Eoin Butler: writer, journalist and Mayoman of the Year

Tripping Along The Ledge


Published: Irish Times, February 27 2012

‘Eoin Butler has been driving for as long as he can remember, but has failed the test more times than he can count.’

provisional licence
GROWING UP IN rural Ireland, I don’t recall a time when I didn’t know how to drive. As a child, I would race my father’s car up and down the driveway, sneak it over the cattle grid, and peek out on to the road beyond. In my mid-teens, I traversed the back roads of east Mayo to collect my grandmother for her dinner every Sunday.

At 17, I applied for my first provisional driver’s licence. To put that event in an historic context, on one of my earliest (official) jaunts, my friends and I were questioned by gardaí hunting for the IRA killers of Jerry McCabe. We’d just been swimming in Errit Lake, near Gorthaganny. The lads were wearing wet Bermuda shorts. I was driving in my bare feet. Read the rest of this article here.

“I’m loving these numbers”

MRBI Poll: Magazine Posts Major Readership Gains

New figures published this week show this magazine’s circulation holding steady at 36,898, down slightly on 36,938 last quarter. But when seasonal and other miscellaneous factors are allowed for, that amounts to an impressive 5,924,094 readers per month – an exceptionally strong performance in a country of just over four million people. (The balance is thought to be made up by immigrants and undercover al-Qaida operatives entering this jurisdiction illegally in order to read the trendy magazine.) Read the rest of this entry »

Published: Irish Times, September 13 2008

“Salted porridge. Dried meat. Leeks. Goats milk…”

“Anything that doesn’t require refrigeration, basically. Chuck it all in a pot and then boil it up…” It’s hard to say quite which element of historical military re-enactment least appeals to me. It could be the drafty costumes. It could be the public scorn. Then there’s the very real possibility of having my eye taken out by some hyperactive fund manager with a lance. But a new contender has just crept up along the outside rail: the horrific-sounding lunchtimes.

“Oh no, that’s not just your lunch,” laughs John Looney, the founder of re-enactment website LivingHistory.ie. “That has to last you two days – that’s your breakfast dinner and tea!” Read the rest of this entry »

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!

The Imelda May story: Irish media still seeking that elusive second angle

imelda may

Sugar Baby Love (1974)

So brilliant. So ridiculous.

Lame jokes Bob Dylan has told onstage while introducing his band (1988 – 2011)

“At the back, the meanest drummer in the world. When we played in the Middle East, he killed the Dead Sea… David Kemper!”

“You might be wondering what’s written on his shoes – those are foot notes!” Read the rest of this entry »

America (1956)

This is a recording of Allen Ginsberg reading his poem America (from ‘Howl’), set to Tom Waits’ Closing Time instrumental, which is itself taken from the latter’s 1973 debut album. If that’s not confusing enough, the track is illustrated for this YouTube treatment with photographs of Jack Kerouac. I’ve no idea why. Read the rest of this entry »

This is funny [SECOND UPDATE]

zach gal
Yay, Zach Galifianakis presents SNL for the second time this weekend. Last time he described his look to the audience as: Read the rest of this entry »

So I hear you’re a racist… Is this the new thing?

Egg Racism
“Ah for Christ’s sake… Who told you?”

“I met Tina in Tescos the other night.” Read the full article here.