On Writing

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Feb 22

Food as Storytelling: An Irish Literary Brunch #ULCWFest 2018

I’m thrilled to announce that I’ll be hosting a literary brunch as part of the UL/Frank McCourt Creative Writing Summer School University of Limerick (#ULCWFest). Previously held in New York City, this is the first year that the hugely popular summer school has located itself in the city of its fondly-remembered patron, Frank McCourt. This year it’s […]

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Jan 31

Restaurant Review: Clodagh’s Kitchen, Arnotts, Dublin

I’m not the most prolific shopper in our family.  That honour goes to my husband, who delights in the entire shopping ritual.  He loves the frisson of excitement when entering the store, the delight in finding some sartorial treasure, even the transformative promise of the changing room.  And so it was we found ourselves taking advantage […]

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Jan 28

Recipe: Homemade Basil Pesto

I’ve had enough of the short, dark days, and cold, wet weather. I’m heartily fed up of soups, stews and casseroles (and so is my waistline). I’m leaning so far into the upcoming spring that I’m in danger of time-travelling.  So I’ve decided to start cooking like winter is over already, and nothing imbues a […]

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Book Review: Slow at Work, by Aoife McElwain

There are few tag-lines more attractive to me than this one: ‘How to work less, achieve more and regain your balance in an always-on world’.   With her book ‘Slow at Work’, Aoife McElwain is writing for our generation, the one with plates so full we’re in danger of bringing the whole Greek wedding down. She […]

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Through the Ages: A Riotous Decade – Published Limerick Life Newspaper, December 2017

In previous instalments of the Through the Ages series, we have examined life in Limerick in the early decades of the 19th century. It i s clear from the most recent subjects – the merchant bodies, the construction of Newtown Pery, the first hospitals, the introduction of the police and the banking crash – that […]

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Through The Ages: Our First Modern Hospitals – Published Limerick Life Newspaper, November 2017

There were three major features to the early decades of the 1800s in Limerick: civil unrest, hunger and sickness. The latter is no surprise, given the difficulties faced by the inhabitants of the city. In many parts, they lived cheek-by-jowl, with poor nutrition and even worse sanitation. In the cramped confines of the old town […]

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Through the Ages: the Tithe War – Published Limerick Life Newspaper, November 2017

As we’ve charted the history of Limerick through the late 18th and early 19th century, one common theme has emerged: agrarian unrest. It was one of the many reasons for the 1798 Rebellion, gave rise to the Whiteboy and Ribbonmen movements, and indeed helped support Daniel O’Connell on his rapid political trajectory. It was also, […]

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Review of Salt, Galway – Published Food & Wine Magazine, November 2017

Salt Restaurant and Bar 163 Upper Salthill Galway +353(091)448441 www.saltgalway.com It’s a rare thing in Ireland to combine a Sunday with sunshine and a trip to the seaside. We somehow managed this remarkable feat on the day we visited Salt, the newly-opened seafood restaurant in Salthill, Galway. Despite the honeyed voice of the jazz singer […]

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Through the Ages: Limerick on the The Night of the Big Wind – Published Limerick Life Newspaper, October 2017

Limerick has been struck not once, but twice, by storms in the previous weeks.  Buildings have been damaged, homes flooded and across the country, three people have lost their lives.  Storm Ophelia was considered a once-in-a-lifetime meteorological event, the likes of which we’re unlikely to see again. It was not, however, the worst storm in […]

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Limerick Through the Ages: Agrarian Agitation in Munster – Published Limerick Life Newspaper, October 2017

The aftermath of the 1798 Rebellion saw a flame of agrarian agitation reignite in Cork, Tipperary and Limerick.  This time, however, the rules of the game had changed: lethal force was now an option. As mentioned in the previous edition, late 18th century Ireland was a difficult place for the tenant farmer or labourer, who generally […]

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