Peace may finally be at hand in Northern Ireland. In this hour of To the Best of Our Knowledge, The Irish - their history, their music, their gift of gab. A noted writer recalls the pain of growing up female in North Dublin. And Oscar Wilde's grandson recounts the trial of the century.
Irish Times columnist Nuala O'Faolain shares with Steve Paulson her hopes and fears about the proposed peace accord between Ireland and Britain. She supports it, but feels the North is still a deeply sectarian place. Also, Ray O'Hanlon, an editor for The Irish Echo in New York, tells Judith Strasser about the enormous influence Irish- Americans have on Irish politics, due largely to American funding of Sinn Fein and the IRA.SEGMENT 2:
Poet Ciaran Carson plays the flute and is the author of "Last Night's Fun: In and Out of Time with Irish Music." He tells Jim Fleming about the tradition of pub music in Ireland and provides a few examples; says the impromptu music-making is like a conversation; and explains how even a single tune (and jar!) can ease him out of a hangover. Also, Nuala O'Faolain (as noted in Segment one - a columnist for The Irish Times) is the author of "Are You Somebody: The Accidental Memoir of a Dublin Woman." She tells Steve Paulson that alcoholism is a scourge for Irish families. While it's socially acceptable for men to be the life of the pub, women who drink lose everything. She says she was a wild girl who was lucky not to get pregnant, and that her first experience of companionship and domesticity was the result of waking up hungover in bed with another woman.SEGMENT 3:
Wit and playwright Oscar Wilde was once the darling of English society. Now he's a hero in the gay community. Wilde's grandson Merlin Holland has published an account of Wilde's life - "The Wilde Album." Holland tells Steve Paulson that his grandfather was profoundly influenced by his Irish heritage and explains the series of trials that ruined Wilde's reputation, and his life.Cassette copies are available at 1-800-747-7444. Ask for program number 98-05-24-A.
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