The break-out from the Maze prison in 1983 was ultimately unsuccessful – most of the 38 prisoners who escaped were either captured or killed – but it could be argued that it galvanised the powers-that-be towards  the Good Friday Agreement which occurred more than a decade later. This brilliant film is set in the aftermath of...

Last week I reviewed some of the new programmes on Newstalk, but even then trouble was brewing on one of the regular shows, George Hook’s High Noon. The controversy reached ridiculous levels last week, culminating in the suspension of the presenter.There were lots of toys being thrown out of prams, followed by the mob with torches and...

Padraig Ó RiainIn the Life he wrote for Brigid, Cogitosus, the earliest known Irish biographer of a saint, declared that because of her, Kildare’s authority extended “from sea to sea”, from one side of Ireland to the other.Judging by the dedications to Brigid listed in this book by Noel Kissane, province by province, county by...

The Source of All Love: Catholicity and the Trinityby Heidi Russell (Orbis Books / Alban Books, £22.99)This book is by a distinguished member of the faculty of the Institute of Pastoral Studies at Loyola University in Chicago.  She addresses the problem of presenting the doctrine of the Trinity in a manner that reflects our modern...

Tom MorrisseyThe Lockout centenary commemoration was a triumph of careful organisation, hard work and trade union support. In the process, James Larkin was glorified, his failings largely ignored. The Great Strike / Lockout was depicted as a ‘moral victory’ even a ‘great turning point’, when in fact it left hundreds of...

Ever since Pope Leo XIII issued Rerum Novarum in 1891, the Church’s social teaching has commonly been seen as favouring a carefully qualified form of capitalism, of sorts perhaps best expressed in the Rhenish capitalisms of Christian democrat Germany and Holland, or even in social democrat societies. Catholic advocates of less...

Anthony RocheThis important book is not a history of Irish language drama; that already exists in Pádraig Ó Siadhail’s 1993 Stair Dhrámaoícht  na Gaeilge 1900-1970. Rather, Philip O’Leary critically highlights five significant playwriting careers in Irish: Mairéad Ní Ghráda; Séamus Ó Néill; Eoghan Ó Tuairisc; Seán Ó Tuama and...

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