J. Anthony GaughanThe Nugent family trace their beginning to Gilbert de Nugent of Normandy, the 1st Baron of Delvin, who arrived in Ireland in the 12th Century.  By the middle of the 16th Century they were well and truly Anglo-Irish.  At that time their lands – present-day County Westmeath – were situated on the frontier...

In Ireland, Sr Stanislaus Kennedy has long been much admired. One of the surprises among the releases of State papers at the turn of the year, as least to this reviewer, was a file dealing with the proposal put to the government that it should support the nomination of Sr Stan for the Nobel Peace Prize. The government said that as a matter of...

These days we have little expectation of astonishing works of literature or scholarship from a bishop. They are all too busy with mere administration to have the mental energy to expend on scholarship or literature. It was not always thus. Look for instance at the writings of 19th-Century Irish bishops, such as Dr Healy of Tuam or Cardinal Moran....

The ‘myth kitty’ – if I may borrow Philip Larkin’s famous phrase – of this atmospheric crime flick ranges from The Godfather and Goodfellas through Scarface, The Road to Perdition and Chris Cooper’s Black Mass.A more immediate reference point might be Ben Affleck’s The Town, which mirrors it in its...

If you told me last year that Ryan Gosling would be playing the romantic lead in a musical, I’d probably have called for the men in the white coats to take you away. On second thoughts, though, this actor has been nothing if not diverse in his career thus far. Why not a song-and-dance man to boot? He even plays the piano and makes a...

I spent way too much time last Saturday glued to my screens watching the proceedings of the Citizens’ Assembly, streaming on the RTÉ News Now channel and online. It was a lot to take in.First off, I found it rather disconcerting to find an unrepresentative bunch of citizens (100 to represent four million?) meeting in a comfortable civilised...

Joe Carroll“We are the Supreme Court and under God we can do anything,” a judge of the court, Cecil Lavery, rebuked a young barrister who had the nerve to tell the court it did not have jurisdiction to decide a certain point. That barrister, Tom Finlay, later became a Chief Justice  and so could see for himself just how far the...

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