlier era of horrendous unemployment, in 1934, the Mount Street Club was established in Dublin to develop innovative solution to the poverty resulting from unemployment. During the war years it had 6,000 members; they were involved in running a farm in Clondalkin and allotments in Merrion and Sydney Parade, and earned “tallies” for… read more +

Theatre: Ten Shows for Twenty Thirteen

It may be tough out there, but Irish theatre is responding with hard-nosed good sense. With funding cut, there’s a new focus on what audiences want. And in times of recession, as Michael Colgan says, they want entertainment. Here are ten shows in 2013 that look likely to entertain, and may well inspire.