Eoin Butler: writer, journalist and Mayoman of the Year

Tripping Along The Ledge


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Miscellaneous nostalgic items I come across #58

headboard
By a cunning process of elimination, I’ve deduced that I illustrated this headboard when I was in late second or early third year i.e. some time after the release of Suede’s debut album in March 1993 (I’ve clearly copied the Suede logo) but before the release of Pulp’s His n’ Hers in April 1994 (or else that surely would have figured.)

I’m not sure how much peyote was floating around Ballyhaunis in the mid-nineties, but I had (until now) blotted out all memory of having ever liked The Doors. Read the rest of this entry »

September 24th, 2011. 13 Comments »

Published: Irish Times, September 3 2009

And your new flatmates are…

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So you’re finally moving into a place of your own? Congratulations, first and foremost. In a world that never fails to deliver its share of letdowns and crushing disappointments, this is one rite of passage that actually lives up to the hype. Before outlining some of the comparatively minor pitfalls that may lie ahead, it is worth taking stock again of what precisely you stand to gain. Read the rest of this article here.

September 20th, 2011. 2 Comments »

‘A schlub in an expensive suit is still a schlub’

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“Let’s say you have a job interview?” Louis Copeland runs his tape measure around my back, pinches it at the chest and squints. “My first question to you would be, what line of work are you in? Because it depends, doesn’t it? Architects go for a wacky, modern look. Solicitors tend to prefer a classic style. Whereas journalists…”

He looks me up and down and trails off, somewhat despondently. Read the rest of this article here.

September 14th, 2011. 9 Comments »

“I saw guns and sharp swords in the hands of small children…”


On the evening of September 11th, 2001, as the initial shock of what had happened began to abate, I remember my thoughts turned to what would come next. Events were still in flux, but it was already clear that whatever happened after the dust settled in New York, it wasn’t going be pretty.

That evening I was sick of staring at the television so I went out for a drink. It was Slattery’s on Capel Street. On the television in the corner, Sky News was showing night vision pictures of the skyline over Kabul. I assume now that those pictures showed the Northern Alliance shelling Taliban positions. But at the time no one, not even the Sky News reporters, seemed to be quite sure who was firing, or who was being fired upon. I just remember people – punters, barstaff, everyone – staring at the television screen in grim silence. And this ominous refrain playing over and over in my head… Read the rest of this entry »

September 11th, 2011. 4 Comments »

Published: Annagh Magazine, December 2011

Our Man in South Sudan

South Sudan Independence
In July 2011, photographer Ross McDonnell and I visited the city of Juba in East Africa to witness independence celebrations for the newly sovereign state of South Sudan. It was a short enough trip. We left the day after I saw Mayo beat Galway in Castlebar. And I was home in time to see Roscommon go down in a wet and windy Connacht final.

But this was no summer holiday. As a journalist, I visited the Gaza Strip during the Israeli blockade in the summer of 2008. But Gaza was a holiday camp compared to this place. South Sudan is one of the poorest, hottest, most remote and dangerous places on earth. A place where there are guns on every street corner. A place where a 15 year old girl is more likely to die in childbirth than she is to have finished primary school. Read the rest of this entry »

September 8th, 2011. Comment now »

This is funny

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I spent three hours at my wife’s grave today. Read the rest of this entry »

August 19th, 2011. 3 Comments »

Finito

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This is a piece I wrote about The Devil’s Double for The Guardian last weekend. I’m flattered someone took the time to set up, not one, but two comment accounts to defend Latif Yahia and his Walter Mitty-esque memoirs. But most of all, I’m glad that this is the last time I’ll be mentioning his name, here or anywhere else.

August 17th, 2011. 14 Comments »

“Readers will have to live without his thoughts on the the retirement of Micheal O’Muircheartaigh and the suspicious longevity of Fungi the Dolphin…”

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It is a bright, clear morning in mid-September. Aidan Gillen’s battered BMW rattles along one of the bumpy backroads that snake across the sun-kissed Dingle peninsula. To our right stands Mount Brandon. Ahead, the Atlantic Ocean sparkles in a summer’s last hurrah. But the driver is ill-at-ease. I’m a journalist. He doesn’t like journalists. You can tell. Read the rest of this interview here.

August 7th, 2011. 6 Comments »

“He went out drunk and hit the ball like he was beating the hell off someone. He was a superhero.”

Me-Cartoonyy
PUGWASH
Songwriter Thomas Walsh talks Twitter, Brian Wilson and crisp addiction.

You’re looking well, Thomas.
Thank you. Lost five stone in the last year. I was twenty-five stone, I’m now twenty. Ideally, I’d like to be fifteen. I had a bit of a shock to be honest. I was told if it happened again, I’d be gone before I was fifty. So I haven’t eaten crisps in a year. Seriously, there should be rehab for crisp eaters.

What are the secrets of your bikini body?
My tip would be not eating a big plate of taco fries and falling asleep in the chair. If you do that most nights of the week, with a bellyful of drink and a kebab, that’s not going to be good for you. It’s not a myth. Read the rest of this entry »

August 2nd, 2011. Comment now »

Alex And Liam Do Walmart


My first time in America, in 1998, I visited Walmart and was as flabbergasted as these guys. There was one section where they stocked nothing but piles and piles of awful romance novels. (You know the ones with, like, a topless Fabio lookalike on the cover.) The press quote on one said: “Marks the arrival of a major new talent.”

The store was about the size of Colorado. I almost made it the entire way across before this one nagging thought got the better of me. I stopped in my tracks and turned around. Hold on, what newspaper could possibly have given that review to a trashy romance novel? I turned around and marched the entire way back.

That newspaper? The Romantic Times. God bless Walmart! God bless America!

July 27th, 2011. 6 Comments »