Hennessy New Irish Writing winner: June 2017

He kissed me when I was bleeding. I couldn’t move my arms. Protestants were missing a trick in my book. Despite that, he referred to women’s things; he said it the same way a plumber said female items, when the toilet got blocked some years later. I had an older friend who saved me with a packet of Fastidious, Immaculate, or Untouchable, whatever it was they were called. The blood that comes after birth, the volume that is okay (half a litre) and the volume that is not okay (one and a half litres, two, three). I fastened on the dreamlike movement of the water, staring into that darkening ebb. True – but in fairness my song was very good. I thought of him then, his tongue on me, the knee of one leg turned out, silenced by something so beautiful I didn’t have a word for it. I wasn’t sure if he spoke them in hope-or despair. Love, Love, Love. My dad’s spade-calling was a rural inheritance. Everything was beginning to fragment – not like glass, sharp and bright, but like things dropping away, a steady exhaustion of my brain, a slowing of my breathing. Was I conscious or unconscious? Yes, I said, biting him harder. He kissed me when I was bleeding. I could still hear him, the words dimming, like the falling cadence of a song. It made sense to me, the way linguistics and Lacan would later, the way labour would. The Hook and the Needle Poem of the week: Naming of the Bones Books of the month for children: A boy refugee and the experience of change With my body I thee worship, he whispered in my ear, afterwards. He’d grown up with animals, a routine of mating, milk, dying and meat. I looked at him, with all the solemnity the moment required, touching his face. I wanted to put my hands across my chest, to summon him there, a comfort. Let’s skin up. They were slim-line versions of the bricks my mother had – or used to, by the time I started, which was around the time she was angry and sad all the time. I was a day early and didn’t realise until I rolled over, saw the maps of blood, fresh and bright on my inner thighs, tasted the tannin on his tongue when he kissed my mouth. My mother used white …

When you’re in a hole, Ryan Tubridy, stop digging

Ireland by bike You know things are bad after that when Morning Ireland (RTÉ Radio 1, weekdays) provides light relief. With the centenary of his death in July, it’s an eloquent tribute to a writer whose work defies easy definition but still sings. Tubridy’s breezy style is made for carefree sunny days, but sometimes it’s better to keep mum. Add to this the impression that a phone-in host appears more exercised than the Minister responsible and you get radio that is compelling but despairing too. Hook to Coppinger: ‘You have no manners. Calmly lucid for much of the time, Catherine breaks down regularly as she talks about her brother’s death. Ryan Tubridy usually isn’t one to get flustered during embarrassing or awkward situations – he hosts The Late Late Show every week, after all – but on Tuesday’s Ryan Tubridy Show (RTÉ Radio 1, weekdays) he is left discombobulated by the mother of all slip-ups. On air, at least, McCormack is going in the right direction. His antennae twitching at mention of this contentious issue, Tubridy smooths over any potential partisanship by remarking that a referendum on the abortion issue “should settle it one way or another, regardless of the outcome”. Before Catherine has finished her account the host is speaking to another Waterford woman who survived a similar experience. Drawing on contemporary contributors as well as archive interviews with Ledwidge’s brother, the programme traces the poet’s short life, exploring how his verse drew on his rural background, as well as his political sympathies and, of course, his doomed service with the British army in Flanders. But as well as being a human tragedy, it’s an indictment of the health system. After greeting his audience in customarily cheery fashion, his tone abruptly changes. “It’s like life,” she says. MOMENT OF THE WEEK: SLANE’S WAR POET REMEMBERED Devotees of poetry may have bittersweet feelings about The Lyric Feature: When the War Is Over (Lyric FM, Friday), but Claire Cunningham’s documentary about Francis Ledwidge, the Co Meath poet killed in the first World War, tells a quietly captivating story. It’s particularly damning that it has taken an unnecessary death to bring the matter to a head. Sorry. Catherine is calling to highlight the fact that the medical facility that could have saved Powers’s life operates only during weekday office hours. Trea sings the praises of losing oneself in her on-site labyrinth. “This …

The Hook and the Needle

Her purple regulation beret’s stuffed in her blazer pocket and for years it’s been too tight: England tethered fast in sad allotments, dripping on toast for tea, her father hacking coal dust into hankies, never to work again, the wireless a sodden blanket over every single stifled evening since consciousness began. Slide out the vinyl, lower the stylus and she’s through – leaving a note that she hoped would say more – in the blink of an eye: metal worker, rock chick, Communist, vanished across to Belfast on the Liverpool ferry – just for a holiday, promise – blindingly short – skirted, ready to blow a hole as wide as a gunwale in my staggered father’s heart. Her friend is huge with news. My mother’s Irish children dangle off walls and fences and imagine each half of their bodies awash with differently-coloured blood. This new band – my brother shares their flat in Liverpool – their first single’s due out soon – he says it’s a sure- fire number one – they’re set to be massive – My mother snaps her throat shut, blows an ‘O’ as neat as a bracelet, flicks ash from her cigarette and listens. Hooks and needles: the lives we stitch, the lives we pull apart to sew from scratch once more among our opposites – my mother’s gypsy slipperiness still exists in me, who, over halfway through perhaps (one never knows), am hitching high my skirts and running, aiming for the needle, ditching almost everything I own, shutting my eyes, as she once did, to land where she began, in a confetti of sweet pea and snapdragon, the tea still warm in its cosy, the back door on the latch.   On the other side of the needle, my mother’s freezing her knitted socks off practising smoke rings at the back of the Craft Hut in Miss Violet Markham’s School for Girls in Chesterfield. Her mother falling asleep of an afternoon with her apron on in a suntrap at the end of the garden sinks out of sight, and not even riots or bombs or the postman shot dead in Kilwilkie for handling letters tarnished by stamps of the Queen can summon her up again.

Poem of the week: Naming of the Bones

We hurt, my Christ, we hurt. At the heart of it. Deane John F Deane’s recent books are the poetrry collection, “Semibreve” ( Carcanet ) and a memoir “Give Dust a Tongue” (Columba ) There is a season, the Big Book says, a time to die, a time to weep, and a time for peace; no one, it says, can understand what is happening under the sun; I saw the bare breast heaving, that once beautiful breast; I hurt for you, for your beloved once beautiful, body, each twist or twitch, each reach and wrench adds to the fire in your flesh and bones; I plead to creator lover God for you, to ease your pain, to mother you. And yet… You. Today, my Christ, June 14, twenty-seventeen, Grenfell Tower in London was engulfed in flames; inestimable furnace, suffering unbearable. Words, the Big Book says, can be wearisome, a chasing after wind. the world breaks. A child appears for a moment, at a window of the sixteenth floor, a moment only, frantic, waving: to a not-there-saviour; you? Hurting. London, June 2017 I looked up and saw you, your distorted body writhing again in agony. Why is our spittle hot with bitterness? I wince once more at the bitter-spittle angers of humankind: the blunted iron nails driven through your caring hands, your tender feet; so that impossible you hang from them, and stand on them; the muscles cramp and spasm, and your face, so beautiful once, is contorted with sweat and ugliness, with blood and sweat and tears. But the beautiful body breaks, and yields. The world Re-forms. Yearning and grief trouble us. John F.

Dear England: Here’s who the DUP are

They’re not remotely queer. The attachment to the United Kingdom is wrongly framed as an affection for England The analogy doesn’t really work. The DUP’s loyalty to (ahem) the Crown fails to inspire any great Anglophilia. This overlooks the obvious fact that the UK is a family of nations that – despite their differing sizes and influence – pretend to equality. Given the slightest encouragement – indeed the slightest discouragement – DUP members will stomp down your street hammering drums the size of landing craft. The news that, following the Tories’ failure to gain an overall majority, the DUP would be entering into an arrangement with the minority government has been met with the same bafflement that might greet the arrival of cargo cultists to Downing Street. The English don’t care. Lord help Dirk Britannia if he ever runs off the road near the DUP’s stony grey mansion. Tweets are sent. Unionists know they have the right – the RIGHT, I SAY! What more would you expect? Oh, the ingratitude of some people. Letters are written. Who else still refers to the British army as “Crown forces?”) They’re here. The people of Middlesborough call that thing down which cars drive “the road”. The average British person knows little and cares less about Northern Ireland Yet the unionist community has got little recognition from fellow patriots on the other side of the Irish Sea. No great love is lost between England and the awkward top right corner of Ireland. It springs from an ancient, misguided assumption. There are endless cultural foibles that – despite the narcissism of small differences – unite Northern Irish unionists and nationalists. The average British person knows little and cares less about Northern Ireland. What more would you expect from a nation that serves fry-ups without soda bread? It’s not as if they are a shy bunch. They get enormously and irrationally jealous when rumours emerge of his impending marriage (to Allesandra Europa, for example). Yet for all that loyalty, the “mainland” stubbornly recognises them not. Nothing gives a northerner greater pleasure than the fury generated when an English shop assistant refuses a Northern Irish banknote. One is a desire to see just about anybody beat England at rugby. “Who are the DUP and what do they stand for?” the Mirror expanded. Typical of them. – to progress down “the Queen’s highway”. A less temperate man than …

Arundhati Roy: ‘It’s a hatred that crosses the line’

“More people ended up reading that than ever read the book,” I was told, making it clear that I should consider myself in disgrace until further notice. “There’s nothing like it,” she says, placing a hand on her heart. As in, I write about issues that are really divisive. I’m nervous that Roy will approach our conversation in a guarded fashion but to my relief she’s gracious from the start, projecting a natural warmth that makes me feel as if I’m in the company of a long-time friend. I mention an incident that took place the night before when a writer took to Twitter to disparage Theresa May as a “whore” and JK Rowling bit back, saying she was “sick of ‘liberal’ men whose mask slips every time a woman displeases them, who reach immediately for crude and humiliating words associated with femaleness”. But this newspaper’s literary correspondent Eileen Battersby, a critic not known for half-formed thoughts or noncommittal opinions, compared reading it to “spending years knitting a giant sweater only to discover that it actually has three sleeves”. “In India,” she tells me, “if a woman says anything against the central national order, the first thing is rape her. It’s like navigating a city, taking people down byways and blind alleys. “I think often people put the cart before the horse. Last month, when the army took a Kashmiri man and tied him to a jeep and used him as a human shield, people were celebrating. Everybody is boasting about it. The whole atmosphere in the country suddenly altered, it became very nationalist, very Hindu-chauvinist, so the first thing I did was to write this essay called The End of Imagination, and after that I started writing more essays.” So, what brought her back to fiction? This is perhaps a crime against humanity to me.” It is Roy’s refusal to compromise her beliefs or play the role of cultural ambassador for India that has made her such a divisive figure in her home country. I’m thinking about this as I make my way into town to meet Arundhati Roy, the Booker Prize-winning author of The God of Small Things, whose second novel, The Ministry of Utmost Happiness, is one of the publishing events of 2017. The Ministry of Utmost Happiness is a response not only to India as it is today but also to a changing world. It’s a …

Emma Donoghue: ‘When I have an idea, I hurl myself at it’

She had come across Room in that very ordinary way, in an airport bookshop. Everyone who worked on the show wears a carnation.” “So it’s who to blame, basically?” Enthralling Inside the Theatre Royal Stratford East, the cramped dimensions of the London stage, and the perceived inescapability of the theatre, amplify the horror of being crammed into a tiny room. “It’s a tradition going back a very long time. “I should never say never. It reminds us of lots of other situations in which people are not free.” Donoghue is far more comfortable in theatre than among the madness of Hollywood. “I still really click with Irish people. “Emma Donoghue Room” is writ large in lights; Donoghue says it’s like bringing a picture home from school and seeing it stuck up on the fridge. He was just one of the gang and he wasn’t the lead one, because he was not that experienced in TV, but he enjoyed it. “You can get a film actor to do a performance in little pieces and then you edit it altogether. With The Leftovers, he’s one of the writers in the writers’ room of the adaptation of his book. I’ve messed them up forever.” But the story’s malleability means it resonates differently depending on where it is experienced. “I have plenty of lower energy days when I don’t achieve much, but when you get seized by an idea, I hurl myself at it because otherwise the idea gets away. Theatre is so much less about the glitz and much more, you’re all in a room together in your yoga pants working really hard at something.” She describes getting down on the floor, banging saucepans. Donoghue described him as “like everybody’s superhero or guardian angel figure”. Donoghue was to have a similar experience with Bissett. Not at all, Donoghue says, describing it as “a satisfying trilogy of experiences. ‘Film production’ Canada is very much home for Donoghue after 19 years there but she comes back to Ireland every summer. It’s not used in the way musicals typically do, to declare things.” She thinks the songs are the best part. When I got the idea for The Lotterys Plus One [her recent children’s book] at a dinner party, by the end of the night I pretty much had it plotted out in my head. “We needed to solve the problem of the child,” Donoghue says. …

Taking Travellers out of the picture

It was taken, as the caption explains, at “a reception in the Peacock Theatre, Dublin, last night to open the Itinerant Settlement Week.. The fact that it didn’t even occur to anyone to include the maker of the caravan surely speaks volumes about the assumptions and attitudes of half a century ago. Looking back through news photographs from bygone days, it’s easy to get the impression that nothing much changes in our corner of the world. On rare occasions they even change for the better. Happily, some things do. Why is there no Traveller in the picture? Arminta Wallace These and other Irish Times images can be purchased from: irishtimes.com/photosales. But the strongest impression given by this photograph has nothing to do with the presence of these three individuals. Rather, it’s an absence. A book, The Times We Lived In, with more than 100 photographs and commentary by Arminta Wallace, published by Irish Times Books, is available from irishtimes.com and from bookshops, priced at €19.99. The men in the photograph – named as, from left, “Mr Vincent Jones, organiser of the week’s activities, Dr Cecil Day-Lewis, Poet Laureate, and Mr Niall Tobin” – are examining a beautifully detailed model of a caravan which, the caption assures readers, was crafted by a Traveller. .” In defence of all concerned, let it be said that in the 1960s the integration of Travellers into the settled community was not only accepted practice in Irish political circles but was regarded by many as the noblest, if not necessarily kindest, of social aspirations. When Taoiseach Enda Kenny made a statement in the Dáil a couple of months ago, formally recognising Travellers as a distinct ethnic group, it was the culmination of a 30-year campaign by Traveller organisations, many representatives of whom were in the public gallery, and greeted Mr Kenny’s remarks with a standing ovation. To get some idea of what the activists have been up against we should rewind to the autumn of 1968, when this image was published on the front page of The Irish Times in the autumn of 1968. We should also note that the image is attempting to put a positive spin on the situation.

Peace or oppression? What our vision of the future says about us

What the show captures, with an uncanny timeliness, is the sense of a stunned public, cowed and outraged. For an obese fellow his is a rare complaint: he is in imminent danger of losing weight. Staged by the Everyman Theatre this week as part of Cork Midsummer Festival (it comes to Project Arts Centre, in Dublin, next week), Radley’s play is in some ways a parable about adaptability. Culture Shock: A daring reinvention of Shakespeare Culture Shock: Brendan Behan – playwright, novelist, terrorist Culture Shock: The trouble with memories A mesmerising corpulence has made him a prime attraction at a travelling freak show. The marketing is adjusted to suit prevailing prejudices: “Even the most wanton amongst us have the power to change within.” To watch this play at the same time as The Handmaid’s Tale, the current TV adaptation of Margaret Atwood’s dystopian novel, is to feel the shivers of suppression, brutal and subtle, and dark capitulations to hyperconservative ideas. Lynda Radley’s play Futureproof, finally making its Irish premiere six years after its Scottish debut, begins with a man anxiously watching his figure. “Don’t worry, you’re still fat,” he is assured by a bearded lady, a fellow performer in Robert Riley’s Odditorium. “But for how long?” The times, and public tastes, are changing, and as audiences for Riley’s Odditorium become leaner, so does the professional fat man. Atwood drew from real examples of the subjugation of women – too many to count – describing her novel not as sci-fi but as speculative fiction. How did nobody see this coming? But for the ironically named Tiny this could jeopardise his livelihood. The fat man slims down, the bearded lady shaves, the hermaphrodite is encouraged to pick a side, and the conjoined twins consider going their separate ways The fat man slims down, the bearded lady shaves, the hermaphrodite is encouraged to pick a side, and the conjoined twins consider going their separate ways. The TV series concentrates, more vividly than Atwood ever found necessary, on flashbacks of societal transition, of a familiar society first slipping, then plunging into tyranny. “Yes,” he replies. This, of course, becomes a kind of sly horror show, as one by one the team undergo an onstage conversion for the sake of fickle popularity. If the audience, chastened by Darwinian theory and religious strictures, will no longer stump up for rarity, the ringleader diversifies the acts in …

Irish Landmark Trust celebrates 25 years saving buildings

On Saturday, the trust celebrates its 25th anniversary in the Long Gallery of Castletown House, a sumptuous Palladian house built in the 18th century for the speaker of the House of Commons, William Conolly. The anniversary is but a blink of an eye in the lifespan of most of the buildings which have been saved, restored and managed, but it is a significant milestone, nevertheless, says the trust’s director Mary O’Brien. “Not only did we have to convince the government, we had to convince the owners,” she says. Win everyone over It sounds simple, but O’Brien says it took a while to win everyone over. “Buildings always adapt over the years.” Now, Landmark is old enough to have to consider the challenge of renovating its own renovations. “The Irish Georgian Society was championing the bigger houses, but there was a gap for smaller buildings. The Landmark Trust has rescued lighthouses, schoolhouses, thatched cottages, even a castle or two from destruction since it was founded a quarter of a century ago. All you need for your al fresco dining this summer Quiet generosity Like so many other bodies, Landmark benefited from the quiet generosity of US billionaire Chuck Feeney’s Atlantic Philanthropies. “We had to convince Fáilte Ireland that it’s okay not to have a television,” she went on, though the renovated properties are fitted out to a high quality with modern kitchens, bathrooms and comfortable sleeping-quarters. But each retains its integrity. The business model of the non-profit trust is simple: it takes over endangered properties from owners, usually on a lifetime lease, restores them and then rents them out as self-catering holiday rentals. Instead, its brief has been to rescue, restore and bring back to life buildings that are romantic, eclectic and, in some cases, downright odd. Design Moments: Toile de Jouy, c 1760 Which décor tribe do you belong to? The imposing Kildare mansion is not the sort of landmark the trust was set up to protect. O’Brien believes there are a range of institutional buildings which are now under pressure and ripe for renovation. We had to convince Fáilte Ireland that it’s okay not to have a television The oldest property currently on its books is Clomantagh Castle, a medieval tower house in Freshford, Co Kilkenny dating from the early 1400s. “Without that money it wouldn’t have been possible,” she says. “It was very much modelled on the principles …

In a Word . . . John

And how he only got his speech back when, after the boy was born, he wrote down that he should be called John. I raised my hand and answered correctly. Our teacher was Mrs Molly Forde, a good woman of deep faith who taught us religion diligently. I might as well have walked on water where Mrs Forde was concerned. My moment had come. Less so now, somewhat. Thereafter I could do little wrong in that school, and all because of an old man who was silenced because he doubted. Then the diocesan examiner – a priest – arrived and questioned us children about the gospels, with a nervous Mrs Forde standing at the classroom window. One question he asked was “who was the father of St John the Baptist?”, to be met with a silence as mute as… St John the Baptist played a huge role in my young life, rendering me something of a hero in the most unexpected and unpredictable of circumstances. Today is the feast of St John the Baptist. And I note this here with many apologies to my betters above me on this page as I, if ever so slightly, encroach on their territory. This was in the days before our family travelled through time zones, entire universes and numerous dimensions to the metropolis of Ballaghaderreen. Zachary. John, traditionally, is believed to have been six months older than Jesus which is why his feast day is on June 24th. Her telling of how the old man Zachary was struck dumb when he doubted the angel who told him his wife Elizabeth, and cousin of Mary mother of Jesus, would have a son, made a strong impact on me. Of course June 23rd, St John’s Eve, was an occasion for major bonfires all over our part of the world in those days too. From Middle English John, Johan, Jon; Latin Johannes; Greek Ionnes; Hebrew Yohanan; meaning “God has been gracious.” inaword@irishtimes.com well… That he was a cousin of Jesus stuck in my young mind for some reason, as we were taught our catechism at the then one-teacher Mullen school in the countryside of north-west Roscommon, near Frenchpark. I’ve always remembered too the card the priest gave us that day. It depicted Salvador Dali’s very striking image of Christ of St John of the Cross (a different John!).

Johnny Depp sorry for ‘bad joke’ about Trump assassination

Thousands of revellers stood silent, with some waving flags — including those bearing images of the worker bee, a symbol of Manchester, and “We Love MCR”. I was only trying to amuse, not to harm anyone.” He made a second appearance at the festival on Friday when he joined Kris Kristofferson for a live performance on the main Pyramid Stage. “It did not come out as intended, and I intended no malice. “I think he needs help and there are a lot of wonderful dark, dark places he could go,” Depp said, to cheers from the crowd. The co-founder of Joy Division and New Order stood on the Pyramid Stage in front of thousands of people at 10.40am. Earlier on Friday music legend Peter Hook led a minute’s silence on stage to remember those who lost their lives in the Manchester and London attacks, and Grenfell Tower fire. “However, it has been a while and maybe it is time.” In a statement issued to People magazine, Depp said: “I apologise for the bad joke I attempted last night in poor taste about President Trump. “When was the last time an actor assassinated a president? The actor picked up a guitar as he unexpectedly strode onto the stage and played along to the US folk star’s hit Sunday Morning. It marked an extra special moment for Kristofferson, who turned 81 on Thursday. It will be horrible. Hook’s daughter was at the Ariana Grande gig on May 22nd and was taken to hospital, where she spent time on crutches after being trampled. He introduced his 2004 film The Libertine along with film director Julien Temple but began talking about religion and President Trump following questions from the 1,500-strong audience. “It’s just a question — I’m not insinuating anything. The Hollywood actor received a rock star welcome during the event on Thursday night at Cineramageddon — a drive-in cinema situated on the Somerset site. Johnny Depp has apologised for joking about assassinating US President Donald Trump during an appearance at Glastonbury Festival. I lie for a living. “I like that you are all a part of it. Later Elbow played an unannounced gig at The Park Stage — delighting thousands of fans with hits including The Bones of You. PA “By the way, this is going to be in the press. “I want to qualify, I am not an actor.

Body & Soul begins with tiny knights and a first stage invasion

This year the woods are filled with long fabric chandeliers, delicately lit and shimmering in the light breeze. Body & Soul 2017: Driving directions and last-minute information Body and Soul stage times Body & Soul: Six acts not to miss Last year’s deluge After last year’s deluge the festival’s organisers have put plenty of work into shoring up the roads and paths that wind through the Ballinlough woods. Blindboy Boat Club of the Rubberbandits leads a panel (including this writer) on fake news, with an audience willing to go toe-to-toe with those on stage. Last year’s festival coincided with biblical rain, but the weather this year is more forgiving. Perhaps the most impressive and unusual installation is a funicular folly designed by architect Rae Moore. Temperatures are forecast at 16 to 21 degrees over the weekend, with occasional showers, but no sign yet of heavy rain. The recent fine weather means the ground is solid under foot, with no sign of the mud that can sap a crowd’s energy. DJ Kelly-Anne Byrne opens up the Midnight Circus, pumping out disco tunes and dry ice. Expect it to be the loudest gig of the weekend. Everyone seems more than happy to catch a breather, after the necessary 40-minute slog through security and bag checks, with gangs of people testing the 24-can drink limit. Not that anyone seems to mind: it might have grown in size substantially in recent years – the capacity is now at 15,000 – but this music and arts festival is one of the most relaxed on the hectic summer schedule. There’s plenty of arguments and sharp criticisms, and the first stage invasion of the weekend. The tent takes its inspiration from the US’s Library of Congress, with discussions programmed all weekend on topics from the benefits of psychoactive drugs to bibliotherapy. Body & Soul gets off to a slower start than usual on Friday, the first of three days of the festival. People sit on the grass with sunglasses in place, even though the sun largely refuses to come out. DJs Twitch and Jonnie Wilkes will be bringing their Glaswegian club Optima to the Midnight Circus. But the pick of the day for entertainment value might just be the kids’ edition of Sing Along Social at 2pm, when hordes of tiny knights will be singing their hearts out to their favourite tunes. Cracking programme That’s followed by …

Is that Sir Bob Geldof, Dr Bob Geldof or Dr Sir Bob Geldof?

Australian medical researcher, Professor Terence Dwyer, was made a doctor in science for his work on Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. She is the founder and director of An Taisce’s Environmental Education Unit. How many fellow travelers you’ve acquired along the way, how many battles you’ve won against all odds, how many lives you’ve saved.” Trinity also awarded honorary doctorates to four other leaders in their field. “It’s a long journey from scamming lunch in [in Trinity’s restaurant ]the Buttery when I was on the dole to doing the Trinity Ball with the band to now getting this.” The nomination process for conferring honorary degrees, states that individuals must show an “outstanding contribution to scholarship, society, culture and/or civil society”. The often outspoken singer joked to reporters that he could now represent himself in court whenever he is sued. Rock star and activist Bob Geldof was awarded an honorary doctorate by Trinity College today. Professor James P Smith, one of the first scientists to discover strong associations between childhood mental health and adult economic outcomes, was also awarded a Doctorate in Science. The award was made by the chancellor of the university, former president Mary Robinson. Garret FitzGerald nominated Bob Geldof for Nobel Peace Prize From the archive: Major and minor stars showing their concern ‘The overwhelming feeling I have is one of sadness for the country’ The doctorate is to honour the Boomtown Rats lead singer for his charity work with the supergroup Band Aid which Mr Geldof set up with Midge Ure to raise money for famine relief in Ethiopia. Environmentalist Patricia Oliver, who worked as a volunteer with An Taisce and other environmental initiatives for over 40 years, was also conferred with a Doctorate in Laws. Historian Prof Marianne Elliott received a Doctorate in Letters for her work establishing the Institute of Irish Studies at the University of Liverpool. Mr Geldof received the Doctor in Laws distinction today in a formal presentation at the college. “So here you are, Robert Frederick ‘Bob’ Geldof, KBE, man of peace and Irish rebel at heart, still on your long journey to justice. From now on, I can just do my own stuff,” he said. Irish rebel At the ceremony, Prof Anna Chahoud said in her oration Geldof was an “Irish rebel at heart”. “It saves on legal bills. It will also recognize his work in organising the Live Aid concert in …

Electric Picnic: Elbow one of 20 acts just added to line-up

The festival, which will take place from Friday, September 1st to Sunday, September 3rd, sold out within five minutes of going on sale in March. Elbow released their latest album, Little Fictions, in February of this year. Among the other main acts on the bill are Interpol, Run the Jewels, London Grammar, Madness and Father John Misty. Birdy, Phoenix, Hannah Wants, Rejjie Snow, Declan McKenna, Lyra and Little Hours are among the other acts added on Friday. UK band Elbow have just been added to the Electric Picnic line-up for this year’s sold-out Co Laois festival. Annie Mac and The Divine Comedy are among the Irish acts on the lineup. The event’s capacity is 55,000. The xx, Duran Duran, Chaka Khan and A Tribe Called Quest are among the main headliners at this year’s Stradbally festival.

Phil Collins at the Aviva: Everything you need to know

The 4,7 and 8 buses from O’Connell Bridge are on the Ballsbridge route and are a five-minute walk to the stadium. Are tickets still available? Who has not shoulder-shimmed onto the dancefloor to Sussudio? What’s he likely to play? Standing tickets are sold out but there are a limited number of seating tickets available for the Aviva gig at an eye-watering €144 (Phil has to keep himself in comfortable slacks somehow eh?) What time does it kick off at? Yet again, it’s better to arrive in nice time to avoid the security queues no-one wants the remorse of missing Mike & the Mechanics doing AOR anthem Over My Shoulder because they just had to stuff some useless items in a stupid bag. Gates open at 5.30pm. Phil has been the background noise to our lives whether you like it or not he’s subliminally circumnavigated your soul, he was there on your Dad’s car radio, your Auntie’s wedding, that one summer when it was nice out all the time and Sunkist was first available in shops. How do I get there? Or drunkenly serenaded a paramour to Groovy Kind of Love? You cannot deny it, so you’re better off bowing down to the crusty curmudgeon, the perennial Dad rattling his car keys outside the disco. Against All Odds Another Day in Paradise One More Night Wake Up Call Follow You Follow Me Can’t Turn Back the Years I Missed Again Hang in Long Enough Separate Lives Only You Know and I Know I Don’t Care Anymore Something Happened on the Way to Heaven You Know What I Mean In the Air Tonight You Can’t Hurry Love Dance into the Light Invisible Touch Easy Lover Sussudio Sir Philip of Collins is back on the road having recovered from his fall in a London hotel room he’s back to full health on his hilariously titled (and hopefully not karmic) Not Dead Yet tour. As it is outdoors it’s best to layer yourself up and remain hopeful in removing those layers as the night progresses (oo-er!) Security As with all gigs at this time, security will be strict and MCD are advising not to bring backpacks or large bags at all as you may be refused entry, only A4 size bags and purses will be permitted. Excitingly, this is a greatest hits tour so expect to a colossal thrill-ride from Philly’s back catalogue with …

Has Banksy’s true identity just been revealed?

In 2016 investigative journalist Craig Williams claimed the artist could be Del Naja after Banksy art appeared in cities around the same time Massive Attack had a concert there. Robert Del Naja has not confirmed the rumours and previously denied the report by Williams as “wishful thinking”. I think he has flipped the world of art over.” Fans on social media are now speculating that Goldie was referring to Robert Del Naja, from the band Massive Attack. “No disrespect to Robert, I think he is a brilliant artist. Just on the phone with #3d rolling around fucking pissing our pants 🤣😂🤣❤— GOLDIE (@MRGOLDIE) June 23, 2017 There is speculation that UK DJ Goldie may have revealed the true identity of street artist Banksy during an interview on Tuesday. We can sell it now,” he said. Speaking about Banksy on the Scroobius Pip’s podcast Distraction Pieces, Goldie said: “Give me a bubble letter and put it on a t-shirt and write ‘Banksy’ on it and we’re sorted.

Colin Trevorrow: ‘Be proud of everything you paint, even if Mom doesn’t put it on the fridge’

Rumours of partying, erratic behaviour and studio interference dogged the production. They watch how you manage people and how you handle the release, and your ability to weather it all.” Trevorrow with Chris Pratt on the set of Jurassic World And what of the ‘Genius of the System’ as film historian Thomas Schatz calls it? “But there are no Cinderella stories. Of course, says Trevorrow: “I know a lot of directors of my own generation – Ava DuVernay and Ryan Coogler – who have come out of Sundance and gone on to direct bigger films. “If you’re going to make art you are opening yourself up to intense criticism,” he tells me. Before I sold my first screenplay there was ten years of crushing, mind-numbing rejection. So they were aware of me for a while. Of course I’m honoured to be able to do that. Gilroy, who wrote several Bourne films and the Oscar-nominated Michael Clayton, was initially paid $200,000 a week to whip the film into shape. So when you look toward an indie director, what you really need to know is if can they order off a Chinese menu for 500 people every day and know all of their allergies for three years.” An idiosyncratic fable Trevorrow had his pick of projects between Jurassic World and Star Wars IX, which begins shooting next January for a May 2019 release. That spec script – written when I was 30 – was bought by Dreamworks. It’s a tough job. And I feel like all of us have been given tremendous amounts of creative freedom. And a series of meetings. Edwards is another ‘one and done’ beneficiary. And I guess I’m discovering that on this movie more than ever. “In order to get any of these jobs people come observe you in pre-production and in post-production for two years. Last May, when Disney executives reputedly balked upon seeing Edwards’ first cut of Rogue One – his third feature film – the studio drafted in Tony Gilroy to rewrite and oversee reshoots for the standalone Star Wars film. His final paycheque – which fell somewhere north of $5 million as the reshoots and rewrites multiplied – prompted many commentators to wonder if the directors chosen to direct tent-poles actually get to direct? Photograph: Gregg DeGuire/WireImage Meanwhile, that same summer, Colin Trevorrow demonstrated the brilliance of the ‘one and done’ system with a …

The appeal of Phil Collins? It’s his friendly, happy face

* Patrick Bateman is actually the Phil Collins-loving antihero of Bret Easton Ellis’s American Psycho Phill Collins, New York, 1976 Not me. Phil Collins fandom never took off in the way say, being a Curehead or a metalhead did. Deal with it. “No!” they scream. I knew all along. I like to think that from his secluded eyrie Phil watched his renaissance with his little button eyes (lowercase ‘o’s) widening and that a smile (a sideways bracket symbol like this one:) broke out upon his perfectly circular face. At the time it was believed that this was because his wife had left him for a decorator. Now, I’m with the aforementioned cultural commentator Patrick Bateman* when he says he found early Genesis a little too complex and intellectual, fronted as it was by that overrated proggy weirdster Peter Gabriel (Phil was but a humble drummer in the early days). One minute you think you’ve got it sussed with your mockery of whatever musicians your generation has chosen to hate, then along come younger people, who’ve never fought in a war or wrangled with dial-up internet, and they make you look like a big eejit. He basically looks like an old baby. Phil Collins has been repurposed. He lamented the misery of the homeless in Another Day in Paradise, a message that was undermined slightly by his Tory-voting aversion to paying tax… .  He’s so appealing in an elderly-infant/friendly-uncle kind of way that the video for You Can’t Hurry Love features three versions of that amorous slow-coach, distinguished only by differing attitudes to sunglasses and ties. They can’t let it go. Phil’s not telling!). Eric Clapton, Chris De Burgh, Dire Straits – these were my jams. Drummer Phil Collins, guitarist Mike Rutherford, keyboard and guitarist Tony Banks, singer Peter Gabriel, and drummer Steve Hackett of Genesis, 1972. In particular I loved the smooth tones of Phil Collins and Genesis, best appreciated on the new digital format of the compact disc rather than the third-generation blank tapes I could afford, and best enjoyed in a sophisticated cocktail bar rather than on the side of the street outside Chicken America in Newbridge, which I could also afford. He is hip now and so am I. Phil may have a gift for melody but saying words convincingly eluded him. He also “acted” in the film Buster as the eponymous great train robber and for …

Famine bonds: Choctaw and Irish poets combine

Glaoim orthu arís le buíochas a ghabháil leo And so, I press an ear to the keyhole. President Mrs Mary Robinson is made an honorary Chief of the Choctaw Indian nation of Oklahoma by Randal Dorant (right) speaker of the Choctaw tribal council at Aras an Uachtaráin in 1992. Those hardships, and all that the Nation had lost, make the decision to donate money to Ireland remarkable. “We must honour that spirit of empathy today, and remember that Chief Batton’s decision to visit Ireland, President Higgins’ wonderful welcome for the delegation and Alex Pentek’s inspiring sculpture Kindred Spirits are parts of a long history of international collectivism and connectivity between the Choctaw Nation and our own. From the land, a voice lifts. I wait. As Doireann reminds us, the poetry is trilingual, allowing English to form a bridge between our native languages. An gcloiseann tú é? I press lips to it. That’s when I saw the posts by the amazing Irish poet Doireann Ní Ghríofa. We lost one quarter of our population from starvation on that long walk to Indian Territory. Can you hear it? As long as you speak of us, you will not forget. As a Choctaw, it was my mother, the late Christine Billy (Poynor) who told me about our tribe’s 1847 gift to the Irish during the potato famine. An tAmhrán Ocrach Ní thig linn an seansaol a fheiceáil ach trí pholl eochrach, radharc cúng orthu siúd a ghlaonn go ciúin ón dtaobh eile den doras. I call again; in gratitude, I call to them. I wanted to know more about our tribal history and about our mound building culture. I quieten. Then, Ansin, ón dtost, cloisim guth. Tost. The past can be seen only through a keyhole we peer through, to find this narrow, shadowed view of those who wait there, a murmuring heard from the other side of the door. Right here my body was a cycle of giving until Torn from our homelands by the Naholla, and Andrew Jackson, the duteous seamster Intent on opening all veins. To order a copy of Singing, Still, Libretto for the 1847 Choctaw Gift to the Irish for Famine Relief, visit ileannehowe.com and click publications. “This pamphlet allowed me a way to articulate both gratitude and shame. When I began to investigate the circumstances surrounding this truly amazing act of generosity, I realised that the real story …