July 11, 2013 |
LONDON - After exhaustive - and exhausting - debate, lawmakers in Ireland approved a controversial bill early Friday spelling out strict rules under which abortions can be performed, the first time that the Roman Catholic nation has enshrined such permission in law. Legislators voted 127 to 31 in favor of the proposal, which allows an abortion if a woman's life is at risk. The lopsided count masked deep divisions in parliament and in Irish society over a bill that supporters said brought clarity to murky guidelines surrounding medically necessary abortions but that opponents warned would lead to terminations on demand.
July 3, 2013 |
Tom Bergin's, the famed Irish saloon on Fairfax Avenue known for its strong Irish coffee, corned beef and cabbage and a pull on L.A. tourists, abruptly announced today that it is shutting its doors. The pub -- one of the oldest restaurants in Los Angeles -- posted a message on its Facebook page announcing the closure. A reason was not given. The message simply said: "We are sorry to let everyone know that this Sunday will be Tom Bergin's last day of business. Please join us in our last few days; we'd love to see as many familiar faces as possible.
May 30, 2013 |
Ascending British actress Andrea Riseborough's face is an exquisite road map of pain, fear and resolve in "Shadow Dancer," a thriller that explores questions of loyalty against a backdrop of Northern Ireland politics in the early '90s. Riseborough plays Belfast-born young mother Collette, a tragedy-stricken daughter of the Troubles. After she's caught trying to blow up a London subway, an MI5 officer (Clive Owen) taps her to spy on her IRA brothers. Riseborough captures this queasy situation with grimly haunting grace.
April 23, 2013 |
More than 25 years after Roddy Doyle wrote "The Commitments," the bestselling book-turned-movie is bound for London's West End. The scrappy story about a group of down-and-out Dubliners who form a soul band will open on Oct. 8 at the Palace Theatre. Doyle co-wrote the script for the 1991 movie of the same name, but was reluctant to adapt the story for the stage. PHOTOS: Hollywood stars on stage In part because of "The Commitments'” on-screen success, and until he saw "Jersey Boys,” the novelist, well, didn't care for musicals.
April 8, 2013 |
LONDON -- It perhaps goes without saying that the death of former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher did not prompt universal mourning. She could be a polarizing figure, nowhere more than in working-class communities of northern England, Scotland and Wales, where residents bitterly recall the fierce fights against her closure of Britain's mines in the 1980s, actions that caused thousands to lose their livelihoods. The National Union of Miners posted a few words of condolence to the Thatcher family, but followed it with a reminder: “The legacy of what the Conservative government did to British industry under Thatcher is not one to be proud of if you really did want the best for the people.” The working class had suffered “decimation” in the name of the free market, the message said, adding that “Thatcher lived long enough to see her beliefs demolished when the 'free market' collapsed and came running to the state for support.
April 8, 2013 |
NEW YORK - If there's one thing Gabriel Byrne has learned in recent years, it's the importance of a comfortable chair. After a marathon 106 episodes as psychologist Paul Weston on the HBO drama "In Treatment," Byrne stars in "Vikings," History's first full-length scripted series, as Earl Haraldson, a Norse chieftain with a flowing salt-and-pepper mane (all his own, thank you very much) and a taste for cruelty. Despite the considerable differences between the shows - one set almost entirely in a shrink's office in brownstone Brooklyn, the other in 8th century Scandinavia - they both left Byrne, well, uncomfortable.
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April 4, 2013 |
Milo O'Shea, a versatile Dublin-born stage and screen actor known for his famously bristling, agile eyebrows and roles in such disparate films as "Ulysses," "Barbarella" and Franco Zeffirelli's "Romeo and Juliet," has died. He was 86. O'Shea, who also appeared in many popular television series, including "Cheers," "Frasier," "The West Wing" and "The Golden Girls," died Tuesday in New York after a short illness, according to Irish news accounts. Familiar both in starring and supporting roles, he appeared in numerous stage productions before coming to wider attention with his first leading screen role as Leopold Bloom in the 1967 adaptation of James Joyce's "Ulysses.
April 3, 2013 |
Milo O'Shea, an Irish stage and screen actor known for his roles in films as varied as “Ulysses,” “Barbarella” and Franco Zeffirelli's “Romeo and Juliet,” has died. He was 86. O'Shea, who also had guest roles on many popular television series, including “Cheers,” “Frasier” and “The West Wing,” died Tuesday in New York City, according to Irish news reports. PHOTOS: Notable deaths of 2013 Familiar as both a starring and character actor, with bristling eyebrows and an impish smile, O'Shea appeared in numerous stage productions before he came to wider attention with his first starring screen role, when he played protagonist Leopold Bloom in the 1967 film adaptation of James Joyce's “Ulysses.” O'Shea's many other memorable roles included playing mad scientist Dr. Durand Durand in the 1968 cult classic “Barbarella” with Jane Fonda, the well-intentioned Friar Laurence in Zeffirelli's adaptation of “Romeo and Juliet,” also in 1968, and as the trial judge in the 1982 film “The Verdict,” starring Paul Newman.
March 28, 2013 |
As edgy Irish comedy-thrillers go, Robert Massey's “Rank” largely ranks as “Martin McDonagh Lite,” but like its more extreme noirish forebears, Massey's 2008 caper tale revels in skillfully expressive language, even in the most trivial exchanges - loopy digressions and non sequiturs are the main attractions in its U.S. premiere at Odyssey Theatre. Adhering to its genre formula, the play's Irish-inflected love of gab goes hand in hand with its mounting sense of menace, as down-and-out cab driver Carl (Kevin Kearns)
March 17, 2013 |
DUBLIN, Ireland - As the shopkeepers in this capital city readied for St. Patrick's Day under typically intermittent rainy skies, Father Sean McDonagh's attention was on the new pope's agenda. The Columban priest, whose order has a long tradition of missionary work, has been an outspoken critic of Vatican policies. With Pope Francis' honeymoon period underway he, like many, is waiting to see what issues will be at the center of the new papal agenda. McDonagh, 69, believes Francis needs to go green, making environmentalism the No. 1 priority for the Catholic Church.