Eoin Butler: writer, journalist and Mayoman of the Year

Tripping Along The Ledge


“The ref’s looking at his watch! This must be our last chance!”

roy of the rovers
This evening I finally picked up the copy of The Best of Roy of the Rovers I’d ordered in Hodges Figgis. (It’s not for me, you understand. It’s a present for a small boy that I, er, met on the Luas…) Rereading these stories as an adult, you do tend to notice certain peculiarities you might have missed as a child.

For example: the suspicious amount exposition volunteered by anonymous Melchester Rovers supporters at crucial points in their games. In his introduction to the collection, Frank Skinner writes: Read the rest of this entry »

February 9th, 2011. 5 Comments »

Randomers: an apologia

white guy
By throwing-out time on a Friday night, the streets resemble a ripped seam or a Hieronymus Bosch painting come to life. The footpaths teem with swaying bodies and grimacing faces. Some are belligerent. Others are content. Others still are lovelorn. Most are drunk. And some… Well, some of us are peckish since you ask. In the bars and clubs from whence we were ejected, dim lighting encouraged coyness and prevarication. Here however, in the unforgiving glare of the late night florescent chip shop, conversations tend to be blunt and to the point. Read the rest of this entry »

February 7th, 2011. 8 Comments »

We’re not worthy… of democracy

You know what? It’s true. If elections were held tomorrow, there’s every chance they’d vote in a bunch of religious fundamentalists who’d start wars and destabilise the entire Middle East. Nonetheless, I do think the American people should be allowed to choose their leaders democratically. Read the rest of this entry »

February 6th, 2011. Comment now »

Are Fianna Fail scuppering their own recovery by denying us our Portillo moment?

portillo moment
It looks like game over. The most successful political party in the history of the state is virtually an ex-parrot. But it would be rash to go writing Fianna Fail’s obituary just yet. Today’s polls show party support steady at about 15%. Considering our present predicament, that suggests one-seventh of the electorate would vote Fianna Fail even if the local candidate were standing at their front door with an axe in his hand and a murderous twinkle in his eye.

From here, really, the only way is up. Read the rest of this entry »

February 3rd, 2011. 10 Comments »

The Tayto Years

Team photo
This week, I’ve been inveigled into writing on the topic ‘Food Memories of the 1980s’. It’s kind of a tall order, given that I was only a small boy during that decade. It was all a blur of penny sweets and Subbuteo as far as I can recall .

Go on, they said. There must be a few special Eighties food memories that stick out… Well, there was that time Duran Duran dropped by my house and we ate Rice Krispie Buns and played Space Invaders together.

Really, they gasped? No, of course not. Read the rest of this article here.

February 1st, 2011. 3 Comments »

The funniest thing I’ve ever seen.

Let me say this: that boy has no business on the back of that donkey. None whatsoever. At one point – when they both go careering into the bushes – I’m seriously thinking, if this video gets any funnier, I might actually die laughing. (Spoiler alter: it then gets even funnier.)

January 30th, 2011. 19 Comments »

Of all the juice bars in all the world…

zumo fruit bar
“Barkeep. Hit me with a Blueberry Burst – and don’t spare the blueberry!” Read the rest of this article here.

January 29th, 2011. Comment now »

This is funny

Hello, is it me you’re looking for?

January 28th, 2011. 1 Comment »

On the Palestine Papers

A few years ago, a friend and I were discussing conspiracy theories. We both dismissed the vast majority of them out of hand. But I was willing to entertain the remote possibility that Diana, Princess of Wales, might have been assassinated by British intelligence officers.

I don’t for a second believe that she was murdered. I was merely acknowledging that this far-fetched plot, unlike the moon landings, or 9/11, would at least have had a coherent motive and required the complicity (and subsequent silence) of a managably small number of conspirators. Read the rest of this entry »

January 24th, 2011. 9 Comments »

I Wasn’t The Devil’s Double. I Made the Whole Thing Up. [UPDATED]

There’s an interesting story by Ed Caesar in tomorrow’s Sunday Times. It concerns a man named Latif Yahia, who is the subject of a new $20m film called The Devil’s Double, starring Dominic Cooper (Mamma Mia!, The History Boys.) Yahia first came to my attention four years ago, when I was on the staff of an independent magazine called Mongrel.

I had come across the story of an Iraqi exile living in Ireland. The guy seemed to have been through hell. He had been taken out of the Iraqi army, in which he served as a captain during the Iran-Iraq war, and forced to work as a body-double for Uday Hussein. He had been tortured and even forced to undergo cosmetic surgery that he might more closely resemble Saddam’s psychotic son. Read the rest of this entry »

January 22nd, 2011. 14 Comments »