Book review

The Peculiar Sensation of Being Irish

Killeen Publications, ISBN 1-873548-31-1, pp201, IR6.99
Pat Ingoldsby, perhaps best known for his appearances on children's television in Ireland and for his eight books of poetry, has published a selection of prose pieces mostly taken from his regular column in the now-defunct Evening Press. Mr. Ingoldsby has a quirky way of looking at Irish life and Irish characters, but all of his observations ring true and we can recognise many of the inconsistencies of contemporary Ireland. Our inability to either give or accept praise is highlighted in "Run for cover when compliments fly" while his suggestions for new events which might help us win at the Olympics include the Toenail Clipiad, the Dislodgiad (in which the contestant tries to dislodge the woman at the end of the row in church), and, of course, the Begrudgiad. More serious essays are aimed at the Government's need to do something for the children begging on the streets and those suffering all forms of abuse, as well as the plight of the homeless. "The Peculiar Sensation of Being Irish", dedicated to Rory Gallagher, is thoroughly enjoyable while at the same time forcing us to recognise our deficiencies."
This review appeared in the Irish Emigrant Book Review, edited by Pauline Ferrie (Issue No. 8, January 16, 1996) and is reproduced here by Pauline Ferrie's kind permission.

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