Dear Gerry,Six months ago I could not imagine writing this letter to you. When you came over from London in April we had lunch together and somehow I felt you were not yourself. You were quiet and almost withdrawn. I called you a few days later to ask were you ok and you said you felt a bit ‘down’. I wonder now was that the beginning....

I’m not one for media boycotts. I think Newstalk’s decision to ban journalists from The Irish Times from appearing on programmes is childish. But, I likewise think it petulant of people from The Irish Times like Fintan O’Toole and Una Mullally to declare that they were boycotting Newstalk over George Hook’s now infamous...

Approached with moderation and admixed with common sense, “mindfulness” seems a harmless enough practice. Deriving from Buddhist thinking, the modern application may help people to “improve their mind by focusing on a positive object”.  If you have to give a public speech, for example, and you worry you’ll have a...

Msgr John WilsonLiam Cosgrave’s wife Vera died on September 16, 2016 and was buried from this Church. Now just over one year later we gather once more this time for Liam’s funeral and for his last journey to and from this Church where he worshipped throughout his life.Liam telephoned me when Vera died and made clear that there were to...

Liam Cosgrave is the first Taoiseach I can remember. My father, a newspaper man like his father before him and his son now, was thrilled. My father was Fine Gael through and through and Cosgrave’s was the first Fine Gael-led Government in years. He had a right to be thrilled.I can’t say I remember a whole lot about the period. I can...

Thirty years ago, the American Educator, Allan Bloom, wrote a book entitled The Closing of the American Mind. This was his thesis: in our secularised world today our language is becoming ever-more empirical, one-dimensional and devoid of depth and this is closing our minds by stripping us of the deeper meanings inside our own experience. For Bloom...

Si Newhouse died the other day, and as the American millionaire owner of some high-profile titles such as Vanity Fair and the New Yorker, he was something of a celebrity, a celebrity however with a dubious reputation. The name of André Schiffrin may not be so familiar to many, but the New York firm which he ran for many years, Pantheon Books, was...

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