How Amlo became Mexico’s new president

This article originally appeared on RTÉ Brainstorm Opinion: Monumental challenges lie ahead following Mexico’s decisive vote for a president and government committed to social and political change It is difficult to overstate the significance of Mexico’s election results and the sense of possibility that they promise. Mexicans voted for a president and a government of… | Read on »

A short story about bookshelves

This article originally appeared on RTÉ Brainstorm Opinion: the history of book storage is not as straightforward as you might think  I am rearranging my library. Yes, I am. The scene described at the outset of Walter Benjamin’s seminal essay, “Unpacking My Library,” arose from his peripatetic lifestyle, not from a bout of home décor. We join the German… | Read on »

America’s problem with guns

This article originally appeared on RTÉ Brainstorm Opinion: mass shootings in the United States have sadly become all too common in recent times yet measures to address this malaise are rarely enacted. Just how did we get to this point? We have been here many times before: America convulsed by a mass shooting in which… | Read on »

What next for Hillary Clinton?

This article originally appeared on RTÉ Brainstorm, on September 29th, 2017. Opinion: she may have made history as the first female nominee of a major US party, but Hillary Clinton will long be haunted by her loss to Donald Trump in last year’s US presidential election, as her new book shows The gulf between winning… | Read on »

How should Liam Cosgrave be remembered?

Tributes paid to Liam Cosgrave, the former leader of Fine Gael, 1965-77, and Taoiseach, 1973-77, have, following his death, stressed his sense of public service and his commitment to the institutions of state. Praised by, among others, the President of Ireland, former Taoisigh and a Catholic Archbishop, Cosgrave’s longevity in politics (he was first elected… | Read on »

Sam Shepard, True West, and the Eblana

The death of the playwright Sam Shepard represents a huge loss to American theatre. Some of his best work shows a gift for exposing patterns of connection and disconnection in family and personal relationships, registered in moments of loss, violence and even lyricism. True West (1980) demonstrates the – at times – comic potential of… | Read on »

Stumped by Trump’s ‘Irish American’ Cabinet?

It has not gone unnoticed that the Trump administration features many Irish Americans. The Independent has catalogued some of them. I see two questions being raised by the article—first, what are Irish Americans doing joining this administration, and why do these Americans see themselves as ‘Irish’? Or, more broadly, why do Americans cling to such… | Read on »

The Contested Meanings of Creativity

At a recent speech to mark the opening of NUI Galway’s O’Donoghue Centre for Drama, Theatre and Performance, President Michael D. Higgins warmly welcomed the new theatre, but he went on to warn of today’s widespread misuse of the term ‘creativity.’ Similar to the language of an advertising slogan, he said, ‘creativity’ is in danger… | Read on »