Eoin Butler: writer, journalist and Mayoman of the Year

Tripping Along The Ledge

Nelson Mandela

First I was ginger. Then I was bald. Nelson Mandela, are you on Twitter? We have a lot in common.

Erected by Sydney Goldsmith of the Universal Hair & Scalp Clinic in 1962, Georges Street’s “Why Go Bald” sign is one of Dublin’s oddest and best loved landmarks. Rescued from the jaws of the scrapheap in November 1999 (after a campaign by a group called the 20th Century Trust) and restored to its former glory, it is now a cult tourist attraction that has won plaudits from admirers including U2’s Bono. Which is kind of appropriate when you consider… Well, we’ll come back to that later. Read the rest of this entry »

Published: Mongrel magazine, November 2005

Getting away with murder

henry cheat
From Nelson Mandela to The Birmingham Six; from Andy Dufresne to Deirdre Rachid; the plight of the wrongfully incarcerated will always strike a chord with people. Perhaps it’s a subconscious manifestation of our guilt over greater injustices (such as the unfair division of wealth and opportunity) in which we are complicit. Perhaps Western society places a higher value on liberty than it does on life itself. Whatever the reason, cases of wrongful imprisonment arouse sympathy and outrage in us like very little else.

But who, outside the ranks of the world’s law enforcement agencies, spares much of a thought for the people on the other side of the injustice equation? The people who are free but who deserve to be locked up. The wrongfully still-at-large. Does anyone write songs, chant slogans or organise benefit concerts to celebrate these people and their struggles? Time to redress the imbalance I think. Read the rest of this entry »