Eoin Butler: writer, journalist and Mayoman of the Year

Tripping Along The Ledge


Published: Irish Times, February 1 2008


bank_error_in_your_favorHOW WOULD you react if a substantial sum of money was mysteriously lodged to your bank account one day? Would your first phone call be to your bank manager or your travel agent? Would you attempt to find out where the money came from? Or would you cross your fingers, do nothing and pray that no one ever noticed? Read the rest of this entry »

Published: Mongrel Magazine, February 2006 – December 2007


with Ireland’s premiere social diarist, Eoin Butler

Hasta la Victoria Siempre, readers! Greetings from Buenos Aires! Yes, after months spent battling the forces of the hated GENERAL RODRIGUEZ in the mountains by day, and instructing my ragtag band of guerrillas in the basic tenets of Marxist-Leninism and beard grooming by night; having survived 37 assassination attempts by the C.I.A. and two by the International Red Cross; and with only the fiery and enigmatic “TANYA” for female companionship (her passion for social justice is surpassed only by her passion for yours truly!); deliverance has finally arrived. Read the rest of this entry »

Published: Irish Times, June 14th 2008


parentsEvery time the seasons change I think about my father. In early spring I see him jotting down the names and dates-of-birth of his latest crop of Under-10s, gleefully identifying future corner-backs and budding centre-fielders. When the sun comes out in May, I envision us striking out for the beach at Enniscrone. (You always know when it’s summer there, he’d say, because the old ladies wear their overcoats unbuttoned.) In August, he’s picking blackberries to make jam. And when the frosts return in late November, he’s making breadcrumbs for the birds that come to forage in our garden. Read the rest of this entry »

Published: Irish Times, August 30 2008


dsc_705511“The first thing you need to understand about fishing,” reckons Gearoid Muldowney, “is that it’s not really about catching fish.” The van chugs along a bumpy Mayo back road. “Sometimes you catch something. Other times you don’t. But even when you do, the amount of time you spend hooking and reeling in that fish is miniscule.” I feel sort of obliged to ask the next question.

So what’s the point of fishing, if not catching fish?

“We’ll see” he replies, enigmatically. “Hopefully, we’ll figure it out today.” Read the rest of this entry »

Published: Mongrel Magazine, April 2006

A concise anthology of deadly advertising slogans

Because You're Worth It

nike-swoosh Marketing has been with us in one guise or another for over two thousand years. In fact, it’s often reckoned to be the world’s eighth oldest profession. (Some wags have commented on its remarkable resemblance to the thirteenth oldest; research marketing. That’s a fair point.) But for all that it has done for the betterment of mankind, there remain those who look upon this profession with distain.

For proof, look no further than the books of Naomi Klein, the comedy of Bill Hicks, the paranoid ramblings of Thom Yorke or any of the host of other more up-to-date pop culture references I will no doubt have come up by the time this article goes to print… Read the rest of this entry »

Published: Mongrel magazine, May 2005

Chez Mo!

Stoneybatter, Dublin 7

forkspoonAfter stopping off for a quick eye-opener en route, my associate and I are lucky not to lose our reservations at this delightful north inner city eatery.

Despite its’ obvious exclusivity – I am bundled in, he is shooed away – the atmosphere is refreshingly informal.

The décor is modest and unpretentious and, as I search about for a spot to hang my coat and scarf, the proprietress peppers her conversation with quips about my frequent drunkenness and occasional sexual incapacity. Read the rest of this entry »

Published: Mongrel Magazine, May 2007

The top 5 funniest thing people said to me when my father died

The recent death of my father was undoubtedly the least funny event of my entire life. It came as a savage shock to me, like a stranger approaching me on the street and punching me in the face. Now I find myself banjaxed with grief: for my father, for my family and for myself. Read the rest of this entry »

Published: Mongrel Magazine, February 2007.

And finally…

Eoin Butler recalls an old acquaintance
And finally…

[It was Mongrel editor Michael Freeman who came up with the idea for the ‘And Finally…’ articles. Each month, for the back page of the magazine, he would ask a different writer to contribute 650 words on any subject they wished. The only catch was that the piece had to reference the same random photo (right) and incorporate the same ludicrous pull quote “like a ferret trying to escape from a jar of silly putty”. To this day, I still don’t actually know what silly putty is…]

Anne Marie Mularkey. The gorgeous Anne Marie… Jaysus, now you’re taking me back. Swanned into French one day like she was God’s gift. Threw her schoolbag on an empty table and plonked down on a chair. Anne Marie was tall and elegant, with the saddest brown eyes I’d ever seen. She had a face like a shovel, of course, but that only added to her allure. Girl blew that fringe out from her eyes and swung back in the chair. And, with that, I fell in love. Read the rest of this entry »

Published: Mongrel Magazine, July 2006

“The Charles Haughey I Knew”

by an old school friend

My best memory of Charles J. Haughey? Probably of him hanging from the monkey bars in Donneycarney primary school, singing the theme from the Lone Ranger. It was 1982, and Haughey was facing a motion of no confidence from the parliamentary party. It’s hard to imagine another Irish leader preparing for a major political battle in such a fashion.

But then Charlie was never ordinary. Even on our first day at school he stood out from the other boys, decked out (as he was) in the dazzling capote de paseo of a Basque Country matador. Read the rest of this entry »

Published: Mongrel magazine, May 2007

Those last minute Leaving Cert revision tips in brief…

The countdown to Leaving Cert 2007 is almost at an end. When 138,000 nervous students sit down for their first examination at 9.30pm on June 6th, they’ll know their chances of securing a university place, well-paid job, desirable home, attractive sexual partner and prospects of siring anything other than ugly, unintelligent children depend entirely on how they perform in the fortnight ahead. Read the rest of this entry »