Oliver O’Hanlon wrote a nice piece about Parnell’s Walking Stick for The Irish Times which you can read here.
I wrote an article about the new Nina Simone documentary for the Irish Times – you can read it here. ‘What happened Miss Simone?’ is available through Netflix and it’s a good mixture of archival footage and talking heads. Her impassioned playing of ‘Mississippi Goddam’ and the events that inspired it is particularly poignant in light of the Charleston church shooting in June.
The inequality faced by African-Americans in the school system was the subject of a recent This American Life podcast called ‘The problem we all live with’. Simone herself faced discrimination when she was denied a scholarship to the Curtis Institute of Music. I also mention the Black Lives Matter movement as it is impossible to watch footage of Simone in the Civil Rights era and not think of Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, Eric Garner and Tamir Rice…
Here is a piece I wrote for the Irish Times about the extraordinary Máire Mhac an tSaoi: