Glen Hansard on “Once” and New York fame

Last night at I had a chance to hear Glen Hansard speak in the intimate surrounds of Glucksman Ireland House. The audience was promised that Hansard – who achieved fame with his film Once and especially the recent production of a musical version on Broadway – would “tal[k] about music and songwriting.” That he did, though he repeatedly … Continue reading

Dublin, emerging from the ashes

Since leaving Ireland 13 years ago, I’ve gone home every Christmas. Each time there is a sense of strangeness, and estrangement – returning to a landscape that is familiar but has altered somehow. The most dramatic developments began when I lived in London, during the years running up to 2007. I’d return to find that … Continue reading

History for sale

One of the weird things you see when wandering about Dublin is the number of abandoned buildings. In some ways, this isn’t a surprise: Ireland is known for its ghost towns, unwanted hastily-built leftovers of the boom (the NYT has some excellent pics here). What’s pretty shocking, to me, though, are the old, listed buildings … Continue reading

Summer in Ireland

It’s been a long, slow summer, so long and slow that I feel as though I’ve slipped from view (from a digital perspective, my inactivity means that I have). Earlier this year I debated intensely with myself whether to stay in New York or not, and I reached a compromise: I would stay one year … Continue reading

A note about noise

People like to say that if you complain about loud music, it’s because you’re getting old, but that’s not true. As an underage 15-year-old in Peig’s nightclub, near Trinity College, I’d sometimes go to sleep in a corner, worn out by the pressures of attempting conversation. It would be unseemly to do that now of … Continue reading

Back in the big smoke

Following a long break, both from New York city and from this blog, I’m back! Back to work, back my apartment with its leaky ceilings, complicated housemates and weird little cat. I’m very grateful to the people who wrote guest posts for my blog series on Ireland — it was exciting to see so many … Continue reading

Ireland, the ruby isle

This penultimate guest post about Ireland’s economic meltdown features Stephen Tucker, from Roscommon, who blogs about style, etiquette and other things at Myopic Psychotic. Here he looks back at the history of the Celtic Tiger. “Ireland, fondly referred to as the Emerald Isle, may just as well be renamed the Ruby Isle, the nation very much in the … Continue reading

A plague on all your houses

In our next guest post about Ireland’s economic meltdown, Phyl Herbert, a writer based in Dublin, offers some dark humour. “On Tuesday on a television Prime Time programme Miriam O’Callaghan interviewing members of the political parties said, ‘Isn’t it a plague on all your houses?’ In a Vox Pop among commuters in the rush time … Continue reading

The big boys are in town

The second in a series of guest posts by Irish citizens about what they’re thinking in the economic crisis — this one is from Padraig McLoughlin (32), a scientist who lives in Dublin. “I started writing this piece a week ago last Sunday, and in the short time since, events have really overtaken it. During … Continue reading

Whither Ireland?

A few days ago I attended a meeting about how to resuscitate Ireland’s economy (not quite in those words). The people in the room were influential ex-pats and second generation Irish Americans, and one thing about them was striking: most of them were over sixty, and most of them were male. I was present as … Continue reading

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