Send in the Clowns

A review of Irish comedians and the comedy machine:

So, anyway, I was walking down Grafion Street, minding me own business, and I see this guy walking along in front of me and there's a match sticking out of his ear. A match. Sticking out of his ear. So, I tapped him on the shoulder and I said to him, I said, if you don't mind me asking, like, could you tell me what you're doing? I'm listening to the match, says he. Listening to the match!

James T. Farrell's Exile Twice Over

One day in the Horseshoe Bar in the Shelbourne Hotel the late James T. Farrell and myself (having been introduced by Dave Hanly, then a winged Mercury or Ariel of the Tourist Board) were treating our drink as gentlemen should: he on brandy, myself on a native but no less health-giving fluid. He was then seventy and had just told me that back in the USA his doctor had warned him off spirits.

Hard Times Ahead

More uncertainty about oil, a threat to agriculture, and social justice only through redistribution.

Pope John Paul: Not an Inch

The Pope's plea for reconciliation between the religious traditions in Ireland could best have been directed at Catholic bishops, who have stifled ecumenism here for fifteen years.

One Man's Art

Gordon Lamber, Chairman and Managing Director of Irish Biscuits, is a lover of art. His collection of modern works is regarded by many as the best in Ireland. How intimately is it connected with his work and life? How closely does it chart his development, or reflect his ambition?

The Central Bank Rules Finance

How the revived Central Bank has assumed a dominant role in the Irish economy in conflict with the Department of Finance. The Irish economy has now embarked on the type of stop-go merry go-round which plagued the British economy during the 195Os and 1960s. When Fianna Fail returned to office in 1977, it set itself the target of re-establishing business confidence. In this it was singularly successful - for nothing succeeds like excess.