It’s Not What You Said—It’s How You Said It…

In the introduction to his new book, How Linguistics Can Help the Historian, Dr Anthony Harvey clarifies that his subject is not solely the meaning of words or their translations, but an analysis of ‘not what is expressed in a historical document but how it is expressed’. He then proceeds to wind his way through… | Read on »

The Strand in Winter

In the depths of our pandemic winter, when almost everything else was closed, when the city itself felt shut, the Strand miraculously reopened. For the first time, it became a regular appointment in my life. Every Saturday afternoon. And for the first time, you had to queue to get in. Queuing to enter a bookshop…. | Read on »

In Memory of Donagh O’Donoghue (1944–2021)

The death of Donagh O’Donoghue last month has been greeted with sadness across our university – but there have also been many expressions of admiration and gratitude for him too. His successes in business in Galway have rightly been celebrated, and his support for Druid Theatre and his contributions to our university have also been… | Read on »

The secret diary of Brexit

“La grande illusion est […] de croire à la promesse d’une identité et d’une souveraineté solitaires plutôt que solidaires.” (Michel Barnier) Michel Barnier, La grande illusion: Journal secret du Brexit (2016-2020) (Paris: Gallimard, 2021). Reading Michel Barnier’s book (541 pages) is like having a trip back to the future. The author accompanies the reader through… | Read on »

Remembering Seamus Deane (9 February 1940 – 12 May 2021)

I did not know Seamus Deane well when I asked him if he would be interested in examining my DPhil thesis in Oxford. This was the summer of 1992. I was in Dublin and went to see him in his office in UCD where he was literally boxing up books and papers prior to his… | Read on »

The 30th September: Lecturing in Lockdown

Update: In a companion piece to this blog post Tony offers reflections on the impact of COVID-19, and discusses teaching, students, life and human nature. This video was produced by John Caulfield, and was published on 13th May, 2021. Remember the snow holidays of childhood? A valiant teacher – the principal perhaps – made it… | Read on »

How much damage has Donald Trump done to the United States?

This article originally appeared on RTÉ Brainstorm Opinion: the norm-busting, ludicrous, calculated, dangerous and inept president leaves behind a damaged country We can only hope that we have seen the last, ugly stand in the regime of Donald Trump. Last Wednesday afternoon, with a band of the president’s Republican congressional supporters already making formal speeches inside… | Read on »

Living and Dying in the Time of Covid-19: A Volunteer Nurse’s Story

TV coverage of the Covid-19 crisis sometimes makes it seem like it’s all about numbers and graphs. Every day we hear about infection rates and death tolls. But it’s really about stories – the stories of real people getting ill and (in too many cases) dying. This is one of my stories as a volunteer… | Read on »

‘Its hour come round at last’: rereading Yeats’s ‘The Second Coming’

‘The Second Coming’ is WB Yeats’s most quoted poem – and almost certainly the most widely quoted poem of the last hundred years. Its prediction of the savage birth of the modern era recently celebrated its one hundredth birthday following the poem’s first publication in 1920. Ever since, its slouching rough beast has cast a… | Read on »

Three Questions – Holiday Special!

As a challenging semester and year draw to a close, we thought it would be nice end on a positive note and to ask everyone three questions. Here are the responses from colleagues – they will provide you with plenty of suggestions for things to read, watch and listen to over the Christmas break. What… | Read on »