The Máirtín O’Connor band

I thought of the title of the Bothy Band album, Out of the Wind, Into the Sun as Máirtín O’Connor, Cathal Hayden and Seamie O’Dowd struck up the first notes at their Rath Celtair Folk Club gig at Down Arts Centre in Downpatrick last night. My journey to the venue was hampered by rain, darkness, […]

Gary Mitchell interview

They say you have to suffer for your art but few have suffered as much as Gary Mitchell, the Belfast playwright who was the subject of a brutal campaign of intimidation by the people he wrote about – loyalist paramilitaries in the Rathcoole housing estate he used to call home. It seems it isn’t just […]

Naysayer Nelson

You couldn’t make it up. Page 17 of today’s Irish News has a picture whose caption reads – “Busy Year Ahead: The Arts Council of Northern Ireland and Audiences NI are hosting a master class today at the Ulster Hall to inspire arts organisations to take advantage of the benefits that cultural tourism can offer […]

An tSnáthaid Mhór in Brussels

Comhghairdeas le Andy agus le Caitríona. Belfast’s Irish language community will know of the stunning work that the publishing company An tSnáthaid Mhór does but today Andy Whitson and Caitríona Hastings are in Brussels to present their work as part of what is called the Brussels Platform. The Platform is the result of a collaboration […]

Van Morrison and Slí Cholmcille

When I went to the launch of Slí Cholmcille at the Linenhall Library last night, the last person I expected to see was George Ivan Morrison, Van the Man to you and me. Slí Cholmcille or the St Columba Trail is the first visitor trail between Scotland and Ireland and is named after St Colmcille […]

Bernadette: Notes on a Political Journey

In contrast to an opponent’s derisive description of Devlin as “Fidel Castro in a mini-skirt”, Lelia Doolan’s documentary film, Bernadette: Notes on a Political Journey offers an in-depth perspective on a formidable figure of recent Irish politics. There was a time when Bernadette Devlin (now McAliskey) seemed to have the world at her feet. Adored […]