August 14, 2011
By Benjamin Black Henry Holt & Co. 310 pp. $25 Reviewed by Peter Rozovsky John Banville distinguishes between the artistic pleasure he derives from the literary novels he writes under his own name and the craftsman's pleasure he gets from the crime fiction he writes as Benjamin Black. This makes it fair to ask a craftsman's questions about the Black books: How well do the parts fit together? How smoothly does Black execute them? Are they beautiful? Do they work?
July 24, 2011
Stories By Roddy Doyle Viking. 214 pp. $25.95 Reviewed by Scott Eyman Roddy Doyle's new book of stories focuses exclusively on middle-aged men, so you know it's not going to be a laugh riot. Add to that the national Irish hangover left when the Celtic Tiger turned into a mewling kitten and you have a recipe for low-grade depression. Doyle's relentless focus on modern Ireland and its inhabitants reveals how little the country and its men have changed.
July 21, 2011 |
DUBLIN, Ireland - The Vatican encouraged Catholic bishops not to tell police about suspected pedophile priests and flouted Irish law, Ireland's lawmakers declared Wednesday in an unprecedented denunciation of the Holy See's influence in this predominantly Catholic country. The government and all opposition parties unanimously backed a motion accusing the Vatican of sabotaging the Irish bishops' 1996 decision to begin reporting suspected cases of child abuse to police. "This is not Rome.
July 13, 2011 |
NEW YORK - Hope that the Federal Reserve might consider more economic stimulus wasn't enough to keep bad news about Ireland from sinking stocks. Ireland's government bonds were downgraded by the ratings agency Moody's Investors Service to junk status shortly before U.S. markets closed Tuesday, sending stocks sharply lower and erasing the day's gains. Ireland joins Greece and Portugal, whose debt also was recently cut to junk - that is, below investment grade. The move puts Ireland back on the list of heavily indebted European nations at risk of default.
July 11, 2011 |
To biologists, polar bears and grizzlies are distinct species - not only do they look different, but a grizzly could never survive in the polar bears' icy habitat, where swimming talent is required as well as the ability to hunt seals and whales. But don't tell that to the bears. New DNA evidence shows that polar bears carry genetic material that came from, of all places, Ireland, where grizzlies, a.k.a. brown bears, once roamed around 30,000 years ago. The finding, published in last week's Current Biology, could change our picture not only of polar bear evolution but of the role of cross-species breeding more generally in shaping the living world.
June 7, 2011 |
GENEVA - A United Nations panel has urged Ireland to investigate allegations that for decades women and girls sent to work in Catholic laundries were tortured. The panel said the government failed in its obligation to oversee the nun-run laundries "where it is alleged that physical, emotional abuses and other ill-treatment were committed. " It has asked for compensation for the victims. Human rights groups say young women were abused after being sent to the so-called Magdalene Laundries, a network of 10 workhouses that operated in Ireland from the 1920s to the mid-1990s.
May 26, 2011
Yvonne Briscoe Ireland, 74, of Erdenheim, a retired office manager, died of organ failure Thursday, May 19, at Abington Memorial Hospital. In 1982, Mrs. Ireland became office manager for Erdenheim Pediatrics, which later became Lockman & Lubell Pediatric Associates in Fort Washington. After retiring at 65, she worked part-time for the practice as a referral specialist until January. Mrs. Ireland graduated from Yeadon High School and earned a bachelor's degree from Millersville University.
May 25, 2011 |
Yvonne Briscoe Ireland, an elementary-school teacher and one-time referral specialist for a Montgomery County pediatric practice, died May 19 after several months of illness. She was 74 and lived in Erdenheim, and had lived for many years in Mount Airy. While living in Mount Airy, Yvonne volunteered at Deborah Heart Hospital. She was born in Philadelphia to Juanita E. and George Briscoe, and graduated from Yeadon High School. She completed her studies in elementary education at Millersville University.
May 25, 2011 |
President Obama's one-day visit to Ireland was a masterly orchestration of three visuals - one imaginary, two very real. Imaginary visual: the apostrophe in O'Bama . "My name is Barack Obama," he said in Dublin, "of the Moneygall Obamas, and I've come home to find the apostrophe we lost somewhere along the way. " Anglo-Irish apostrophe, Kenyan last name, American tale. Second visual, potent indeed: that imperial pint of Guinness at Ollie Hayes' pub in Obama's ancestral town of Moneygall (Irish Muine Gall , or "thicket of foreigners"!
May 21, 2011 |
Worth the wait: Martin McDonagh's The Cripple of Inishmaan is the grand finale of the Philadelphia Irish Theatre Festival. Druid theater company from Galway, Ireland, under the brilliant direction of Garry Hynes, is making a brief stop at the Annenberg Center, and anybody with any interest in McDonagh, Irish drama, or contemporary theater generally should see it while the seeing's good. The play originally was transferred from Ireland to the Atlantic Theatre in New York, where I saw it (and raved about it in these pages)