Eoin Butler: writer, journalist and Mayoman of the Year

Tripping Along The Ledge


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Published: Irish Independent, 4 May 2013

Why did I wear this blooming thing?

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Of all titles in the Bob Dylan songbook, his Ballad of a Thin Man might seem a rather (ahem) odd choice to have stuck in my head right now.

It’s Friday evening. It’s past 5pm. And the capital’s office drones are spilled out on to the city streets, sipping drinks and soaking up the sun. For reasons unclear, this rotund reporter is walking among them: a bald Adonis, decked out in a floral shirt and shorts (from the Mantaray range at Debenhams). This look, I’m told, is set to be the hottest summer fashion craze for men.

Yet the refrain playing on a loop in my head is not a soothing one.

“Something is happening here,” it says. “And you don’t know what it is. Do you, Mr Butler?” Read the rest of this entry »

Published: Irish Independent, March 2 2013

When does a girl become a woman?

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When does a girl become a woman? That may depend upon your cultural or religious persuasion. You’ll get different responses still if you ask a lawyer, an anthropologist, a biologist or Neil Diamond. (“Soon”, I believe, was his line.)

As a male not wishing to offend, I know I’m on dangerous ground here. In 1990s blockbuster movie terms, this isn’t Tom Hanks going behind enemy lines in Saving Private Ryan. This is Bruce Willis crash landing on that meteor in Armageddon. I’m on a suicide mission and I know it. Read the rest of this entry »

Published: Irish Independent, 9 February 2013

5 surefire ways to score a last minute Valentine’s date

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So you find yourself alone on Valentine’s Day? It would do us both a disservice for me to mince words here. You’re a screw-up. You’re an abject failure. You are a disgrace to your family, an embarrassment to your friends and a bigger catastrophe for this country than the famine, bank guarantee and Euro 2012 combined.

That’s the conventional wisdom. And as I sit here luxuriating in the one-bedroom glorified garden shed I purchased for €575,000 in 2007, I know that the conventional wisdom is never, ever wrong. But wait, all is not lost. There are still have five days, and five hairbrained schemes, left with which to redeem ourselves. So put on your glad rags, folks, we’re taking the heifer to the mart! Read the rest of this entry »

Published: Irish Independent, January 12 2013

12 Secrets Every Woman Should Know About Men

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Okay, I have a confession to make. I only agreed to write the 12 Secrets Every Woman Should Know About Men because I needed the work. In this economy, I would mow your lawn if there was money involved.

But I’ll be honest. I’m not sure men have twelve secrets. I’m not even sure we have one. Also, there are about 3.5 billion men. But I only know about a couple dozen of them very well. So it’s hard to make generalisations. Read the rest of this entry »

Published: The Irish Times, 12 January 2013

Thank you for the music, Freddie


For rock stars of a certain age, death was once considered a good career move. Not any more. With record sales plummeting, and concert tours by so-called “heritage acts” frequently raking in hundreds of millions of dollars at a time, life has never been more lucrative for the rock n’ roll OAP.

Freddie Mercury would be 66 if he were alive today. Quite how many stadiums Queen would have packed out in the past couple of decades, had the band’s outrageously talented frontman not died in 1991, is a matter for conjecture. Read the rest of this entry »

Published: Irish Independent, January 5 2013

The Bald Truth

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For every crappy thing that can happen to you in life, there is a bogus consolation prize. If you’re old, they say you’re wise. If you’re blind, you must have enhanced hearing. And if your team crashes out of Euro 2012, placed dead last in the entire competition, they call you the best fans in the world.

Well, I’m not buying it.

I’m bald. They say bald men are more virile than other men. I doubt it. I say we’re more bald than other men. I mean, we might be more virile. It’s possible. But who knows? Who’s done the research? To ensure an unbiased population sample, she’d have to have slept with, like, a hundred bald men, and a hundred men with hair. Read the rest of this entry »

Published: Irish Independent, 30 December 2012

Eoin Butler needs help

Tom Cruise Magnolia
What is the secret to living a successful, fulfilling life? Well, it depends who you ask. Ask someone who lives a successful, fulfilling live and they tend to toss around boring terms like talent, hard work, good fortune and perseverance. (Yawn!)

Ask someone who earns their living as a self-proclaimed expert on the subject, however, and you’ll get an altogether different, more marketable answer. The answer varies from self-proclaimed expert to self-proclaimed expert. Read the rest of this entry »

Published: Its All Horse Trading, The Global Mail, October 2012

‘Once upon a time in the West…’

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One positive legacy of Ireland’s recent, ill-fated economic boom is a dramatically expanded motorway network. Spilling out from Dublin, to a half dozen towns and cities on the southern and western seaboard, these pristine highways have slashed journey times to and from the capital, effectively shrinking the island.

Take a detour cross-country, though, and the pace of life remains less than hectic. It’s 10am in the sleepy Co. Galway village of Dunmore and I’ve run into a brick wall. Or to be precise, a horse’s arse. A horse trailer, towed by an elderly farmer, has reduced southbound traffic on the R328 to a leisurely 45kph.

In another setting, one might honk the horn and demand that the driver give way. But this is the west of Ireland, where just about anyone might be a cousin, long lost uncle or grandmother’s yoga instructor. So it pays not to be too demonstrative. Read the rest of this article.

Published: Irish Times, 26 September 2012

Back-breaking days on the bog

Aughadeffin
At 8.40am, I hear the cattle grid rattle. Michael Gallagher’s van is outside. He said he’d collect me at a quarter to nine. But I’ve known him long enough to know he’d be early. “Have you wellies?” he shouts, when I appear at the door. I don’t.

It’s been a miserable year in Mayo. Michael’s turf was cut in early May. He footed it – that is, he stacked it in small piles for drying – a month later. Then the rain came. The grassy roadway between Michael’s parent’s farmhouse in Aughadeffin and the bog behind became waterlogged and impassable. Read the rest of this article here.

Published: Irish Times, August 25 2012

There are three interesting jobs. They are president, astronaut and secret agent.

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A FEW YEARS ago, my then-girlfriend and I had some friends over for dinner. While we ate, we listened to music. Afterwards, we relocated to the living room for a glass of wine. Rather than lug my old, clunky stereo and speakers with us, someone suggested that I play my CDs on the television’s DVD player.

It was a novel idea, and it worked out fine. There was just one problem.

All of our guests were now sitting staring at the TV screen. It was blank, save for the CD track number and a ticking time counter. But they stared at it anyway. That’s when it struck me. People will watch just about anything on television. Read the rest of this article.