On Bob Dylan’s 75th birthday, Donal O’Keeffe recalls a meeting with a man Dylan worshipped as a hero. Liam Clancy was growling at me. Beneath the cap, there was a decided twinkle in his eyes, but the growl was formidable and...
by Donal O’Keeffe “You stitch-up scumbag!” roared the acquitted man at the prosecuting Garda. “You stitch-up bastard! I’ll get you again, you stitch-up c***”!” At the back of the courtroom in the Central Criminal Court, a 31 year old woman broke...
The Eighth Amendment was never really about abortion. That might seem a strange thing to say in the only country in the democratic world to have a constitutional ban on abortion, but the fact that 23,000 pregnant Irish women...
This world can be a cruel and lonesome place sometimes, writes Donal O’Keeffe. Maybe there are worse things we might try than kindness now and then. I’ve been thinking a bit about Bob Dylan’s granny lately. Florence Sara Stone (nee Edelstein)...
“Emily Helena (indecipherable) Daughter. But O for the touch of a vanish’d hand.” Another small gravestone still reads “Sacred to the memory of Jane, daughter of Edwd. and Maria Jennings, 39th Regt, who died Jan 31st 1869 aged 2.”, writes...
“I won’t survive another winter on the streets,” Kathleen O’Sullivan told me, as she lay in the doorway in which she would die a month later. It was a cold Friday night in early November, and I was out on...
Donal O’Keeffe travelled to Longford to meet Aaram and Meryam, a Muslim couple subjected recently to anti-immigrant abuse, who are delighted that so many people have visited their shop to tell them they are welcome in Ireland. I drove up...
I kept wondering last week if I was the only person in Ireland who had seen Stephen Frears’ 2013 Oscar-nominated comedy-drama  'Philomena', writes Donal O’Keeffe. Last week, the child and family agency Tusla revealed that - between 1946 and 1969...
The Wrens of the Curragh are only the best-known example of outcast women on the outskirts of Irish garrison towns, writes Donal O’Keeffe. For over half a century, the Wrens of the Curragh were a community of outcast women living...
Fool that I am, I got into an argument with some Nazis recently. It was in the wake of a cancelled right-wing rally in Cork, and maybe 30 or 40 people were gathered outside the venue which had refused to...

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