From the Papers

Niall Toibín

The síne fada was not always used, but people had no trouble pronouncing his name. The Cork actor and comedian died on November 13 after a long illness. He was well images.jpgknown for his roles in films and television programs like Ballykissangel, but will be best remembered for his work as a standup comedian. He was particularly popular for his stories told in different County accents. He invented the ‘cute Cork hoor’ and ‘the mane Cavan bastard.’ Readers may also remember the punch line of his Kerry story: ‘Did I have a spoon, did I?’ or his talk of the Dublin man in his ‘dun-ga-reans’. Those with religious leanings will understand if we say that he will have St Peter practising the different Irish accents.

Niall Toibín was 89.

Modern Romance – Check the Numbers

Sometimes, you don’t need to read the story, because the heading tells you everything. Here is an example from early November in the Indo under the byline of Caitlin McBride: Keanu Reeves’ choice of an age appropriate partner is proof he’s worthy of our enduring affection. It is difficult to know where to start with something like this.

But just as you are thinking about it, you come across another heading from some weeks later, Life as a royal or an American celebrity – it’s time for Harry to make the call. Bad enough to be the subject of Murdoch media stories, but when the Irish start telling you what to do, it’s a hard life.

Orwell Prize 2019 Winners

Prizewinners for 2019 were announced in London in June. The Prize is named after George Orwell and seeks to honour his ambition ‘to make political writing into an art.’ This year, for the first time, it included a category for political fiction, with the winner announced as Milkman by Anna Burns. In the category for a non-fiction book on politics, the winner was Say Nothing by Patrick Radden Keefe, reviewed in this month’s edition of Tintean. Our review of Milkman was in our December 2018 edition.

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Sagart Aroon

Fr Des Wilson, who died in early November, was aged 94. Widely praised for his work as a mediator between the two sides of the IRA in 1977 and the two sides of the wider Ulster conflict at all times, he was widely respected. In his 2017 autobiography Before the Dawn, Gerry Adams has high praise for him.

Father Des, a radical community priest, and Father Reid, a Redemptorist priest based at Clonard, were both dissatisfied with the absence of any real strategy of the wider political establishments   …  They played leading roles in various efforts to end the conflict.

Elsewhere in this edition we carry a tribute to Fr Wilson from one who knew him.

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Tributes to Fr Wilson on his 90th birthday are at