I interviewed actor Gabriel Byrne by phone in 2009, my final interview for Venice Magazine. It was simultaneously one of the easiest and most difficult conversations I've ever had. Easy because Byrne and I had that very rare thing: an instant rapport.
Whether you're a newbie to Ireland or going back for a second visit, the country is on most folks' top 10 list because it seems to call to some sort of the unconscious part of the soul. Indeed, it is the land of enchantment, perhaps a bit like Dorothy's Oz.
Pack your passport because these three new-to-the-scene adventures are worth the jet-lag. Forgoing a tropical summer vacation with sprawling hotel pools and palm trees for the older traditions of Europe? You've come to the right place.
When people say a Supreme Court ruling for marriage equality would be the end of America, or the worst thing since slavery, or the ultimate calamity, what do they really mean? That their spouses will leave them? Their houses will collapse? Nuclear warheads will be launched?
This would be an historic moment for any country, but it is even more so for this bastion of conservative Catholicism. So how did Ireland, one of the last Western democracies to decriminalize homosexuality, become the first country to embrace marriage equality by popular vote? Five factors shaped the outcome.
In Ireland nearly every stranger you meet engages you in a bit, or more than a bit, of talk. An oldish priest entered behind me as I asked the receptionist where I might find Father Horgan.
We're going to begin today with a rather loaded question: How much attention do you think the media should be paying towards a presidential nominee who is right now getting 13 to 15 percent support in public opinion polls of their party's voters?
A few years ago it seemed almost unimaginable. Ireland's overwhelming support of legalizing same-sex marriage is a reminder of how fast political change can happen, and how apparent certainties can crumble at lightning speed.
You've likely heard the news that Ireland made history this past weekend by becoming the first country in the world to legalize same-sex marriage by (a landslide) popular vote.
Anti-equality groups love to claim that religious officials will be punished for speaking out against marriage equality. But for some reason, they don't seem to want to talk about Anne DePrizio, a Unitarian minister in Alabama who was sentenced to 30 days in jail last month for her stance on marriage.
Along with marriage equality in Ireland, the country just hung out a giant rainbow-colored "you are welcome" sign to the world. Within a few hours of the historic vote, Tourism Ireland released this video inviting the gay world to visit Ireland.
Archbishop Diarmuid Martin of Dublin, a moderate on most issues, has described the Irish vote as a "reality check." It is certainly that.
The Irish have made history over the weekend. Voting with an overwhelming majority to embrace gay marriage, they have leapfrogged a big part of Europe.
As Shakespeare might have said regarding Ireland's resounding YES vote on Gay Marriage, "This is a tale told by the populous full of sound and fury, signifying everything." And it is. Ireland hit her mark on the planet and she gleams! But in true Shakespearian fashion, not before some tragedy.
Like so many, I am mourning the loss of actress, comedian and writer, Anne Meara. Partnered in every sense of the word with Jerry Stiller, her husband of 61 years, she brought smiles to all of us, but there was so much more to her career than many of us appreciated.
The landslide victory for marriage equality in Ireland caught some conservatives off guard. What happened to the staunchly conservative, almost fanatical Catholicism of the Irish people? Paul Valleley, a professor of public ethics at the University of Chester, offered some important suggestions. He lists two major reasons.