Ruairi O'Neill

1916: Ireland's Revolutionary Tradition

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Kieran Allen’s new book is an essential and unparalleled joy to read. I grew up in Derry during the troubles, witnessed the signing of the Good Friday agreement, and watched the rise and fall of the Celtic tiger; I have now witnessed the movement against the water charges and felt the joy of the Yes vote for gay marriage. At times you can almost feel the hand of history on your shoulder… and to think that all these events have been shaped by the 1916 Easter rising.

Good Vibrations

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Good Vibrations is the story of Belfast's "Godfather of punk" Terri Hooley. On the most bombed street in Western Europe, Hooley set up an "alternative Ulster" in his record shop Good Vibrations. This is a special little film and a gem of a pop movie. With the right blend of fact and fiction, it captures the tangible air of the period to perfection while also capturing your heart and soul.

Juno and the Paycock

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National Theatre until 26 February 2012

What makes Juno and the Paycock a masterpiece is that even today it teaches us important lessons about Irish society that should have been learnt nearly a century ago. This tragi-comedy is the second play of Sean O'Casey's Dublin trilogy and was first performed in 1924. It's a grim tale of the Boyle family who live in a tenement in Dublin during the Irish Civil War that began in 1922.

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