Last week was a busy one. My co-author and friend Jim Kennelly and I launched our latest book Gombeens at the Gate: Renewing the Rising through Ideals, Character and Place. This is the third book Jim and I have written together. With only 100 pages (one for each year since the Easter Rising), we did remark that, unlike ourselves, our books are getting slimmer as time goes on! Gombeens at the Gate […]

Vision with Capability – A Real Paradigm Shift

The word ‘gombeen’ is the anglicised version of the Irish word ‘gaimbín’. The gombeen man is a despised figure in Irish history. It usually referred to shopkeepers who exploited their rural customers through extending credit at usurious rates to people in need. Over time however, the expression gombeen – in Ireland at least – has come to describe the activities of anyone who pursues personal gain (usually financial)  by dubious means. In the book, we […]

Gombeens at the Gate – the book title explained

120 Nights Candles are Burnt Out
The front cover  illustration of our book ‘Gombeens at the Gate‘  is called Nights Candles are Burnt Out . It is a painting completed in 1929 by the Limerick artist Seán Keating (1889-1977) and depicts the ‘Shannon Scheme’ at Ardnacrusha. Here is Keating’s own description of the work according to the May 1932 edition of The Sphere magazine: “The title suggests that the dawn has come, when the dim candlelight of surviving medievalism […]

What is the front cover painting of ‘Gombeens at the ...