J. Anthony GaughanOn February 6, the result of the North Roscommon Bye-Election of 1917 was announced as follows:  Count Plunkett 3,022; Thomas J. Devine 1,708; Jasper Tully 687. While Count Plunkett went on to be an important figure in Irish affairs, Thomas J. Devine slipped back into relative obscurity. In this monograph, the author...

One has to feel some sympathy with the ghost of Enid Blyton if she were to return to see what has been done to her children’s books, or at least to their titles and covers.Last autumn a writer named Bruno Vincent (no, I don’t know who he is either) issued a series of books which pastiche her famous series with title such as Five Go...

I Believe: The Promise of the Creedby Pope Francis (Orbis Books / Alban Books, £14.99)This is the American translation of a book which originally appeared in German in 2015. It has been edited by Stephan von Kempis, who has picked out from a wide range of the Pope’s writings and talks, passages that deal with the Creed, to create...

It’s hard to deny that online debate about Amoris Laetitia has been marked far more by heat than light. Indeed, disagreement about the Pope’s exhortation on love and the family has reached such a point that at least one commentator has claimed the Church is now entering a fully-fledged civil war.This is, of course, nonsense:...

Much as I admired La La Land I never like to see one film sweeping the boards at the Oscar ceremonies – as Damien Chazelle’s film seems set to do this year – any more than I like to see the Lotto being won by one person instead of a syndicate.At the time of writing it’s 1/6 to win Best Film and Chazelle an equally...

It was a dizzying week, with more drama on Oireachtas TV than on any mainstream channel.It had all the features of fictional drama – moral dilemmas, cliffhanging tension, heroes (short supply), villains (don’t ask), the rise and fall of interlocking story arcs. You didn’t know from breakfast through lunch whether you’d...

‘Good fences make good neighbours’, wrote Robert Frost. The present – heavily symbolic – film re-writes that epithet to read, ‘some people build fences to keep people out and other people build them to keep people in’. Based on August Wilson’s Pulitzer pize-winning play of the same name, it deals with...

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