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

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

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

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

Hobnobbing at the Consul’s residence

The Irish consul lives on the 52nd floor of a gorgeous apartment in Mid-town. I’ve been in a few nice Manhattan apartments, but this one takes the cake — a two-storey apt. with terrace views overlooking the city. It never rains when you’re there, as if the weather cooperates, and there’s little sense of the … Continue reading

Leitrim’s secrets

Leitrim is known for being lovely — “Lovely Leitrim” was a song my grandmother used to sing — but for me as a child, it was a place of what I called ‘the lonely roads.’ There were no streetlights, and when we drove there to visit my granny, I’d look back from the car into … Continue reading

Beautiful but broke

DUBLIN — Ireland’s capital long ago earned the nickname, ‘Dirty Dublin,’ but its dirtiness this August seems metaphorical rather than actual. I took a cycle around the city today, pedalling from Rathmines to the Docklands to Rialto. The clear skies and a temperature of 17C (63F) passed for a heatwave, and I found the city … Continue reading

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