We need to look beyond our new material wealth

It's New Year's Eve. Many of you - maybe even governments and governments-in-waiting - are making resolutions. For the past decade, governments have concentrated on making us prosperous. For the new year, they might consider trying to make us happier. We are at a golden moment in Irish life. But there is a fork in the road. One way is to... Read More

Posted: 31 December 2005


Home environment rather than childcare remains key influence

In her column of last Saturday Breda O'Brien takes issue with my "certainty" regarding the effect of childcare on children's emotional attachment: that is, that the quantity, quality, stability of arrangement and age of entry into childcare have no effect on the security of mother-child attachment. She goes on to cite - in apparent opposition to that conclusion - the National... Read More

Posted: 17 September 2005

Book Review

Making Babies: Stumbling into Motherhood By Anne Enright

This is the kind of book that had me regularly thinking, "Oh, yes, I remember that", or, more often, "How could I have forgotten that?". Yet, the half-unconscious memories evoked were so intensely private that I have never said them out loud to anyone. But Anne Enright has - to great effect. This is a book about the experience of motherhood... Read More

Posted: 14 August 2004


In a state about status. Book Review. Status Anxiety by Alain de Botton.

After reading a newspaper profile of someone prominent and successful, do you find that you sometimes react with a preoccupied gaze, a brittle smile? Or after hearing news of a colleague's achievement, or even of the great success of a friend, do you react with an over-extended pause? Of course you don't . . . But if you do, you are... Read More

Posted: 01 May 2004


Inside the heads of a generation living without constraints

  Violence and suicide among young males are linked to their sudden acquisition of money and freedom*.* Sometime in the second half of the 1990s, I had occasion to drive through Dublin city centre at about 4 a.m. It was the first time I had encountered at first hand what was then being described as a new phenomenon in Ireland - hordes... Read More

Posted: 28 February 2004


Cold prophet of a new age. Book Review. Jung: A Biography. By Deirdre Bair

Many people, if pushed, could come up with a few Freudian concepts, but they would be stumped if asked to describe what C.G. Jung contributed to our common understanding and language*.* Yet it was Jung who invented terms such as "introvert", "extrovert", "the collective unconscious", "anima" and "animus", "archetypes", "personality typologies", and "individuation". Moreover, the modern "new age" movement owes much... Read More

Posted: 31 January 2004