Essays

That Place by the River (Short Story)

(That Place by the River was first published on Headstuff.org July 2015) I was scooping the guts out of a lamb when I heard Swinger Dingavan was dead. Maureen shouted across at Steve-o and he knocked off the power hose, the wool and blood circling around him. She said Swinger was found in his Golf […]

Pussy Bratchford is on the Verge of Becoming a Good Christian (Short Story)

‘Pussy Bratchford is on the Verge of Becoming a Good Christian’ – a 2013/14 short story by Jamie O’Connell – was published by The Long Story, Short Journal. The full story can be read here. The short story was reviewed by Mel U on ReadingLives and described as follows: ‘…This is an excellent, very knowing […]

The Lost Essay

(The Lost Essay was read on Sunday Miscellany, RTE Radio 1 in May 2013) Hanging above the desk in my study there are two A4 pages, photocopies, in a pine frame with a cream mount. On them is an essay composed by my ten-year-old grandfather in 1937. Written in Irish with a certain flourish – […]

Harris and Donegal

(Harris and Donegal was read on Sunday Miscellany, RTE Radio 1 in May 2013) In the window of Kevin and Howlin, 31 Nassau Street, a well-vanished spinning-wheel and a vase of canary-yellow sunflowers are surrounded by tweed jackets, waistcoats and caps. Scruffy-haired students walk around me; I overhear them talk about Electric Picnic. A bus […]

Bloomsday 2013

As Bloomsday approaches, I await the parade of boater hats, striped jackets and lace dresses, as Joycean fans flock to Dublin to celebrate a book that has been said to have ‘changed the face of literature’. The first festival of its kind was in 1954 on the 50th anniversary of the events in the novel; […]

The Kiss

It wasn’t my first kiss. But it was the most dangerous. It was no fumbling encounter with too much aggression and tongue, the technique clumsy and awkward. After all, kissing is a skill that has to be refined. It takes practice. My goal in my late teens was to kiss as many people as possible. […]