J.A. GaughanThe pledge of the Ulster Covenant to resist Home Rule by all means was signed by 5,360 Monaghan men, which was about 60% of the Protestant population of the county. As in Belfast the Ulster Volunteer Force was also established in Monaghan in January 1913. By May, part of the Larne shipment of arms had been distributed to the Unionists...

Seamus Cashman“I walk ever so slowly to gate and stile. / Poetry is shrinking almost to its bones”, announces the poet, a cry I know I must protest at – having just read the preceding 67 poems in Angel Hill – only to find reassurance two pages and four poems later with the gorgeous fruit of the final image in the collection...

Dublin prides itself of being “a city of literature” – there are UNESCO signs all over the place  promoting the fact. But when we look back over the centuries we can see that the city’s true life in  literature only begins with Jonathan Swift, the 350th anniversary of whose birth we are celebrating this year....

School can be boring when you’d prefer to save the world than read books, right? So Peter Parker (Tom Holland) aka Spider-man, tends to be somewhat distracted in class, knowing just what he could do if the occasion called for it.Billionaire playboy Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr) – his mentor – tries to persuade him to be just a...

A few items last week were more than a bit off. On Tuesday of last week on Today with Sean O’Rourke, Cormac Ó hEadhra spoke to former US Navy Seal Robert O’Neill, the man who claims to have killed Osama Bin Laden. Needless to say I’m no Bin Laden fan, but the clinical description of this killing was disturbing. O’Neill...

Conor DonnellyIn this memoir two sisters give an hilarious and poignant account of boarding school life in Ireland in the 1960s – echoes of  the ever popular Mallory Towers perhaps, but this is a true tale of Irish education; and for once a happy enough education too.  The authors are both scientists. Valerie has a PhD from McGill...

Exploring Amoris Laetia: Opening the Pope’s Love Letter to Familiesedited by Breda  O’Brien(Veritas, €12.99)With preparations well under way in Dublin for The World Meeting of Families in August, this collection of essays edited by Irish Catholic columnist Breda O’Brien is very timely. Some nine established Catholic...

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