Category Archives: Ireland

Theatrical: ‘The Alternative’

Playing as part of the Dublin Theatre Festival ‘The Alternative’ is the new production by the Fishamble company. ‘The Alternative’ was the winner of the ‘A play for Ireland’ initiative by Fishamble – this was a two year artist development project for playwrights across the country. From 370 ideas and a short list of six, this play by Michael Patrick and Oisin Kearney has been selected as the chosen Play for Ireland. Continue reading Theatrical: ‘The Alternative’

Theatrical: ‘The Roaring Banshees’


Yesterday afternoon I finished work early and headed over to the Convention Centre close to my house. This weekend is the World Con 2019 (World Science Fiction Convention). I know the director of the opening ceremony and I had written a short piece based on a collaborative idea about Halloween. It was to be performed by Firedoor Theatre as part of the ceremony. Set on the night of Samhain (Halloween) a Druid, Banshee and Morrigan – the Irish queen of war – are in an underworld bar having a drink after a night of mayhem. The Viking Brodir – slayer of Brian Boru – enters, accompanied by a failed actor from the over-world. Shenanigans ensue.

As I was heading to the theatre later, I went to watch the dress rehearsal. It was the largest theatre ever for something I have participated in. The capacity is about 2000 people. The actors were miked up and in costume and did a couple of run-throughs which seemed to go smoothly. The gigantic live screen at the back of the stage was wildly intimidating. I wished them luck and exited the theatre, to promptly get lost in a maze of red carpeted corridor. It was as if I was in ‘The Shining’. Keeping a keen eye open for ‘RED RUM’ on the walls, I entered a lift and ended up in the cavernous kitchens in the bowels of the building. A kindly kitchen porter showed me the exit, and I emerged into the day light, with eyes blinking. Continue reading Theatrical: ‘The Roaring Banshees’

Fraud with Fine Gael



Maria Bailey – Fine Gael TD for Dun Laoghaire – made a claim against the Dean Hotel for injuries she claimed to have sustained in 2015, when she fell off a swing in the hotel. She was not holding said swing at the time as both hands were occupied with drinkies. On her affidavit she swore that she was not able to run for three months after her fall. The only problem being, that on her social media she was seen completing a 10km run in a speedy time, only three weeks after the accident. She requested €20,000 in compensation from the hotel as an out of court settlement which the hotel refused. In a car-crash radio interview with Sean O’Rourke, she claimed that she only asked for €7,000 compensation for medical expenses. That is €7000 (or 20,000 in reality) for medical expenses for a woman with comprehensive medical insurance? How very scamtastic. Had the blatantly fraudulent case gone to court then damages of up to €60,000 could have been awarded. Bailey dropped the case because of public outrage at her lies, greed, and scam tactics in the run up to the local and European elections. Continue reading Fraud with Fine Gael

Eoghan Murphy: a chocolate fireguard


The minister for homelessness in Ireland is a man named Eoghan Murphy. He is the grandson of Russell Murphy – an accountant who was posthumously exposed as having stolen vast sums of money from his clients, who included Hugh Leonard and Gay Byrne (who had been a personal friend of the crook). He is the son of Henry Murphy, a lawyer who made millions from the Mahon Tribunal – a public inquiry in Ireland in 1997 to investigate allegations of corrupt payments to politicians regarding political decisions. He comes from enormous wealth (much of it criminal, no doubt, thanks to criminal Grandpa Russell). His official title is the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government and for the past two years he has sat idly by while the homelessness crisis in Ireland reached catastrophic levels. He is a member of the Fine Gael party – a party that is popular among rich people. It is the Irish equivalent of the Tory Party in the UK. Continue reading Eoghan Murphy: a chocolate fireguard

A weekend up North


It was 10pm on Saturday night. I was festering on my sofa at home in Dublin, planning what to do for the remainder of the bank holiday weekend. A brainwave struck. I would take an early train to Belfast on Sunday morning; book an overnight stay at some flop house and travel back late on Monday evening. To confirm my intent I booked my train ticket and paid for an overnight stay. I also booked a day trip for Monday to see the Giant’s Causeway. Continue reading A weekend up North

The Taoiseach and the Showgirl


So the Taoiseach (prime minister of Ireland) is a fan of Kylie Minogue. This is not surprising. Leo Varadkar is 40 so would have borne witness to Charlene’s explosion onto the international consciousness as part of Neighbours in the 1980s, and her evolution into a global pop sensation with Stock Aitken and Waterman a few years later. Kylie’s special place in the heart of the gay community might be confusing to some, but it is undeniable. Speaking personally, I have seen her in concert on numerous occasions, in various countries over the years, depending on where I have been  living at the time. Continue reading The Taoiseach and the Showgirl

Theatrical: ‘The morning after the life before’


May 23rd 2015 is a day that will forever be etched in the memory of the LGBT community in Ireland. It was the day the result of the marriage equality referendum was was announced, and 62% of our nation said that we were equal.

On 24th May 2015, Limerick woman Ann Blake received a text from her brother, asking ‘How’s the morning after the life before?’ This question became the title of the play ‘The morning after the life before’ which is currently playing at the Bewleys Cafe Theatre. Continue reading Theatrical: ‘The morning after the life before’