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 »

Agallamh na Scoláirí

In the summer of 1745, Charles O’Conor of Belanagare (1710-1791), the Gaelic historian, scholar and prolific pamphleteer noted the imminent death of Dominic O’Duignan in his diary: Iun 5 1745: … Dominic Ua Duibhgennáin, Seanóir Chloinne Gaodhal, d’fhagháil bháis ar a tseachtmhuin so. Bu hé sin mh’oide san Scuit-Bhérla, agus ba duine cráifeach, agus trócaire… | Read on »

The Problem of Plastics

Plastic marine litter has recently attracted public attention due to a regular flow of media releases. However, marine litter presents one aspect of a much larger problem. During a sabbatical from Massey University (New Zealand) this year, I spent a week as a Visiting Fellow at the Moore Institute, working with colleagues in Geography, especially… | Read on »