On Writing

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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Through the Ages: The Munster Banking Crisis – Published Limerick Life Newspaper, October 2017

The Napoleonic Wars of 1803 to 1815 saw almost all of Europe go to battle as General Bonaparte led his French Empire against an array of European coalitions.  The twelve-year conflict required enormous supplies, especially of food.  Then, as now, war brings profit as well as devastation. Ireland, commonly referred to as the ‘breadbasket of […]

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Review of Bunsen, Cork – Published Food & Wine Magazine, October 2017

Bunsen Cork 4 French Church Street, Cork City Tel: +353(21)2390660 www.bunsen.ie French Church Street is so-called because of a small contingent of Huguenots who made Cork City their home in the 18th century.  One wonders what they might have made of Bunsen Burger, the newest addition to their quarter. The menu has two dishes: hamburgers […]

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Through the Ages: The Origins of Policing in Limerick – Published Limerick Life Newspaper, October 2017

Members of London’s police dressed in early 19th century style Over the last number of weeks, we have traced the tumultuous history of Limerick at the turn of the 18th century. It was a time of great unrest, in which agrarian agitators and nationalist rebels posed a constant challenge to the authorities’ grip on law […]

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Through the Ages: Limerick and the Liberator – Published Limerick Life Newspaper, September 2017

Visitors to Limerick will note, almost immediately, that the beating heart of the city lies in O’Connell Street.  The centrepiece of Georgian Newtown Pery, it was first called George’s Street (probably after King George III) until 1898, when it was renamed during the centenary of the 1798 Rebellion.   The new name was given in […]

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Review of Wa Cafe, Galway – Published Food & Wine Magazine, September 2017

Wa Café 13 New Dock Street Galway +353(0)91895850 www.wacafe.net   We visited Wa Café early one Sunday and found it dark, shuttered and empty – the Marie-Celeste of Asian cuisine. Having strolled down to the docks, we returned five minutes later to a bustling restaurant, noisy with sizzling pans, enquiring customers and a ringing till. […]

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Through the Ages: The Families of Georgian Limerick – Published Limerick Life Newspaper, August 2017

In the last edition, we looked at 18th century Limerick, a period of prosperity in which the city rapidly expanded, both in terms of land and population. Affluent families began to move into urban areas, instead of hunkering down in secure country mansions. This brought a new vibrancy to Limerick, which was transformed from a […]

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Review of Miyazaki, Cork – Published Food & Wine Magazine, August 2017

Miyazaki 1a Evergreen Street Cork City Tel: +353(0)214312716 www.facebook.com/miyazakicork In the days before Uber and Hailo, we used to spend Saturday nights in the cramped, cosy confines of a taxi rank, tucking into curry chips and diet coke while awaiting a lift home. Despite the gravel-voiced dispatcher and the cracked plastic couch, it was a […]

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Review of Rachel’s, Cork – Published Food & Wine Magazine, July 2017

Rachel’s 28 Washington Street Cork Tel: +353(21)4274189 www.rachels.ie The Tiffany-blue building on Washington Street doesn’t scream ‘celebrity restaurant’, but in effect, that’s what it is: Rachel’s is a new venture for Rachel Allen, well-known TV chef, journalist and author. Inside, the design follows the usual formula (exposed ceiling, polished concrete, bare bulbs = modern restaurant) […]

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