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Posts Tagged ‘ The Irish Times ’

Review: Breaking Dad

breakingdad

I was lucky enough to be one of the audience members for the opening night of Paul Howard’s latest play ‘Breaking Dad’. The Gaiety Theatre was filled with a buzz of expectation before the curtains went up and the stars of Irish film and theatre gathered to witness the funniest play that I have ever seen. It was laugh a minute stuff from the off and it really is a testament to the writing ability of Howard. This is the third play following, ‘The last days of the Celtic Tiger’ and ‘Between Foxrock and a hard place’. The story is set in the year 2022, Ireland is on the verge of another economic boom and Charles O’Carroll Kelly has somehow managed to orchestrate the greatest political comeback of all times with Bertie Ahern being on the brink of becoming Taoiseach again at the age of seventy one. Ross, now in his forties hasn’t changed a bit, his son Ronan is now a professional soccer player with Celtic, his daughter Honor is still a pain and his wife Sorcha is still trying to save the world. Don’t worry if you haven’t read any of the fourteen best selling novels or Howard’s column in The Irish Times as this play is a very capable stand alone story. My wife attended the play with me and is somewhat of a Ross virgin, I know those two words don’t sit easy together, and there was no need for any background explanations. A combination of great writing and comic timing from the cast provide a tight production that had the audience laughing from start to finish. When it finished and I finally had a chance to take a much needed breath, the standing ovation that followed was much deserved. Continue reading

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Probe As Irish Resident Dies After UK Abortion

Police in Britain are investigating the case of an Irish resident who travelled from Dublin to London for an abortion last year, but died in a taxi hours after the procedure. Continue reading

Maeve Binchy dies at the age of 72

16 Novels, more than 30 years of writing and endless fans is the legacy that Maeve Binchy leaves behind. The wonderful and much loved Irish author died on Monday after struggling with illness throughout most of her adult life. But even at 72 she had a  much younger spirit and loved life, saying that after a brush with death in 2002 she lived every day as if it were her last.

Her best known works are possibly Tara Road and Circle of Friends as Hollywood turned them into films, but all of her stories, no matter if in short form or packed up into the parcel of a novel, are about real life, no hyped up glam or only beautiful people fill her pages, but the struggle of everyday life, joy, love and friendship overflow from her work into the readers minds and heart.

She didn’t start out as a writer but graduated UCD (University College Dublin) and became a teacher. But Maeve wanted to see the world and in her long summer holidays she would travel, her shipping guide always at hand telling her which ship was going where. Wanting a change she gave up her secure teachers job and pension to become a free-lance writer and soon was called to be a woman’s editor at the Irish Times. With a steady flow of work coming in from London Maeve moved there in the mid seventies to the Irish Times office in Fleet Street and started working on her first novel Light a Penny Candle. Setting herself strict deadlines and word-counts she would get up at 5am every morning to write before work and her discipline and structure paid off when in 1982 her first book was published.

At the age of 37 she married children book author Gorden Snell and with the invention of fax and emails they both moved from London to Dalkey, where Maeve had grown up, and would sit side by side in their upstairs office and write for several hours every day. Very disciplined her motto was “if you want to write just do it” and shelves filled with her work all around the world prove her right.

Inspired by Scarlett O’Hara from “Gone with the Wind” by Margaret Mitchell, Maeve Binchy created a whole new form of literature. One filled with women who learn to be strong and independent, who begin to trust in themselves, be who they want to be and love life, friends, family, home and most importantly themselves.

Outselling other great Irish writers like James Joyce, Oscar Wilde, Roddy Doyle, Samuel Beckett, W.B Yeats, Maeve was quietly proud always encouraging others to write as well. She paved a beautiful path for other female writers to follow and was always generous in sharing her experience with her colleagues.

Maeve Binchy will be missed, not only by the Irish nation but by her fans across the world, but she has one final gift to her readers, her last book has just been finished and will be published later this year.

She will be cremated in a private ceremony following removal on Friday morning to the Church of the Assumption, Dalkey.

“I don’t have ugly ducklings turning into swans in my stories. I have ugly ducklings turning into confident ducks.”

Maeve Binchy

Maeve Binchy with one of her two beloved cats in her home in Dalkey
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