Eoin Butler: writer, journalist and Mayoman of the Year

Tripping Along The Ledge



Okay, I already posted this a few months ago. But it’s really funny, so who gives a shit. This is a wildly inaccurate profile of me done by a student paper in DCU in 2005. The interview really did take place. However, I dunno whether the guy’s Dictaphone malfunctioned, or if he suffered some sort of acid flashback during the transcription process, but none of the quotations attributed to me are remotely accurate.

That said, it does make me sound really cool.


The name Eoin Butler does not mean a thing to the average punter in this country. But there is something about his upbeat, vibrant and dynamic personality that gives me the impression that we will be hearing a lot about him in the future. You can tell instantly that Eoin is not going to be your average small talk, “what do you make of the weather” type of character. He quickly shrugs off my weak attempts to make idle chat and the ice is broken. Our conversation begins.

Stepping into his living room, I can tell he is living comfortably. Large television in the corner, laptop perched on the table, I-pod charging in the corner and full-size Christmas tree complete with fancy decorations proudly erected by the window, indicate to me that this is one youthful Journalist who is doing o.k. A stack of magazines, newspapers and various pages lie openly on his table next to his laptop in typical messy journalist style. Our conversation is similar to one I might have with a close friend. This is how at home I felt in Eoin’s presence. After 5 minutes chatting, I felt as though I’d known him for years. His ability to immediately engage in deep and carefree conversation with a perfect stranger was more than impressive.

A clean-shaven, balding man in his early-twenties, Eoin Butler’s career as a journalist began 4 years ago when he began writing for “The Slate”. Like most successful journalists, Eoin had no background training or experience in the world of Journalism before realising he was a journalist. Armed with an arts degree from Galway at the age of twenty, Eoin headed to DCU to do a postgraduate in Political Communications. “I hardly ever went in”, he informs me rather nonchalantly. “I was far more interested in sitting around smoking hash with my flatmates”.

He explains his “ants in the pants” syndrome to me. “If I’m sitting down and I know I have to study a book about, say, Napoleon. And there is a book about Nelson Mandela beside me; I will always want to study the book about Nelson Mandela”. And so, when Eoin should have been writing his Postgraduate thesis, he was writing a music review and submitting it into the popular studenty magazine of a generation past “The Slate”. After being published by The Slate once, he was offered a monthly slot in the magazine to which he instantly accepted.

And since then, his life has spiralled into a haze of hilarity and adventure. There is nothing more refreshing than talking to somebody who is full of life and positivity. The fact that somebody so down to earth and normal is making a name for himself in the pretentious and sometimes unbearably competitive world of Journalism would give confidence to any budding young journalists. He has been writing for the popular free studenty magazine Mongrel that is released monthly, for over a year and is being offered writing jobs and radio slots on a regular basis. “At the end of the day, it is all about the people you meet in life. I mean, I am only working for Mongrel now because I met the guys who were starting it up at the farewell to The Slate party. And I only got radio jobs because of the people I met through Mongrel. I find that if you just make an effort with people, as opposed to getting bogged down in irrelevant information, you will go a lot further in life”

For those of you who are not familiar with Mongrel, here is a brief synopsis: Mongrel is a free magazine that targets an age range from 18 to around 30. Its content includes interviews with famous actors, musicians and general artists as well as very witty pieces about almost anything ranging from the donut stand on O’Connell Street to a list of the most disliked people in Ireland. Eoin explains that the writers are given the liberty to write about whatever they want. This writer’s liberty makes for a very interesting monthly read. Eoin and the other writers have landed Mongrel in trouble on more than one occasion because of what they have written. In an issue of Mongrel last March, Eoin was responsible for having branded Pat Kenny as a c**t. He recalls the media frenzy that followed in vintage passive fashion. “The sun printed a piece the next day claiming Pat Kenny had branded us as the scum of the earth. The whole thing got out of hand really. It was actually hilarious. We were at the centre of this media whirlwind yet we were all walking around thinking “where are all the people queuing up to interview us? We were the ones that wrote it”

As an objective onlooker, Eoin seems to be having the time of his life. Being kept constantly productive and busy with interviews, articles and radio appearances, a generally sought after hectic journalist lifestyle, and getting paid for writing about whatever he feels like. Meagre sums it must be said but this, he tells me, is not why he does it. His eagerness and willingness to take in as much as he can is plain to be seen. He is the kind of person who looks as though he will get places with a lot of help from his shear charm, wit and confidence.

Eoin has interviewed many A-list celebrities and musicians including Wayne Coyne (of the flaming lips), Bloc Party, Shane McGowan, Kenny Southern, and many others. The extent to which Eoin takes everything in his stride is genuinely frightening. He is completely undaunted by all these people and explains his reasons. “Most of the people I meet are so unimpressive and boring and generally completely full of themselves. They just sit there in front of me churning out the same crappy answers they have given about 100 times. Sometimes I feel like asking them to stop talking so that I can just complete the piece without their contribution. A lot of the time I feel as though what I have to say is infinitely more important and better than what they have to say”. When I push him on his favourite person he’s interviewed so far, he tells me singer songwriter Rufus Wainwright was streets ahead of the rest in regards honesty, normality and decency.

Towards the end of our chat, Eoin offers me a cup of tea to which I promptly accept. It comes as no surprise to me that the milk is gone off. I got the impression that Eoin had not been at home for weeks because of his work. The out of date dairy products personifying his rapid and hugely exciting lifestyle. When pushed on his plans for the future, Eoin’s response is very brief. Take each day as it comes appears to be his general outlook though he definitely admits that Journalism is the path for him. A path he has paved completely himself and a path he is continuing to pave with increasingly impressive skill.

I thanked him for his hospitality and company before leaving his fancy apartment and heading off down towards the Luas stop in a great mood. This Journalist lifestyle, I told myself, is the life for me.

Just to list a few errors:
1. My apartment wasn’t fancy. Not even slightly.
2. I am not, nor ever have been, a remotely upbeat or positive person. Nor have I ever advocated making an effort with people.
3. I have never interviewed Shane McGowan or Bloc Party and I’ve never even heard of Kenny Southern (does he exist?)
4. I had nothing to do with the Pat Kenny piece whatsoever.
5. If I mentioned a Nelson in the same breath as Napoleon, it was likely Horatio Nelson, Napoleon’s contemporary and adversary in the Napoleonic Wars, not Nelson bloody Mandela FFS!

A full list of corrections would take up more space than the original article.

July 16th, 2009.


  1. Paul Says:

    Still funny. “The extent to which Eoin takes everything in his stride is genuinely frightening” – that’s my new favourite bit. And you being undaunted by Bloc Party.

  2. Phogg Says:

    Ok I know the guy’s a student but the line “The out of date dairy products personifying his rapid and hugely exciting lifestyle.” Really where did this child come from?

  3. Seán Says:

    It seems Ive completely misjudged you

  4. UB Says:

    “He recalls the media frenzy that followed in vintage passive fashion.”

    What’s vintage passive?

  5. colmt Says:

    That really made me laugh. I wonder what the Journalist is doing now?

  6. A Brighter Eoin Says:

    I’d guess that every time he finds a moldy piece of cheese or some curdled milk in the fridge, he thinks of you and is once again “in a great mood”!

  7. Eoin Says:

    @ Paul & Phogg – yes, both great lines

    @ UB – vintage passive is like ‘retro inactive’, it basically entails doing nothing while wearing a handlebar moustasche and sideburns

    @ Colm – well, as long as he doesn’t up on here and say ‘okay, this wasn’t the greatest article ever written… but why you all making fun of me, I was only 19 etc. etc…..’

  8. Gina G Says:

    That you in the picture eoin?

  9. Eoin Says:

    @ A ‘Brighter’ (!?) Eoin – also, every time he sees a large stockpile of empty beer cans he is reminded of the effervescence of my personality

    @ Gina G – it is, yeah, can’t you just see how he mistook me for an upbeat, positive person who advocates just making an effort to get along with people

  10. massey Says:

    “No background, training or experience when he realised he was a journalist…” It must have been a cunt coming out to your parents lol!

  11. Eoin Says:

    @ Massey – they were pretty devestated, but they also confessed that they’d pretty much suspected so since I was a child

  12. Adrian Says:

    “Like most successful journalists, Eoin had no background training or experience in the world of Journalism before realising he was a journalist.”

    I’d loveto know how that went down in the Communications building. tea on several keyboards, let me tell ya.

  13. ChrisNoise Says:

    I’ve haven’t read an interview that managed to take up so much space without actually saying anything in quite a while. I get the impression that he thinks of journalists as the Indiana Jones characters of the literary world.

  14. LinziMG Says:

    I think it’s a beautiful piece, student journalism at its gushing best. I particularly like the fact that DCU are apparently no longer advocating proof-reading as part of the skills to becoming an adequate writer.

    ‘This Journalist lifestyle, I told myself, is the life for me.’ Just awesome.

  15. darragh Says:

    hopping on the creaky old Nelson Mandela bandwagon to impress students eh? For shame.

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