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Vincent Carmody's listowel

Vincent Carmody's ListowelGerry O'Shea
In the bar area of the Kerry Hall in Yonkers there are portraits displayed of five well-known Kerry writers, and three of the five come from the town of Listowel or its hinterland: Maurice Walsh from Ballybunion, author of The Quiet Man, John Moriarty, poet and philosopher from Moyvane and, of course, John B Keane from the town itself.
The management of the bar would find it hard to explain why the marvelous Bryan McMahon is not on display or Brendan Kennelly from Ballylongford or George Fitzmaurice, a noted dramatist and short story writer in the 19th century or Fergal Keane of current BBC fame.
I have no idea why a small and - at first walk-through - an unimposing town accounts for so much exuberant artistic talent. And now we have local historian, Vincent Carmody, producing an excellent and intriguing communal history: Listowel: A Printer's Legacy. The title is further explained in the cover as The Story of Printing in North Kerry 18…
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In his recent State of the Union message President Trump warned against those who were pushing socialism as the best approach to solving the problems the country faces. This message was highlighted by many others on the political Right who pointed to the mess in Venezuela as the contemporary example of the disasters accompanying the hated "S" word.
Yet in a 2017 study 44% of millennials, citizens in their 20's and 30's, favor a socialist approach to government with, rather surprisingly, just 42% opting for the present capitalist system in America. A more recent Gallup poll found that 57% of Democrats expressed a preference for the socialist system while the percentage identifying with that party favoring capitalism registered in the low 40's.
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That advice did not prevail with the British people who in 2016 voted in a referendum by 52% to 48% to leave the European Union. They disregarded the steady and substantial growth in their country's wealth, in their GDP, since they became part of the EU in 1973. Since joining, the median income for wage earners in Great Britain has increased by an impressive 79%; by comparison, using the same measure, the United States registered a modest improvement of 16%.Within the EU, over the last 45 years, the British economic growth rate slightly exceeded Germany and was well ahead of France.
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