Today with Sean O'Rourke

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    Book Club - Brooklyn

    The film 'Brooklyn' continues to be a big draw at the box office and our book club choice for this month is 'Brooklyn' by Colm Tóibín. 

    Brooklyn tells the story of Eilis Lacey, a young woman who lives with her mother and sister in Enniscorthy in the 1950s. Her sister arranges for Eilis to emigrate to New York and despite her reluctance, Eilis knows she must go as there is little future for her in Ireland.

    As she leaves her family behind and arrives in America it takes time for Eilis to settle in. She is desperately homesick but she gradually makes friends and finds love. 

    However, a tragic event at home means Eilis has to return to Ireland after a year. Back in Enniscorthy, she struggles to decide should her future be in Ireland or in Brooklyn. 

    Joining Sean this morning as part of our panel was Larry Donnelly, lecturer in Law at NUI Galway, Carole Coleman, reporter and former RTÉ Washington correspondent, Eoghan O'Neachtain, Director of Public Affairs with Heneghan PR and Margaret E. Ward, journalist and CEO of Clearink Limited.

    Book: The Last of the President’s Men

    Bob Woodward helped bring down a president, often described as a legendary journalist and has been played on screen by one of Hollywood's greatest leading men. 

    Bob Woodward and his Washington Post colleague Carl Bernstein broke the story now known as the Watergate scandal that led to the resignation of US president Richard Nixon 41 years ago. 

    And now, he's back with a new book which reveals previously unheard insights into what Nixon was like behind closed doors and he joined Sean on the line. 


    The Sheridans Guide to Cheese

    Whether your idea of cheese is an Easy Single or the finest Stilton, our next guests certainly know a thing or two about cheese. Over twenty years ago they started selling cheese on a market stall in Galway and they now run a cheese empire. They have just written their first book, The Sheridans Guide To Cheese.

    Counter Culture, The Sheridans Guide to Cheese, will be launched in Charlie Byrne’s Bookshop, Middle Street, Galway this Saturday night by Jess Murphy, chef/patron of Kai Restaurant who previously worked as a chef in Sheridans on the Docks. The book, published by Transworld Ireland is on sale now, priced €20.


    Rory Kavanagh, Donegal Footballer

    It would be no exaggeration to say that before Jim McGuinness took over as manager of Donegal, their panel would have been considered too ill-disciplined, or too wild, to win an All Ireland…

    As the recently-retired Rory Kavanagh puts it...they couldn’t be trusted...

    Rory joined Sean in studio,  having just launched his book ‘Winning: How Donegal Changed the Game Forever’, which recounts his time as a footballer, and the seismic changes McGuinness brought to Donegal, along with the Sam Maguire and 3 county titles.

    Book: An Eagle in the Snow

    This guest is perhaps one of the most prolific children’s authors. His 1982 novel, Warhorse was adapted for the stage and screen. His books are staples of most classrooms and libraries.

    His new book, An Eagle in the Snow is based on the true story of a young soldier who had a chance encounter with Hitler and he joined Claire this morning, that is author Michael Morpurgo.

    1916 Centenary: The Handbook of the Irish Revival

    With our eye on the centenary of 1916 next year, it's a good time to look at the state of Ireland before the Rising, and if we look at those decades, one of the key ideas to emerge was that the Irish had lost the ability to be cultural innovators and instead had become slavish imitators of all things British - the 'West Briton' syndrome diagnosed by Douglas Hyde. In many ways the Irish Cultural Revival was an attempt to address this and to promote new modes of thinking in Ireland. 

    In this moment new options presented themselves: either to turn to France with its radical republican politics and experimental art or to reconnect with the buried energies of the Irish language. 

    These are some of the themes explored in The Handbook of the Irish Revival, recently published by the Abbey Theatre Press and in the months leading up to the centenary we will talk to its authors Declan Kiberd and PJ Matthews about the changing political temperature in Ireland leading up to 1916...

    Today, PJ Matthews one of the authors was joined by Barry Barnes and Cathy Belton to look at Ireland in the early phases of the Literary Revival.


    Book: The Scrap

    As Easter 1916 neared thousands of Irish people were looking forward to what many called 'The Scrap' - the day when the military action replace marches, meetings and drills. 

    Survivors of the rising later gave researchers vivid accounts of what they had done and seen and heard during a week of fighting that left 450 people dead, thousands injured and the centre of Dublin in ruins.

    Writer Gene Kerrigan has woven these accounts into a book called 'The Scrap' and he joined Sean this morning. 


    Book Club: The Kind Worth Killing

    Two strangers meet on a flight; after a few drinks, one reveals that his wife is having an affair and he would like to kill her. The woman says she will help him do it and so begins a rollercoaster story of twists and coincidences that lead to revenge and murder, ..that’s the premise of The Kind Worth Killing by Peter Swanson, our book club choice for this month.

    To review our book choice this month we had Paul Williams, Best seller author and Crime journalist, Irish Independent, broadcaster Maxi, Natasha Fennell of Stillwater Communications and John O’Keeffe, Criminologist and Forensic Psychologist in studio.

    And to coincide with the release of the movie, Brooklyn, we’ve decided to go back to the book that inspired the film, our book club choice for the month of November will be Brooklyn by Colm Toibin.

    Eilis Lacey has grown up in a small town in Ireland, but when she gets the chance to go and live in a Brooklyn neighbourhood, she goes, leaving behind her mother and sister. But as she settles in to her new life, she receives devastating news from home that threatens her future in America.

    So, If you’ve never read Brooklyn, now is your chance, we will be discussing the book at the end of November and we would love to hear from you then.

    Book: 1916 – The Mornings After

    Almost 50 years since his pioneering book Ireland Since The Rising, historian and journalist Tim Pat Coogan casts his eye over our past century of nation-building against the backdrop of the forthcoming centenary in his new book 1916: The Mornings After - From the Courts Martial to the Tribunals. In it he tells the story of the traumatic aftermath of the Rising, and of the emergence of two Irish states from the embers of conflict. Taking a strongly personal perspective he charts the subsequent decades marked as much by complacency, corruption and institutional abuse, as they are by the sacrifices and achievements of the Republic's founding fathers.

    Tim Pat Coogan’s book is called 1916 – The Mornings After: From the Courts Martial to the Tribunals. It is published by Head of Zeus and priced at €22.50.


    Book: The Whistle Blower

    The Irish rugby squad is, as we speak, doing everything they can to make it to a World Cup final, but one Irish man has already been there and done that.I

    In studio this morning was Alain Rolland, one of the most successful rugby referees of all time, who went from 40 Leinster appearances and 3 Ireland caps to a career holding the whistle, culminating in taking charge of the 2007 World Cup final in France.

    His new book The Whistleblower, covering this fascinating career, and published by Hero Books, is out now.

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