Eoin Butler: writer, journalist and Mayoman of the Year

Tripping Along The Ledge


Published: Irish Times, 19 March 2015

Our first language now languishes somewhere between salsa dancing and Ultimate Frisbee

Tá Seachtain na Gaeilge orainn. Or rather, bhi sé. Our two-week national celebration of the Irish language actually ended on Tuesday. But if you happen not to be either a biddable school kid, or an adult whose public-sector job requires paying occasional lip service to the language, odds are the event bypassed you entirely.

As a Gaeilgeoir, I derive no particular pleasure from admitting this. But as minority pursuits go, our first language now languishes somewhere between salsa dancing and Ultimate Frisbee, in terms of its popularity amongst the general populace. Read the rest of this entry »

April 1st, 2015. 16 Comments »

Published: Irish Independent, 9th August 2014

The Long Shot

His teammates call him Monkey, because he is a scaffolder by trade. And in the heyday of Ireland’s construction boom, there was never any shortage of bars for him to swing from. Chimneys, church spires, gable walls: Christopher McCrudden scaled and scaffolded them all.

“Housing estates were the best,” the Ballyhaunis man recalls. “A single estate in Galway might be six or eight months work: putting up, taking down, adapting.”

They were carefree times. “Lads were out buying cars, backing horses, drinking pints. We didn’t worry about the future because we were making good money every week. It didn’t occur to us the work might ever run out.” Read the rest of this entry »

August 15th, 2014. 1 Comment »

No comment

cub scouts

How They Got Away With It, rabble.ie
Scout’s Honour, broadsheet.ie

There is more after the jump.
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June 19th, 2014. Comment now »

Published: Irish Times, 23 May 2014

70 minutes of God-knows-what

Its creators sometimes worry that modern dance will be lost on many people. So what does a first-timer make of Emma Martin’s ‘Tundra’, the opening show at Dublin Dance Festival?

I’ve picked up the tickets at the kiosk. The match programme is tucked under my arm. And if there were a merchandise stall hereabouts, I’m sure I’d have bought the T-shirt. With show time at the Samuel Beckett Theatre rapidly approaching, only one minor detail remains unclear.

What is this spectacle that we are about to enjoy? What is Tundra, apart from the opening show of Dublin Dance Festival? Details are vague. Emma Martin, its choreographer, told The Irish Times last weekend that “Tundra is an in-between place, a metaphorical purgatory where you have to work through your difficulties to move on.” Read the rest of this entry »

May 25th, 2014. Comment now »

Published: Irish Independent, 26 April 2014

From the sidelines…

Hull City v Stoke City - Barclays Premier League
The international code is for the United Arab Emirates. I dial the thirteen-digit number I’ve been handed and wait for a response. In a hotel lobby, some 4,000 miles away, an English-speaking receptionist connects me to Roy Keane’s room.

What is it, I ask him, about footballers and Dubai? Can’t you guys take your holidays anyplace else? The former Manchester United captain sounds relaxed and in good humour. “I’m working here,” he jokes. “Trying to find some new Irish lads, you know yourself.” Read the rest of this entry »

May 1st, 2014. 2 Comments »

Published: Irish Independent, 19 April 2014

Waterford Calling

In January of this year, a little known Irish gossip website landed a major scoop that every other news outlet in the world had somehow contrived to miss. In Pyongyang, North Korea’s official news agency just announced the hermit kingdom had landed an astronaut on the sun.

Now even by the standards of that crackpot regime, this was an unusually farfetched claim. And the wording of the story should have offered further grounds for scepticism. (The North Korean spacecraft, apparently, had “travelled at night to avoid being engulfed by the sun’s rays.”) Read the rest of this entry »

April 22nd, 2014. Comment now »

Published: Irish Independent, 22 February 2014

String theory

Almost six decades after fleeing her homeland as a refugee, in the wake of the 1956 anti-Soviet uprising, Maria Kelemen still speaks with a strong Hungarian accent. Diminutive yet formidable, the director of Dublin’s Young European School of Music has the air of a stern, if slightly eccentric, headmistress from a Disney fairytale. Read the rest of this entry »

March 3rd, 2014. Comment now »

Clicking Along The Ledge

my most clicked stories of 2013

#5The Bald Truth (January 5th)
Baldness (specifically, my own) is a subject I get endless mileage out of. I’m not sure why. Maybe it’s because baldness, like death, is final and irreversible. And hence rather amusing. Or maybe I just need stuff to write about. If I ever write a piece where I disingenuously pretend to be in the market for a wig, and get pictures of me trying a bunch of wigs, you’ll know the wolf is truly at the door.

#4 Should We Trust Trip Adviser (May 4th)
I didn’t know much about Ireland’s libel laws before setting out to write this feature for the Indo. By the time it went to press, I could have passed the fucking bar exam.

#3 Down in Lisdoonvarna (June 24th)
Throwaway travel piece.

#2 12 Secrets Every Woman Should Know About Men (January 12th)

#1 The Toughest Journey (March 9th)
By far the most clicked story ever on this blog and also the one I’m proudest of having done. It was in Galway in October of last year (doing this story) that I heard about how cancer patients from the Inishowen peninsula have to undertake a gruelling 600km round trip to receive treatment in Galway. It took five months of intensive nagging to get on board. Eamon McDevitt is the man who provides this vital service and there is a link to donate to his Good and New charity in the comments.

December 23rd, 2013. Comment now »

Published: Irish Times, 26 November 2013

‘This wasn’t a meal. This was a bloodbath…’

randy santel
Like Clark Kent, Randy Santel has a superhero alter-ego. But rather than ducking through revolving doors, the 27-year-old’s secret powers are activated via a rotating baseball cap. “Right before I do any food challenge,” he explains in a video posted to his website. “I flip my hat around.”

“I go from Randy Santel to Atlas, which is a food-eating machine. Once that happens, God have mercy on anything put in front of me.”

Santel, a former college footballer turned “professional eater”, is in Newbridge, Co Kildare to take part in the 64oz steak challenge at Judge Roy Beans Bar & Restaurant. His opponent, Dermot McDermott, is a 48-year-old former Irish international boxer and local man.

Each contestant tonight has one hour in which to consume a portion of chips, coleslaw, onion rings and side salad, as well as six enormous steaks weighing at 64oz in total. (The largest steaks most restaurants serve, by way of comparison, rarely exceed 20oz.) Read the rest of this entry »

November 27th, 2013. Comment now »

NNI Feature Writer of the Year 2013

NNI citation
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November 26th, 2013. 1 Comment »