Feeling, guilty, horny, ticked-off, twittered-out, put-upon, misunderstood, about to join the Tea Party or sell yourself into white slavery - take the easy way out. Retire to your flea-bitten couch with your favorite six-pack and read This is Your Brain on Shamrocks!!

-Larry Kirwan, lead singer of Black 47, author of "Green Suede Shoes" and "Rockin' the Bronx"

Mike Farragher has just released his fifth book, 9 Rooms in Ballyglunin, a collection of short works of fiction set in a B&B in the rural west of Ireland. Fiona Burke walks away from a lucrative career in law to pursue her dream of opening a bed and breakfast on her estate in Ballyglunin. Each guest inhabiting the 9 Rooms in Ballyglunin checks in at a crossroads in their life and they lean on this mighty Irish woman during their times of intense loss, uncertainty, and rebirth. Fiona carries a dark secret of her own along the way and none […]

Playing Ketchup with Granny Though you were born in Jersey City, there is something about the fork in the road on the n17 on the way to your grandmother’s house in Ballyglunin near Athenry that tells you that you’ve arrived home. You are loathe to buy into reincarnation, but there is an undeniable sense of silent company walking with you down a hill on the thin tongue of black top between Uncle Matty’s house and your grandmother’s place next door. The hills that your grandfather worked and so suddenly died on are a green patchwork, with cobblestone fences dividing the […]

What Is a Brain on Shamrocks? Like most minds, your thought process is guided by that inner voice that judges and assesses everyone and everything. In fact, that voice might have just asked, what voice is he talking about? Yup. It’s that voice. But you’re an Irish-American born to Irish parents, which means your inner voice has a brogue that sounds remarkably like your mother’s. It’s that “Celtic consciousness” that gets to work as you’re sitting on the back deck of your house reading the Sunday New York Times just as the last Mass of the day begins. Not going […]

  McMEDITATE “INTERESTED?” This was the text I got from my wife, along with a web link to a beginners’ meditation class that our local parks and recreation branch was hosting. I read all about the benefits of meditation on the class website: clearer thinking and less emotional turmoil, lower blood pressure, greater intimacy with friends and family members, and a deeper sense of meaning and purpose. But was it for me? I couldn’t think of one person in my family who meditated, and so I looked at the idea with a mixture of suspicion and interest. “Believe me, it […]

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