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A BOOK if you don’t mind! And him with a degree and a job and all.
Everyone should have an Irish Mammy. She’s never short of advice, a kind word and a cup of tea (making sure to scald the teapot first, of course).
Bring the coat anyway. If it’s too hot you can take it off.
Comedian Colm O’Regan explores the phenomenon of the Irish Mammy and what she might say about everything from the ‘new mass’ to the cardinal sin of not owning a cough bottle and the importance of airing clothes properly. The global influence of the Irish Mammy, through history, science, politics and literature, is undeniable. Did you know, for instance, that Hamlet had an Irish Mammy?
So if you’re an Irish Mammy, have one, know one or suspect you might be turning into one, this book will act as your guide. But be aware that though this book might think it knows it all, it doesn’t, only Mammy knows it all.
In The Four Elements, poet and philosopher John O'Donohue draws upon his Celtic heritage and the love of his native landscape, the west of Ireland, to weave together a tapestry of beautifully evoked images of nature. As John explores a range of themes relating to the way we live our lives today, he reveals how the energy and rhythm of the natural world - its innocence and creativity, its power and splendour - hold profound lessons for us all.
With a foreword written by his beloved brother Pat, this illuminating treasury is a unique collection of reflections inspired by the ancient wisdom of this earth.
Surfing in Ireland was once considered little more than a fringe and slightly lunatic pursuit. The treacherous coastline and ice waters of the Atlantic did not sit comfortably with the stereotype of surfing as the favoured pastime of the bronzed and privileged. But with the discovery in the past few years of the gargantuan Aileen’s wave at the Cliffs of Moher and other heavy waves, the Irish coast has become one of the worst kept secrets in world surfing.
In Cliffs of Insanity, the Irish Times sportswriter Keith Duggan tells the story of a dedicated group of surfers in County Clare whose lives revolve around the pursuit of Ireland’s wildest waves. The book traces the evolution of Fergal Smith, the young Mayo man whose intuition for big waves has earned him a serious reputation and explores the world of Mickey Smith, the roving Cornish man who discovered Aileen’s and whose breathtaking surf photography has caught the Irish landscape in an entirely new and original light.
Bitter cold days, broken bones, busted boards, scars, near drownings and countless hours in the freezing water trying to read the ocean is the price they pay for those few transcendent seconds when they master a wave.
Cliffs of Insanity is about the importance of pursuing what matters in life but it is also about community and friendship, and the passionate pursuit of a way of life that flies in the face of everything championed in Ireland over the last decade.
Sister Stanislaus Kennedy, or Sister Stan as she is affectionately known, has been described as a visionary and social innovator. Now, in The Road Home she looks back on her life - from her early years growing up on the family farm in the Dingle Peninsula, Co. Kerry, to the day when, at the age of eighteen, she made the life-changing decision to become a nun. Inspired by the work of Mother Mary Aikenhead, who founded the Sisters of Charity in 1815, Stan went on to dedicate her life to the service of the poor and to fighting for a fairer, more equal society.
Here, as she reflects on the many challenges she has met, both personal and political, she recalls how she was also inspired by her mentor, Bishop Peter Birch and how, under his guidance she helped to set up an innovative model of community care in Kilkenny - a model that was to become a blueprint for the rest of Ireland.
Over the years Stan also developed into a formidable campaigner and worked tirelessly - sometimes against severe opposition - to establish other immensely influential human rights and social justice agencies, includingFocus Ireland, now the biggest national voluntary organisation for the homeless, Young Social Innovators, a national social justice education programme for young people, and The Immigrant Council of Ireland (ICI), which supports the rights of migrants and their families and is a catalyst for public debate. In 2000, Stan also founded The Sanctuary - a meditation and spirituality centre in Dublin where, amidst the bustle of city life, people can experience peace, quiet, and the space to explore and develop their inner world.
Inspiring and thought-provoking, this fascinating memoir provides a unique insight into the life and work of one of the most influential social activists of our day, the many political battles she has fought and won, and how, with dogged determination and courage, she has shaped the lives and the fortunes of thousands of people. Quite simply, The Road Home is the remarkable story of a remarkable woman.
History always comes down to the details. And when it comes to the fall of the Soviet Union, the details are crucial, especially when such an era-defining event hinged on the bitter personal relationship between two powerful men, Mikhail Gorbachev and Boris Yeltsin.
On the twentieth anniversary of the end of the Cold War, Conor O'Clery has built his compelling and brilliantly constructed narrative of the fall of the Soviet Union around one day, December 25, 1991, the date Gorbachev resigned and the USSR was effectively consigned to history. From there, O'Clery looks back over the events of the previous six years: Gorbachev's reform policies of glasnost and perestroika; Yeltsin's ignominious fall and then rise to the top; the defiance of the once docile Soviet republics; the failed August coup by the hardliners; and the events that swiftly followed until a secret meeting in a central European forest sealed the fate of the communist monolith and the clock ticked down to the last day.
The result is an intricately detailed, thoroughly researched book, based on interviews with many of the key figures in a drama of Shakespearean intensity as well as contemporary reportage, the memoirs and diaries of key political figures and official documents. The book is written at a breathtaking, dramatic pace, drawing the reader in as it focuses equally on the personal and historical stories.
Moscow, December 25, 1991 is set to become a defining book on the fall of the Soviet Union.
Nicolas Roche has a famous surname to all fans of cycling. The son of legendary Irish and World Champion Stephen Roche, Nicolas had to fight to make it as a professional and even harder to make his mark as his own man in this toughest of competitive sports.
His rise up the ranks has been meteoric, with top 15 finishes in both the Tour de France and the Vuelta a España, but his attitude to his chosen profession has remained undimmed. Honest, eloquent and passionate about the cycling world, Nicolas gained acclaim and a devoted fan following for his Tour diaries serialised in the Irish Independent.
Now a major contender for a podium finish in a grand tour, in the award-winning Inside the Peloton Nicolas tells in full the story of life as a professional cyclist and of the remarkable events that have brought him this far. From furious spats with teammates and exhilarating races against the world's best, this is a gripping cycling adventure and tale of a fiercely competitive sportsman.
Ireland today stands at a defining moment. The prosperity of the Celtic Tiger years has given way to the sudden crash, the turbulence of the euro crisis, and the loss of our sovereignty to the faceless technocrats of Europe and the IMF. Our leaders seem impotent and rage, bewilderment and despair have swept through Irish society.
Was It For This…? delves into the Irish psyche to answer the questions: What happened to our hopes and dreams? What is at the heart of the sense of betrayal that we feel? In the rush to modernity, did we throw away everything of true value? Have we lost the ideals of nationhood and patriotism set out by those who dreamt of the Irish Republic?
John Waters’ remarkable new book sweeps through the pages of our recent history to get to the heart our political, social and existential identity crisis. Ranging across a vast canvas, Was It For This…? argues that the Celtic Tiger was built on a collective delusion, and that the seeds of its destruction were sown many years before it even began, when we exchanged our colonial shackles for a no-less destructive dependency for short-term gain. Ireland’s sovereignty was given up long before the IMF came to town.
Along the way, Waters ponders our love/hate relationship with Fianna Fáil; the undercurrents that ran through the 2011 presidential election; why our political leaders and commentators have clung onto the remnants of 1960s revolutionary fervour long after the revolution was won; how our denial of an authoritative father figure has led to a leaderless ‘sibling society’; the emptiness of our ‘youth culture’ and the suppression of real thought and discussion through cynicism and irony; and why we have lost the very language that once enabled us to speak of ‘Ireland’ with pride.
Donncha O'Callaghan is one of Ireland's leading international rugby players, and a stalwart of the Munster side. He was a key figure in the Irish team which won the IRB 6 Nations Grand Slam in 2009, and has won two Heineken Cup medals and two Magners League titles with Munster.
But that success did not come easy. For such a well known player with a larger-than-life reputation, his long battle to make a breakthrough at the highest level is largely unknown. In this honest and revealing autobiography, Donncha talks in detail about the personal setbacks and disappointments at Munster and the unconventional ways he dealt with the frustration of not making the team for four of five years in his early 20s.
He had a parallel experience with Ireland where it took him nearly six years to get from fringe squad member to established first choice player. Here he talks candidly about how he brought discipline to his game, and about his relationships with the coaches who had overlooked him and the second row rivals who had kept him on the bench.
Donncha talks also with great warmth about a hectic childhood that was shaped by the death of his father when he was only six years old. One of the heroes of his story is his mother Marie who showed incredible strength and resourcefulness to rear a family of five on her own.
Often deservedly regarded as 'the joker in the pack', what is often less well known is the serious attitude and intensely professional approach Donncha brings to his rugby. Joking Apart gives the full picture, showing sides of the man that will be unfamiliar to followers of Irish rugby and will surprise the reader.
A beautiful woman
Model and it-girl Tara Parker Trench is famous across Ireland - with her beauty, glittering lifestyle and perfectthree-year-old son Presley, she seems to have it all.
A stolen child
Until, one cold wet Dublin night, Tara pulls into a service station for petrol, leaving Presley strapped into the back of her car. Five minutes later he's gone, kidnapped while his mother's back was turned.
A hidden world
Tara, terrified and hysterical, begs DI Jo Birmingham to help her find her child. But why doesn't Tara want the public to know he's missing? Soon, Jo is drawn into a dark underworld of corruption and extortion, where sex is a commodity, and life is cheap. Who is really telling Jo the truth about the missing little boy- and who's got too much to hide?
A gripping crime novel, with an unforgettable heroine - welcome to the dark side of Dublin's Fair City
Alice loves to cook. She believes the secret of good food is to cook with passion.
Her love affair with cookery has taken her from her parents' seaside hotel, to Paris and then one of Dublin's finest restaurants. Then she marries Liam, and is happy to hang up her chef's hat and cook for her family and friends instead.
But now she's cooking for one!
Her marriage to Liam over, it's high time she learns to stand on her own two feet and begin again...
Alice opens The Martello School of Cookery and a group of total strangers learn from her to create food that is tasty and delicious. And in the comfort of her kitchen they discover, not only how to cook - but recipes for life...
By the number one bestselling author of The Mother of the Bride
Known collectively as The Priests, Fr Martin, Fr Eugene and Fr David, have taken the music world by storm. Since they signed their much-reported Sony contract in front of Westminster Cathedral in April 2008, their album has sold almost 2,000,000 copies worldwide and broke the Guinness record for the fastest-selling debut classical album in the UK. It has also chalked up an impressive fifteen weeks at No. 1 on the Classic FM chart and was nominated for a Classical Brit Award. In June 2009, The Priests topped off their incredibly successful year with a highly-acclaimed mini-tour of the UK and Ireland.
But long lunches in swanky restaurants and celebrity parties count for little with these down-to-earth, wonderfully talented singers, because first and foremost, David, Martin and Eugene are priests; their faith and the work they undertake in their busy parishes takes priority over everything else they do. So, whilst their gruelling promotional schedule for the album has taken them around the world - from Europe to Montreal and Toronto, from Washington to New York and Sydney, where they have played to packed houses and given dozens of press, radio and tv interviews - they have always been happy to return to their parishes in Belfast and the people they serve.
Now in Soul Song, The Priests draw upon their unique experiences as priests and performers, their love of music and their faith, as they weave together a rich, illuminating tapestry of spiritual wisdom. Insightful and engaging, it is a treasury of memories which offers us all a rare and timely opportunity to reflect on our own journey through life.
Where is Ireland's soul? This is the question that surface time and again in Ireland Unhinged, a searching, sometimes scathing, often hilarious journey through a country that in the space of a few years has fallen from the dizzy heights of the 'bouncy-castle' boom to the bewildering depths of the crash.
Ireland Unhinged is a story of reverse emigration to Cork City and then rural Waterford, from cosy US confines to the true Wild West of these last years. David Monagan's sharp eye pinpoints the excesses and absurdities of modern Ireland. But his real search is for the enduring essence of his adopted country, as revealed in his meetings with literary legends, with witches and monks, with property developers and gnomic farmers.
Itis a riveting memoir of a family adapting to a strange land, and an unflinching portrait of Ireland today.
America - the land of opportunity, a place where economic prosperity beckons: - but not for PI Jack Taylor, who's just been refused entry.
Jack resumes his old life in Galway. But when he's called to investigate the frenzied murder of a student, he remembers an encounter with an over-friendly stranger in the airport bar. A stranger who seemed to know rather more than he should about Jack.
After several more murders and too many encounters to be coincidental, Jack believes he may have met his nemesis.
But why has he been chosen? And could he really be dealing with the Devil himself?
Detective Sergeant Brant is tough and uncompromising, as sleazy and ruthless as the villains he's out to get. While his violent methods may be questionable, Brant always gets results.
A psychopath has started a killing spree across London. Calling himself 'The Blitz', his weapon of choice is a workman's hammer. And his victims are all cops.
The police squad are desperate to catch the killer before he catches up with them. And Brant is top of his list...
Are you baffled by endless wedding chat? Bored of bridal magazines that create more problems than they solve?
This is the book for you...
With hilarious and often bizarre advice on everything from bridezillas to monsters-in-law, from money-grabbing wedding planners to drunken uncles; Putting a Ring On It will make even the most nuptially ignorant man feel like a genius and the most organized bride glad she didn't leave the important decisions up to him.
Written and illustrated by award winning comedian Jarlath Regan, whether you're on the verge of going down the aisle, considering joining the monastery, or a fan of humour that's a little bit left of centre, you'll be glad this book is part of your life.
Published: 4 Apr 2011
Everyone knows that Amy and Dan are made for each other. So when they announce their engagement their families are over the moon, especially Amy's mother Helen.
What could be more exciting than planning a daughter's wedding?
But as the countdown to the Big Day begins, and mother and daughter throw themselves into creating the wedding of their dreams, not everyone's prepared for the commotion this involves.
Bride-to-be Amy sees her best laid wedding plans start to unravel and things go from bad to worse, as Helen struggles to pick up the pieces and get her family back on track.
Amy and Helen each discover what love and marriage is all about... but is it too late?
It's not easy being a mother, let alone the Mother of the Bride!
Meet Jo Birmingham. Single mum, streetwise detective, and spiky as hell. Recently promoted, she is one of the few female detective superintendents on the Dublin police force. But with a failed marriage behind her and two young sons at home, trying to strike the right work-life balance has run her ragged.
The Serial Killer
When Jo identifies the missing link in a chain of brutal killings, she comes under fierce scrutiny from her male colleagues in the force, especially her boss and ex-husband Dan Mason. But as the body count rises, so do the body parts. As fear stalks the city, it soon becomes obvious both to the police and to the media that a serial killer is at large.
A Terrifying Game of Cat and Mouse
And so Jo embarks on a terrifying psychological journey to find out who the killer is, and how he is choosing his victims. Soon she is involved in a deadly game in which there are no rules. Because the killer is waiting for her...
When Mitchell is released from prison after serving three years for a vicious attack he doesn't remember, he reluctantly finds himself caught up with Robert Gant, a ruthless lowlife with violent plans.
Attempting to stay out of Gant's way, Mitchell finds work as a handyman at the mansion of a faded movie actress. When she eagerly plies him with cash, cars and sex, Mitch starts to wonder if even this job comes with a catch.
But it isn't long before Mitchell's violent past catches up with him. When people close to him start getting hurt, Mitchell is forced to act, and take brutal on revenge on those who've stolen his life...
"This disc jockey business is great fun but you'll never make a career out of being on the radio." - Ian Dempsey
"Weren't you lucky to be led towards the notion that life is constantly unfinished?" - Colum McCann
"Life itself is a journey. You can draw your own maps." - Brian Keenan
"Stay true to your genius and always wash your giblets" - Dustin the Turkey
If you could write a letter to your 16-year-old self, from the perspective of who you are now, what would you say?
This was the challenge put to a number of Ireland's best-known people, including writers, musicians, broadcasters, politicians, sports stars, actors, comedians, businesspeople, models, and one superstar turkey. Their letters are by turns poignant, hilarious, confessional, confrontational and surprising. They are never less than thought-provoking.
With Love, From Me...To Me gathers these words of advice, reassurance, admonition, praise and comfort. The letters range from funny to encouraging, hopeful to regretful, but always heartfelt. Contributors include Miriam O'Callaghan, Joe O'Connor, Roisin Ingle, Ray D'Arcy, Sonia O'Sullivan, Maeve Binchy, Charlie Bird, John Boyne, Cathy Kelly, Jason Sherlock, Richard Corrigan, Nell McCafferty, Paddy Moloney, David Norris, Ross O'Carroll Kelly, Ardal O'Hanlon, Patricia Scanlan and Victoria Smurfit. With Love, From Me . . . To Me: A Letter To My Sixteen-Year-Old Self is the ideal gift this Christmas for family, friends - or yourself!
All royalties from this book benefit the Irish Youth Foundation.
Published: 28 Oct 2010