Diagnosis: murder. How a Tipperary doctor disposed of his wife

As the case of Dr Langley clearly shows, this discomfort was not confined to the progressive writers of the day. It was their testimony that turned the coroner’s inquest on its head and led to Dr Langley being charged with murder. The Doctor’s Wife Is Dead: A Peculiar Marriage, a Suspicious Death, and a Murder Trial in Nineteenth-Century Ireland by Andrew Tierney is published by Penguin Ireland He assumed his fellow doctors would find nothing suspicious, and in that he was correct. Dr Langley’s degradation of his wife – a reduced diet, the confiscation of her clothes, the expulsion into poor lodgings, and a pauper’s funeral – was a way of defaming her character in a language understood by contemporary society. Five different doctors, local colleagues of her husband, concluded that she had succumbed to gastroenteritis. The inquest and trial established that Dr Langley had subjected Ellen to a sustained and seemingly quite calculated campaign of neglect and mistreatment, including her expulsion from the family home into slum accommodation in the cholera-ravaged back streets of Nenagh. ADVERTISEMENT Pound Street, on the northwest side of Nenagh, was one of the town’s poorer areas during the 1840s, and it was here that Ellen Langley lived in exile for several weeks in the last springtime of her life. Case closed, surely? Sexual profligacy, it was thought, should be the subject of punishment as a warning to others. But there was little pity for women accused of adultery in 1840s Ireland, and this seems to have informed Dr Langley’s calculations. This very public act of cruelty was a key reason for the local suspicions that led to the inquest and the trial. The doctor’s mistreatment of his wife was, grotesquely, intended to be seen as evidence of her bad character. Lord Brougham, speaking in a Lords debate a few years earlier, had stated the case most clearly: “Although a want of chastity was a sin in a man,” he argued, “yet it was a greater sin in a woman. A fallen woman the world counts it righteous to forsake and scorn. The town’s doctors baulked at the level of destitution they encountered and the hazards of their work: “We must go into every filthy lane and alley”, complained one, “– into every dark and dirty room – into every miserable hut and disgusting cabin.” The spread of disease was assisted by the “cess pools …

The Táin by Thomas Kinsella: A beautiful rigour

His Táin is a far cry from the mist and twilight of Yeats’ genius visions, closer in tone to the earned truth of his late, great flowering. He has, as Heaney recognised, given a gift to world literature but he has given those poets who worked in the light of the dual tradition of Irish and English, a way back. ADVERTISEMENT Kinsella’s Táin transmits something of the austerity of the Irish, prickly and black as the contorted balckthorn bush, with its sudden explosions of bright blossom. Then there was the 1904 translation by Winifred Farady, which the poet tells us “is incomplete and difficult to read with any pleasure, partly because it transmits the flaws of the text (The Book of Leinster) so accurately”. He has a composer’s reach and the individual poems seem to me to be part of a greater whole, individual songs and movements in a symphony that is both aural and written. Kinsella dates this at the famine, and certainly that was the last and worst of several deep rifts, chronicled in verse by Daithi Ó Bruadair and Aogán Ó Rathaile. Thomas Kinsella spent 15 years, off and on, working on his translation, gathering, choosing, shaping, excising for clarity; he rendered the stories with precision and restored what had often been prettified in translation to its original vigour. Kinsella made no attempt to reconstruct in those passages, and the resulting poems are the powerful links that give the narrative an internal drive. A man with a firm grasp of the dual tradition that Irish poets inherit, no poet was more aware than Kinsella of the cultural and psychological implications for a people of the loss of their language. He has perfect pitch and a purity of tone that is almost unique among his Irish contemporaries. The story is unlikely to end well. It is hard not to compare the body of his work to that of a composer – his beloved Bach comes easily to mind. I am not qualified to comment on the old Irish texts but I am acquainted enough to know the dangers and some pitfalls: the stylistic accrustations, the riddles rendered entirely meaningless by the passing of time, the linguistic changes and the mishearings and imaginings in writing them down in the first place. He explains clearly in his introduction why he has chosen to begin with the pillow talk section and …

Diagnosis – murder: how a doctor disposed of his wife in 1849

ADVERTISEMENT Pound Street, on the northwest side of Nenagh, was one of the town’s poorer areas during the 1840s, and it was here that Ellen Langley lived in exile for several weeks in the last springtime of her life. Novels which explored the position of women in (or out of) marriage, such as Anne Brontë’s Tenant of Wildfell Hall, Charles Dickens’s Dombey & Son, and Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter, all appeared between 1846 and 1850, and helped pave the way for new British divorce legislation in 1857 (though this was not extended to Ireland). The inquest and trial established that Dr Langley had subjected Ellen to a sustained and seemingly quite calculated campaign of neglect and mistreatment, including her expulsion from the family home into slum accommodation in the cholera-ravaged back streets of Nenagh. The town’s doctors baulked at the level of destitution they encountered and the hazards of their work: “We must go into every filthy lane and alley”, complained one, “– into every dark and dirty room – into every miserable hut and disgusting cabin.” The spread of disease was assisted by the “cess pools and dung heaps opposite the doors”. A fallen woman the world counts it righteous to forsake and scorn. He assumed his fellow doctors would find nothing suspicious, and in that he was correct. This is one of the puzzles I worked to solve throughout the years I spent researching my book about the case, The Doctor’s Wife Is Dead. The doctor’s mistreatment of his wife was, grotesquely, intended to be seen as evidence of her bad character. It was their testimony that turned the coroner’s inquest on its head and led to Dr Langley being charged with murder. Two days before Ellen Langley died, Dr Langley wrote to the coroner stating that, in the event of his wife’s death, he wished for an inquest to be held, in order to quiet local rumours that he was starving her, even that he was poisoning her. In a woman, it went to corrupt society at its very root.” If women behaved as men, he suggested, the bonds of society would “burst asunder” and “man would be driven back into a state of savage and uncivilized life”. On May 1st, 1849, in Nenagh, Co Tipperary, Ellen Langley died in the townhouse she shared with her husband, Dr Charles Langley. One possible answer is that, having …

‘Untalented’ crime writers respond to their No 1 critic

Her latest is Quieter Than Killing John Banville Lack of talent? 2. No matter. I always suspect that those who dismiss crime as populist nonsense haven’t actually read a crime novel for a decade or two. The best crime fiction of 2016 Constance Kopp and Sean Duffy back in best of crime fiction Agatha Christie: genius or hack? Now, back to work… Catherine Ryan Howard is the author of Distress Signals ADVERTISEMENT Declan Hughes Ross Macdonald made the case for crime fiction as a popular art form capable of a high kind of excellence; the musical analogy he cited at the time, and I think it is a good one, was with Duke Ellington. Higgins, Ruth Rendell, James Lee Burke, Dennis Lehane, Ian Rankin, Laura Lippmann and John Connolly (to take just a baker’s dozen) wrote, or write, crime fiction because of a ‘fatal lack of talent’ that would otherwise see them writing literary novels is not that it’s elitist (I’m elitist about crime fiction: the writers above were not picked at random), it’s that it’s a category error. But it’s not what matters most. There are plenty of rubbish genre books, just as there are plenty of rubbish “literary” books. Come up with a startlingly new and captivating plot. Barbara Nadel’s latest Inspector Ikmen mystery is The House of Four Claire McGowan It’s an enduring myth that financial success and popularity in the arts must mean selling out or being less talented. So I asked some of the finest Irish and international criminal minds, or crime writers at any rate, to respond in detail to O’Rourke’s dismissal of their genre, quoted here in full. But if O’Rourke were to look at a specific novel and was willing to debate its strengths and weaknesses, then we could have a discussion. 5. The question’s worth a cheap joke, I think. You either have it – gifted by genetics, the Almighty, a lotto scratch card – or not. But then it takes a lot to enrage a crime writer. If bestsellers were easy to write there would be more of them. Understand and appreciate black humour, or you may end up with miserable drivel. Not a deficit of talent. Sarah Hilary’s debut novel, Someone Else’s Skin, won the Theakstons Crime Novel of the Year 2015. So, the challenge is, write a good crime novel. William Ryan’s latest novel is The Constant Soldier. …

Sounds of the future: the best newcomers of SXSW 2017

Playing tracks from her Parma Violets debut album, Hamilton and her band set down a marker with sets which jumped from tender folk to thrilling post-punk with vim and vigour. One for the Karen Dalton and Catherine Howe fans in the audience. Here’s our SXSW One Per Cent, the 20 acts we saw in Texas that we want to see again. MUNA attracted attention here last year, though the band seemed unsure about their musical direction at that point. Jain performs onstage during the Pandora SXSW event at The Gatsby on March 15, 2017 in Austin, Texas. Let’s hope those exes got to catch some of the shows and realise what they’re missing. Flamingods Flamingods’ fine Majesty album last year was full of exotic, colourful psych-pop which happily exploded in all directions. Middle Kids It’s always worth checking out the Australian contingent in Austin. Her sound is a whirl of colour, a nod to the Parisian’s globetrotting from the Congo to Abu Dhabi and how those cities and cultures have informed her infectious pop. You could go with the tried and tested – SXSW 2017 featured The Roots, Lana Del Rey, Garth Brooks, Solange, Ho99o9, Lil Wayne, Future Islands, Weezer and the Wu-Tang Clan – or you could take your chances with the newbies. Vagabon Cameroon born, New York- based Laetitia Tamkomines a rich vein of ideas and themes about identity and entitlement. Anyone operating beyond the guitar band template can have a hard time of it. Because of the nature of the event, with shows running day and night, four-piece guitar bands fare better when it comes to changeovers and sound (which has become increasingly worse at the event because of the lack of time to soundcheck properly). Songs such as The Embers and Mal á L’aise are good introductions to Tamko’s work, both capturing her way with a guitar as well as those lyrical notions. Billie Eilish Billie Eilish You can understand why so many tastemakers tipped this young Los Angeles performer. Oshun New York University students who graduate this summer, Oshun’s Thandiwe and Niambi Sala demonstrated smarts to see them thrive when school’s out. (Photo by Scott Dudelson/WireImage) Anna Wise Anna Wise has appeared on the last three albums from Kendrick Lamar and won a Grammy award for her collaboration on These Walls. While she’s benefited from association with Chance the Rapper, it’s the beautiful power and …

Why was the Irish response to Enda Kenny’s stirring ‘Trump lecture’ so muted?

The Irish Prime Minister may not have been looking at Trump, but his moving speech was aimed right at him. https://t.co/ffRpFfcP6g— Joe Scarborough (@JoeNBC) March 18, 2017 Patrick and #Immigrants https://t.co/NZLDkUZv1l— AnneFrankCenter(US) (@AnneFrankCenter) March 18, 2017 HERO OF THE WEEK: Irish Prime Minister @EndaKennyTD for speech next to @POTUS honoring St. While Mr Kenny made no reference to Mr Trump’s policies in his speech it has been widely – and rightly -interpreted as a thinly veiled criticism of the administration’s plans to ban immigration from certain Muslim countries and to build a wall along the Mexican border. The US president’s weirdly elongated handshake with Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau made headlines across the world as did his hand clasp with British Prime Minister Teresa May and – most recently – his apparent refusal to shake German chancellor Angela Merkel’s hand in front of the baying press pack in the Oval Office. 13, 2017. He told a nodding, smiling President Trump that St Patrick was an immigrant – the patron saint of immigrants, in fact. Photograph: Kevin Lamarque/Reuters So when Enda Kenny set off for Washington last week, few would have expected anything of more substance than memes about green ties and awkward greetings to emerge from his various meetings with the new administration. That might explain why we were all caught slightly off guard by his stirring remarks at his third and final meeting with President Trump on March 16th, the meeting at which the bowl of shamrock was handed over. And it might explain why we all appeared to wait until the Taoiseach’s words were validated by international media before we started falling over ourselves to also acknowledge what he said and to recognise how impressive it was. ADVERTISEMENT “Ireland came to America because – deprived of liberty, opportunity, safety and even food itself – we believed,” he said. When international leaders have called in to say hello to Donald Trump in the White House in recent weeks much of the focus has been on hands. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau meets with President Trump in the Oval Office at the White House on Feb. Fantastic speech by Irish Prime Minister @EndaKennyTD explaining immigration to @realDonaldTrump and the World. pic.twitter.com/HbSNTSoy2z— Dr Paul Monaghan MP (@_PaulMonaghan) March 17, 2017 The reality is dropping slowly that Enda Kenny's immigrant speech in front of Trump may be his finest hour (Vatican speech …

‘Julia does things differently’: Sesame Street’s muppet with autism

The muppets in Washington do not like the muppets of PBS, a channel they see as an overly-expensive luxury favoured by the coastal elite. It would eventually be populated by the late Jim Henson’s puppets and would “master the addictive qualities of television and do something good with them”. Julia’s debut happens against a backdrop in which Sesame Street’s home station, the publicly-funded PBS, is consistently endangered by proposed cutbacks from conservative policy makers. It was created in 1966 when television producer Joan Ganz Cooney and vice president of the Carnegie foundation Lloyd Morrisett conceived of a children’s programme based on the latest educational research. Julia is to make her debut in April, when she will join an array of much loved characters including the aforementioned avian worry-wart Big Bird, bin-dwelling misanthrope Oscar the Grouch, obsessively numerate aristocrat Count Von Count, gluttonous baked goods aficionado Cookie Monster and, last, but not least, co-dependent alternative-lifestyle pioneers Ernie and Bert. (That said, if you’re a Republican lawmaker you might prefer a show that glorifies the ham-fisted privatisation of public services, like say… The Future of Children, a joint report from Princeton university and the Brookings Institute, found that children who watched Sesame Street had more inclusive social attitudes than those who did not. This is despite all evidence (perhaps Count Von Count could help them look at the figures?). Julia should feel at home there. In 2015, a study by the National Bureau of Economic Research concluded that Sesame Street was a very effective low-cost educational supplement for children in economically disadvantaged areas. Paw Patrol.) ADVERTISEMENT Sesame Street has always had progressive motivations. Yeah, it’s a good group. It is considered to be under-diagnosed in girls (hence Julia’s gender). She ignores him, causing him to feel hurt, until the other muppets explain, “She does things just a little differently.” One in 68 children in the US is diagnosed with autism, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. A recent paper from the Irish National Council for Special Education said that it was as high as one in 65 school children in Ireland. Julia’s puppeteer, Stacey Gordon, who has a son with autism, told the 60 Minutes programme: “Had my son’s friends been exposed to his behaviours through something they had seen on TV before they experienced them in the classroom, they might not have been frightened.” Sesame Street has added …

‘A fatal lack of talent’ – crime writers respond to their No 1 critic

Cause of death? What damage a piece of writing are superficiality, cliche and a lack of concern about emotional truth. Understand and appreciate black humour, or you may end up with miserable drivel. Edgar-winning novelist Meg Gardiner’s Evan Delaney series was described by Stephen King as “simply put, the finest crime-suspense series I’ve come across in the last 20 years” For anybody who thinks producing crime novels is the lesser art of writing, I say this – write one. At the moment we are blessed with very fine writers who produce compelling, well-written fiction that is as serious and inventive as any literary novel, with light-hearted themes such as the nature of good and evil. Try again. I’ll even give you the crimewriter’s playbook Jo Spain For anybody who thinks producing crime novels is the lesser art of writing, I say this – write one. It’s like the swanky sixties critic who compared Paul McCartney favorably to Schubert, then dismissed the rest of rock music as worthless. Barbara Nadel’s latest Inspector Ikmen mystery is The House of Four Claire McGowan It’s an enduring myth that financial success and popularity in the arts must mean selling out or being less talented. One condition. Take the basic human emotions and complicate matters deliciously. Prague Nights by Benjamin Black is out on June 1st William Ryan With regard to O’Rourke’s comments on crime fiction – every novel, no matter what genre it is perceived as being part of, is judged by each reader based on their own taste and perspective. ADVERTISEMENT There’s a damaging belief that talent is binary. Off you go to Hogwarts. Think the denouement to Agatha Christie’s Murder on the Orient Express. I rest my case. Michael, unfortunately, had, has, too much talent to succeed as a crime writer. So I asked some of the finest Irish and international criminal minds, or crime writers at any rate, to respond in detail to O’Rourke’s dismissal of their genre, quoted here in full. If you’re not already a psychologist in training, understand this. Professor O’Rourke’s comment is so thuggish, so mindlessly simplistic in its thinking that I don’t think we can be expected to seriously engage with it. Better as what? I’d disagree. Although perhaps it was the cast of mind possessed by the judges who refused to award Ellington the Pulitzer all those years ago. William O’Rourke’s article on Michael Collins suggests …

Pop Corner: Tove Lo and Selena Gomez bring the positive to their fans

Zara sings “your song is on repeat/and I’m dancing to your heartbeat”, referencing both her boo and the track on the radio. She wrote on instagram: “Was gonna leave it because people love to write shit all the time and it’s just something we have to get used to, but it’s gone too far now and it’s really starting to get on my boobs. “Usually the question is: ‘don’t you feel you should be setting an example for young girls?’ Singing bluntly about sex, drugs and everything… Of course, it’s a banger and there’s a nifty arpeggiated bit before the chorus, which is sure to fox those who attempt it at karaoke. I didn’t like the one poxy picture of myself so I asked Pez to crop me out, and like a good friend she did, and for some strange reason there has now been a story created that me and my Pez hate each other.” ADVERTISEMENT It’s a mantra for me, telling fans, ‘you’re not a bad person because you made a mistake or you don’t want to follow the rules’.” Meanwhile, Selena Gomez opened up about her mental health to Vogue: “I wish more people would talk about therapy. We girls, we’re taught to be almost too resilient, to be strong and sexy and cool and laid back, the girl who’s down. Hero of the week is Tove Lo, who told Metro that she wants to empower her fans to own their mistakes. a lot of my fans come up to me and say, ‘you make me feel better about me just as me’. “I feel girls can be so hard on themselves and each other. TRACK OF THE WEEK Zara Larsson and Clean Bandit – Symphony As loyal readers will know, we at Pop Corner love a song about a song. Which Symphony is! We also need to feel allowed to fall apart.” Zero of the week are fake feuds, according to Jesy Little Mix. There never has been and never will be a feud between my Perrie winkle and me!

At SXSW, hip-hop’s future stars take a leaf from the Chuck Berry paybook

It’s worth noting that not all these dudes are going to become the next Future or Migos. Roll over Beethoven and tell Tchaikovsky that news. Music may be a fun pursuit and a great hobby, but it’s a business and you need to get paid. The latter is important to note because, as Berry knew, it’s all about the money. That’s what the shameless, in-your-face marketing is all about. There’s no point running up a bill with Earl down the print shop for all those posters and spending cash to get your crew to SXSW if you don’t get paid somewhere down the line. These newbies are here because, like all the acts who come to Texas, they want to be noticed. The harder you hustle, the bigger the payoff when it does arrive. News of Berry’s death reached Austin, Texas as the last night of SXSW 2017 got underway. They’ll be the ones who’ll also cross over to earn bigger festival shows, more brand endorsements and bigger paydays. They were playing his tunes in Waterloo Records as people browsed the racks and some bands threw a blast of Berry into their sets as the evening went on. It’s a lesson that the indie and rock bands who are all over Austin’s shabby venues and grimey bars could learn. Afterwards, he bounced to another city or home to St Louis with that money in his pocket. Before he duck-walked across any stage, he got paid in cash. But for those who stick around, you can be sure they’ll adhere to the Berry principle of getting paid for your work. ADVERTISEMENT It works too. There’s a new hustle every year to stay ahead of the pack, and this was the year of the backpack billboards. But the real successors to Berry’s business nous are probably the hip-hop players out on the Austin streets. There were loads of acts, from St Louis youth Smino to Drip On My Walk queenpin Kodie Shane, who’ve probably set themselves up for a good year on the back of a trip to Texas. Hip-hop has taken over SXSW in recent years, both in terms of the noise around official showcases and, especially, the unofficial street hustle. When it comes to getting paid, these boyos are in the premier league. Chuck Berry always got paid. SXSW may be regarded as a festival for mumbling indie dudes and …

Comhar le fáil ar líne agus i gcló as seo amach

Tá siad ag súil go gcuirfidh áis chuardaigh agus gnéithe idirghníomhacha eile le heispéireas na n-úsáideoirí ar an suíomh gréasáin. Tá suíomh nua idirlín, Comhar.ie, seolta ag lucht na hirise liteartha. Beidh deis ag lucht na teanga, den chéad uair, ailt uilig na hirise a fheiceáil ar líne nó a léamh i bprionta, de réir mar is mian leo féin. Is é dóchas lucht na hirise go mbeidh teacht ar ábhar na hirise áit ar bith ar domhan tríd an tsuíomh gréasáin poiblí agus é inléite agus so-úsáidte ar gach saghas gléis. Beidh léitheoirí in ann dul i ngleic le clár na leabhar trí scagadh a dhéanamh ar chatalóg LeabhairCOMHAR de réir seánraí, scríbhneoirí, agus na sraitheanna leabhar a d’fhoilsigh siad go dtí seo. Le léitheoirí nua a mhealladh agus le seanléitheoirí a spreagadh as an úr arís, beidh eagrán iomlán mhí Feabhra le léamh saor in aisce ar an suíomh. Mar chuid den fhorbairt ar líne fosta, tá naisc cruthaithe idir láithreáin éagsúla COMHAR, mar atá, Comhar (comhar.ie/iris), LeabhairCOMHAR (comhar.ie/leabhair), COMHARÓg (comhar.ie/og), COMHARTaighde (comhartaighde.ie), agus Portráidí na Scríbhneoirí Gaeilge (portraidi.ie). Lena chois sin, tá suíomh nuadheartha anois ar fáil do LeabhairCOMHAR. Ina dhiaidh sin, beidh an iris ar fáil ar líne do shíntiúsóirí amháin agus i gcló sna siopaí fosta.

Ego Patricius

Níl aon fhírinne, mar a thuigfeá, i scéal sin na seamróige, ar finscéal lucht scoile é. ADVERTISEMENT Ar aon tslí, b’í an tseamair Mhuire a bhí i gceist agam, ach toisc ceithre chluas a bheith uirthi bhaininn ceann amháin i ngan fhios ós íseal di d’fhonn an scéal a chur abhaile. Oileán na Naomh is na nOllamh! D’éirigh linn na draoithe a dhíbirt, na croíthe dúra gan aon mhaith. Ego Patricius, peccator rusticissimus. Is róbhaol, áfach, go bhfillfidh siad arís, agus trumpaí laistiar díobh ón taobh thall. Córas ceart séarachais agus uisce a thabhairt isteach. Bhí Palladius romham, is fíor, ach níor éirigh go rómhaith leis siúd. Ní fhaca mé féin iad leis na cianta cairbreacha, ach mura bhfaca, ní hionann sin is nach raibh siad ann. Feicim go bhfuil sibh fós ag troid ina thaobh. Is maith nár dhein, mar cuimhnigh dá mbeadh St Pallies Day agaibh anois in ionad Lá le Pádraig go mbeadh ardghreann ag na turasóirí a bhfuilim ann dóibh go bunúsach. B’fhéidir don aimsir dul as, na Sasanaigh teacht is imeacht, an creideamh dul ar gcúl, an teanga lagú, an béaloideas a chur in imeall na slí, Maigh Eo craobh na hÉireann a bhaint, ba chuma… Níor shíl mé riamh go mbeadh an dream is mó a dhíbir mé ag princeam mar mhagadh orm gach lá féile dem chuid… Na leipreacháin mhallaithe! Quia vigilabo ego super te semper, ego autem non sum cum viderem… Och, mo leithscéal, dhein mé dearmad nach bhfuil Laidin ar eolas ag aon duine níos mó. Bhí aon dream amháin ann, áfach, nár fhéad mé iad a dhíbirt. An Pota Phádraig, mar shampla. Mórálach Bhí mé thar a bheith mórálach asaibh nuair a chloígh sibh leis an gcreideamh cóir in aghaidh na n-eiriceach mbuí. Dá dtuigfí nach iad siúd is cás liom níos mó seachas an dream úd nár éirigh liom a dhíbirt, in ainneoin mo dhíchill féin. Is ea, tá’s agam nach raibh gach naomh ina ollamh agus nach raibh gach ollamh ina naomh, ach mar sin féin. Tá sé deacair coimeád suas libh, ach tá níos fusa ón airde atá agamsa oraibh anois sna flaithis. Tá clúmh bhog ar an neantóig, agus is deas í a chuimilt, ach má bheireann tú greim uirthi, raghaidh san fhuil isteach. Is mé a bhí thar a bheith mórálach asaibh ar feadh i bhfad. Ní mise amháin, gan amhras, mar ós ní é …

Ealaíontóirí óga agus seanmháistrí

Ach aip ná aip le feiceáil ina nglac an iarraidh seo. Tá an chuid is fearr den nuatheicneolaíocht agam ann – ríomhaire agus teilifíseán – agus is minic a bhím i dteagmháil leis an tsaol mhór iontach Ghaelach leis an dá áis sin. Ionad Ealaíon Uí Mhuirí Bhí tuairisc ar – bhuel – tuairisc.ie go raibh Roinn na Gaeltachta agus Foras na Gaeilge i mbun cainteanna le scéim nua a chur sa tsiúl chun “ionaid fhisiciúla acmhainní” a bhunú fud fad na hÉireann mar chuid den Straitéis 20 Bliain. Nó daoine sa Bhreatain bheith ar son na Breatimeachta? Tá siad, diaidh ar ndiaidh, ag tarraingt línte ar phár bán; tá siad ag líonadh an leathanaigh bháin mar ghníomh ómóis do na healaíontóirí a mhair rompu. Conas mar a d’imeodh siad as club a thóg mótarbhealtaí na hÉireann? Agus bia? Lárionad comhrá agus pinn den scoth atá ann. ADVERTISEMENT B’fhéidir gurb é sin a spreagann na daoine seo? (Ní inseodh siad bréag faoi sin, an inseodh?) Leoga, mura leor sin, tá cúpla focal Ultaise agam – Ach aye – agus thiocfadh liom Ultais a labhairt le cuairteoirí fosta. Tá na healaíontóirí óga seo, lucht ollscoile, ag foghlaim a gceirde trí aithris a dhéanamh ar na máistrí seo. Tá na mic léinn seo ag foghlaim lena súile – tá siad ag amharc ar shaothar le Michelangelo, Rembrandt, Dürer agus eile. Tá siad ina dtost. Ach seo scaifte sna déaga, mná agus fir, agus iad faoi dhraíocht ag na pictiúir atá rompu. Nó Ciarraí gan chraobh na hÉireann a bhaint sa pheil? Bhuel, deir na hiníonacha liom nach bhfuil mo chuid millíní feola agus spaghetti le sárú. I mbeagán focal, thiocfadh liom níos mó a dhéanamh don Ghaeilge taobh istigh de 20 bomaite ná mar atá déanta ag an straitéis 20 bliain go dtí seo. Dónal T bheith sa Teach Bhán? Is ceacht é sin ag ealaíontóir ar bith – agus inspioráid ag an chéad ghlúin eile lena bpinn luaidhe. Is minic a chuirim cuidiú ar fáil do lucht na Gaeilge – mo pháistí féin. Níl aon duine ag snapchatáil ná ag facetimeáil ná ag whatsupáil. Mar sin de, lárionad trasphobal ilteangach a bheadh ann. Tig leis an fhoras nó leis an roinn seic a chur chugam am ar bith is mian leo. Peann luaidhe agus páipéar atá acu. Mura leor sin, tá seomra suí agam agus tá tinteán deas agam ann – …

Chris Thile: ‘Tony Furtado told me to listen to Planxty, and my mind was blown’

It doesn’t get a pass on that. “When the election results came in, I was thinking forward to this tour going ‘How am I going to hold my head up?’ I mean, of course we miss Obama, of course we do, but at this stage, we even miss George W Bush.” For Thile, music has taken on a new importance. We miss Obama, of course we do, but at this stage, we even miss George W Bush But the best way to experience Thile’s talent is in solo performance, when it’s just him, eight very short strings and a microphone. As a creator of things, you have to subject any political statement you feel like making to the same codes of quality that you subject every other idea you ever have to, and I think sometimes it’s easy to get fired up and you want to add your two cents to the political wishing well, and sometimes, all of a sudden, you bypass your own sense of what is truly good.” Influential rock’n’roll pioneer Chuck Berry dies at 90 Chuck Berry: Tributes paid to ‘rock’s greatest practitioner’ A selection of Chuck Berry’s greatest hits We’re just the worst to each other, in so many ways, but that desire, to make a lovely thing and to take it to someone else, to say ‘Here, I made this for you, check this out, do you like it?’ I think that’s such a beautiful thing, and that’s worth focusing on.” ADVERTISEMENT For all his liberal anger, Thile is clearly more interested in building bridges than throwing stones So can we expect a Trump protest song on the next Punch Brother’s album? Along the way he has sold cartloads of records, garnered breathless critical praise for his instrumental virtuosity, won the prestigious MacArthur Fellows grant, and collaborated with fellow virtuosos such as cellist Yo-Yo Ma and jazz pianist Brad Mehldau. “If you are to make some sort of statement, it can’t get past your ‘is this good art?’ filter. And as he prepares for this week’s National Concert Hall show, his mind is on the political turmoil he will be leaving behind. “I didn’t think music could get more important, but there’s an urgency to the endeavour right now, owing to the political climate, in America and around the world.” “The inclination to make beautiful things and share them with each other is one …