Irish Stew

The nights have been like those of a claustrophobic Deep South melodrama.  A ceiling fan whirring in the moonlight. You half-expected Jessica Lange to be on the verandah, smoking. “Cain’t seem to sleep in this damn heat. How ‘bout you Sugah?” Met Eireann issued alerts for good weather. For a population starved of good weather,


Picture the moment – you’re at a public meeting. The leader of your country swears slightly in a foreign language. No one flinches. And the leader carries on. This wasn’t Enda calling someone a pantat bau (I hope no one speaks Indonesian). It was Angela Merkel, last week, using the latest word to enter the

Nanny State

As Ireland tries to scrape the metaphorical dog-dirt of the Anglo tapes from the metaphorical shoe of her self-esteem, using the metaphorical limp useless twig that is an Irish political inquiry, a few questions arise: Where did it all go wrong? How do punish those involved? How do we prevent it from happening again? The

Allotted Time

I’m trudging. There’s something ennobling about a good trudge. A tough journey needs to be made so you just make it. Sometimes it’s a trudge back from Spar where you bought too much, were too tight to buy two plastic bags and now you’ve lost feeling in the in fingers of one hand. This trudge


The taxi-driver’s fury is obvious but he restrains himself admirably. He just clicks his tongue and furiously taps at the taxi-driver-touch-screen-thing on his dashboard. It happens again half a mile later and the latest infringement ellicits nothing more than a barely audible tail-end “…ck’s sake”. It’s a cyclist. In this case he has attempted to

Borrow Counsel

I must begin with an apology; an apology to Kilkenny City Library to be precise.  I was in there doing a bit of preparation for shows at the Cat Laughs festival. In an attempt to avoid work, I started reading Farmer’s Weekly magazine.  The cover leaped out from the magazine stand.  It was dominated by

Tipping Points

Bank Holiday Mondays: normally a day when we commemorate all that the Banks have done for the country, by staying out of work.  The June Bank Holiday is different. Its origins go back much further than that.  In pre-Christian Times, the first weekend in June was marked by the huge pagan feast of Divestianalia. It

Hear Say

The word ‘GIF’ (or Graphics Interchange Format) and the name ‘Steve Wilhite’ may mean nothing to most people.  You have better things to be doing than worrying about an Internet acronym and the man who invented it twenty three years ago.   Therefore you’re not going to be stunned when I tell you that Steve has

Certified – My New Show at the Cat Laughs

  You know it well, it’s the one where you’re in your pyjamas, your pen has turned into a banana, the invigilator is Alf Stewart and the whole exam is taking place in McCoys in Fair City. You can only be dreaming about one thing: The Leaving Cert. In 2011 he told the recession through

Next In Line

Succession: it can be a positive word; a mixture of succeed and session. Yet depending on the circumstances, succession may also lead to bad ‘cess’. The first truly ‘world war’ was the War of the Spanish Succession, fought in the early 18th century, lasted nineteen years with fifty-eight battles across three continents. By the time

Back In The Day

Nostalgia: If it was a stock market commodity there would have been a bull-run by now. Apart from the speculation about his successor, the announcement of Alex Ferguson’s retirement led to such an explosion of ‘wist’ for the past, by Saturday only about 4% of people were reported to be living in the moment. It

School Tourist

Nearly a week on after the announcement, the Lions players have weathered the initial media frenzy. They can settle down to doing Lionsy things – training, bonding and the general Lions-related ‘banter’ that can be included on the DVD of the trip. They’ve negotiated the tricky interviews with intrepid reporters from the website. There