Square Peg; The Life and Times of a Northern Newspaperman South of the Border, Nonsuch, November 2009.
In 1968, after two and half years in Ethiopia, journalist Dennis Kennedy returned to Ireland with his wife and children, not to his native North, but to Dublin. Square Peg: Life and Times of a Northern Newspaperman South of the Border is a wry account of how a Northern Protestant made his home for twenty years in the Dublin Mountains in the isolated, and almost entirely Catholic village of Glencullen, and worked for most of those years for the Irish Times, ending up as deputy editor. Square Peg is not another history of the Irish Times, nor is it a weighty analysis of Irish politics and society; rather it is an anecdotal and humorous account of an outsider learning to cope with the eccentricities not just of the society in which he found himself, but also of his colleagues, of the politicians he encountered and of Glencullen and its weather. Dealings with politicians like Jack Lynch, Garret FitzGerald, Paddy Hillery and Charlie Haughey alternate with the benefits of a national bank strike and the vagaries of the 44B bus service, and with life in the Irish Times under the editorships of Douglas Gageby and Fergus Pyle, and the paternal overlordship of the Olympian Major McDowell.
For added value there is a well-researched history of Glencullen and of Glencullen House, and a serious reflection on southern responses, including those of the Irish Times, to the Northern crisis during its most critical years..
"Square Peg is an affectionate and somewhat wry account of working at The Irish Times and living in Dublin (both get about equal billing) for nearly 20 years. Kennedy has no axe to grind; instead he offers reassessments of former colleagues as well as some finely observed moments and some surprising recollections" - From The Irish Time, Monday January 4, 2010. To read the Michael Foley's full review click here.