From the Papers

  • The Oireachtas Golf Society

Late August saw a brouhaha about a group of well-fed leaders of the country who broke all kinds of rules about meeting together while everyone else was supposed to stay at home. The thing that bites is the actual society itself. These are the descendants of Dev and Collins, of Cathal Brugha and Sean Treacy, Maud Gonne and the Countess, people who in their day took their positions as leaders in politics seriously; what would they think of their modern equivalents disporting themselves on expensive golf courses and even more expensive nineteenth-hole dinners? Was it for this …

Perhaps it will make the country look more kindly on Mary Lou and her party.


  • Eugene McCabe

Eugene McCabe died on August 27th, aged 90. A noted playwright, he wrote about his native Monaghan and their struggles through the sectarian times. His plays were produced by RTE and BBC, as well as by the Abbey Theatre. He is best remembered for the play King of the Castle and his novel Death and Nightingales. Easily confused with his fellow-Monaghan writer Patrick McCabe, his work was best summed up by Colm Toibin, who said that ‘he only produces masterpieces.’ Ar dheis Dé.


  • University Rankings

There are many of these and you can take your pick. But all seem to agree that the leading Irish university is Trinity College Dublin. One ranking has it at 155, another at 108.

Among Australian universities, the top spot varies between ANU and Melbourne, followed by Sydney.

Top of the pile is either Oxford or the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). One ranking says about MIT that if the fortunes made by its graduates were all combined, it would make the top ten economies in the world. That little noise you can hear in the background is John Henry Newman turning in his grave.


Ross O’Carroll-Kelly

One of the delights of gathering these little snippets each month is the excuse to keep up with the writings of Ross O’Carroll-Kelly in The Irish Times. The creation of Paul Howard, Ross is the ultimate rugby jock, product of Blackrock College, with little idea of how the other half lives. His wife Sorcha is Life President of the Mount Anville Peace and Justice Commission – one of their recent campaigns was raising funds for the Foxrock Children Without Skis Foundation. At the moment Ross and Sorcha are embarrassed when his father and her mother start a torrid affair.

Howard has written some ten books on his hero, all big sellers in Ireland, and each crazier than the other. He is doing for The Irish Times what Myles na Gopaleen did back in the day. In these grim times, if you can find him on the ‘net, read him.