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Liam Fay

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Latest Articles by Liam Fay

Interview: From The Archives: The Full Tom Petty Interview from 1989

2017-10-03 17:34:00

Tom Petty’s rock’n’roll journey has been a long and often arduous one. From his early days with The Heartbreakers in the bars of Gainesville, Florida, through his collaborations with people like Bob Dylan and on to his work with one of the most successful supergroups ever, The Traveling Wilburys, his career has been littered with legal battles, personal traumas and even an attempt on his life. With his debut solo album ‘Full Moon Fever’ currently storming up the American charts, he takes a reflective look over the last ten years in the company of Liam Fay.

Interview: The Hitman: An interview with Nigel Grainge

1991-02-01 12:00:00

Hot Press' Liam Fay interviewed Nigel Grainge about his career to date at that point, January 1991. The interview was originally published in Hot Press 15-02, with Gabriel Byrne on the cover. Nigel Graine passed away on 11th June 2017.

News: Tangled up in Blues

1992-07-16 10:49:00

The Rory Gallagher Story - a star-studded saga of music, magic, mayhem, merriment and the highs and lows of the long and winding road. Interview by Liam Fay. (Taken from the Hot Press 15-year anniversary special)


1995-07-11 16:24:00

LIAM FAY remembers Rory Gallagher, the superb raconteur with a dry wit

Report: Garth's World

1994-04-20 15:00:00

Well, he may not own all of it yet but at his current rate of progress it can't be too long before Garth Brooks is officially acknowledged as Master Of The Universe. In Dublin for a low-key 8-night stint at The Point, the titfered titan's appeal, audience and trust in the Almighty are examined by our man in the snazzy stetson, Liam Fay.

Reports: The day Mary Robinson said yes

2007-06-21 00:00:00

30th Anniversary Retrospective: It seems preposterous in hindsight, but at the time, Mary Robinson‘s interview was dubbed ‘the longest suicide note in history.’

Interview: Caoimhghín O'Caoláin

1997-07-09 00:00:00

Sinn Féin’s first sitting TD since 1918 chooses his words carefully for the Hot Press Political Interview. “I’m not measured or calculating,” he explains, “this is me. As I am.” Liam Fay fires the questions. Pic: Cathal Dawson

Commentary: The a-z of weird sex

2002-10-17 00:00:00

In 1996, Liam Fay wrote the definitive a to z of weird sexual practices for Hotpress. We raid the archive to present a selection from that much larger work

Album: The Sky's Awful Blue

2002-07-02 00:00:00

Even at his most flawed, however, Coughlan is a musical blueblood in a world of vinegar-veined pretenders. Long may he reign


1993-07-28 00:00:00

Dublin's unlikely new Lord Mayor, Tomás MacGiolla, gets a lot off his chest on subjects as diverse as pomp and ceremony, government discrimination against Dublin, the re-zoning scandal, violence and prostitution on the streets of the capital, conspiracies to undermine the Workers Party and, inevitably, his palpable bitterness towards Democratic Left. Interview: Liam Fay. Pics: Colm Henry.

Commentary: DON'T MISS THE BOAT!

1993-07-28 00:00:00

The Greenpeace vessel M.V. Solo is on route to Dublin. LIAM FAY reports.


1993-07-28 00:00:00

. . . and talks and talks. But when it's NICK KELLY doing the talking, he's always worth listening to, whether what's under discussion is Leonard Cohen, french polishing amid plastic furniture, the brain-numbing efficiency of the music industry or the long-term future of the FAT LADY SINGS. LIAM FAY has plenty of time for him but barely enough tape.


1993-07-14 00:00:00

She began her career as a police reporter before taking a job in the Chief Medical Examiner's Office in Virginia. There, she spent as much time in the morgue as possible, watching autopsies - including dozens on bodies which had been savagely maimed and mutilated in the course of being murdered. Now she writes crime novels, but Patricia D. Cornwell keeps going back to the morgue to witness the kind of gruesome sights that would give an angel bad dreams. Interview: Liam Fay Pix: Colm Henry

Interview: Pop Life

1993-06-30 00:00:00

He's still wild at heart, but somewhat less weird on top now that he's found his very own version of domestic bliss. James Jewel Osterberg, alias Iggy Pop, talks to Liam Fay, who predicts that the Igster's performance will be the highpoint of Feile '93.

Frontlines: By The Time I Get To The Phoenix...

1993-06-16 00:00:00

...I'll be suing you left, right and centre you shower of *!*!*! . . . or words to that effect. Liam Fay talks to Phoenix editor Paddy Prendiville.

Interview: Damn Right I Got The Blues

1993-05-19 00:00:00

Arriving in Dublin in the last sixties as a 16 year old guitar wunderkind, Belfast born Gary Moore embarked on a musical career that has seen him go through several metamorphoses and achieve numerous notable success in the process.


1993-06-02 00:00:00



1993-06-02 00:00:00

MICHAEL NOONAN may be the most follicularly-challenged member of the Fine Gael front bench but he is also seen by some as the party's leader in waiting, the only person capable of bringing about the kind of revitalisation which has so conspicuously eluded John Bruton. Now aged fifty, Noonan was for years known as the man who as Minister for Justice in the mid-eighties exposed the Sean Doherty bugging scandal and ordered the release of Nicky Kelly. More recently, however, he has achieved real fame as a Scrap Saturday caricature. Interview: LIAM FAY.

Frontlines: The Brendan Voyage

1996-03-11 00:00:00

As escape acts go, it ranked up there with the very best of Harry Houdini. Bishop Brendan Comiskey, in theory at least, was back to face the music and undergo a gruelling, exhaustive interrogation at the hands of the assembled press corps. Instead, his press conference turned into a stage-managed anti-climax, and the media watched helplessly as he slipped from their grasp.

News: Critics Roundup 1989

1989-12-15 00:00:00

Liam Fay's 1989

News: Critics Roundup 1990

1990-12-15 00:00:00

Liam Fay's 1990

News: Critics Roundup 1988

1988-12-15 00:00:00

End of term reviewers are a bit like film censors. As they reel in the year, there is a tendency to cut and paste according to their own prejudices and passions.

Album: The Sky And The Ground

1989-01-26 00:00:00

If nothing else, The Sky And The Ground is a measure of the shortest possible distance between New York and Wexford.

Album: Magic And Loss

1992-01-16 00:00:00

Not content with being larger-than-life, Lou Reed now wants to be larger-than-death.

Album: Automatic For The People

1992-10-22 00:00:00

Yet, it is probably the best thing they've ever done. I'd half hoped that it wouldn't be.

Interview: THE VERDICT

1989-09-07 00:00:00

When Adam Clayton was arrested in Dublin in August of 1989 and charged with possession of 19 grammes of cannabis with intent to supply, it placed U2's immediate future as a live band in jeopardy. Trial report: Liam Fay.

Album: The Rhythm Of The Saints

1990-11-04 00:00:00

Let those who never thought culture stopped at the first world's borders, who never thought it was only happening in English, cast the first stone at Paul Simon and mock his work as patronising. To do so is to miss the point. Western music will die on its feet unless it learns to assimilate outside influences rather than repel them and if people like Simon or David Byrne or any of the other World Music daytrippers can offer a handrail to the nervous then so be it.

Album: Chemicrazy

1990-05-06 00:00:00

Christ, that Petrol Emotion can be dour bastards hod-carriers of polemic and bile who haul the world's worries around on their shoulders and then complain to use about the backstrain.

Frontlines: Have I God News For You!

1996-12-02 00:00:00

She calls Him her “Great Lover”. He tells her to “call Me Daddy”. At any hour of the day or night Himself is likely to drop into the life of Vassula Ryden for a bit of a chinwag. She, in turn, broadcasts His words to the world at large. All of which means that, in what amounts to the metaphysical journalistic coup of the century, our Liam Fay gets an exclusive interview with The Holy Spirit.

Frontlines: Politically Incorrect

1996-12-02 00:00:00

Did you hear the one about the Clare man who loves Dublin and is less than enamoured with rural Ireland? Or the staunch Labour Party man who doesn’t worship Dick Spring? Or the politician whose fed up to the teeth with political correctness? Then you haven’t heard about PAT UPTON, Labour TD for Dublin South Central. LIAM FAY did, and now it’s your turn. Pix: COLM HENRY


1995-02-22 00:00:00

The devil may have all the best tunes but, as readers of The Irish Times and Hot Press can tell you, Tom Mathews has all the funniest cartoons. Liam Fay meets the man behind the flash moustache and finds him making an exhibition of himself . . . but at least he’ll be able to pay for his charcoal!

Interview: Master McGrath

1996-12-02 00:00:00

The books of author PATRICK McGRATH depict insanity and psychological breakdown with a detail and accuracy that are second to none. LIAM FAY meets the mental hospital worker-turned-writer to discuss the very particular nature(s) of madness. Pic: CATHAL DAWSON.


1995-01-25 00:00:00

From Sting to Frank Zappa, Derek Bell has been literally instrumental in establishing The Chieftains as your average rock legend’s favourite group. Liam Fay hears the full story about his ice cream binges with Van Morrison and his special liking for rosewood oboes!

Frontlines: Close ENCOUNTERS

1995-02-08 00:00:00

Alryte! Liam Fay gets on the blower to Phil Redmond, the scouser who launched a thousand Brookside storylines, who chin wags about lesbianism, wife-beating, Emmerdale and, er, those Farm t-shirts!


1995-02-08 00:00:00

The task facing SEÁN HAUGHEY is a daunting one: to attempt to emulate the achievements of his father, a man who spent decades at the very centre of Irish public life. Liam Fay talks to the most famous moustache in politics about life, love and the pursuit of happiness, and asks: is Dáil Éireann to be the House of the Rising Son? Pix: COLM HENRY.

Frontlines: AND THE BEAT GOES ON . . .

1995-02-08 00:00:00

CLIFF RICHARD has come out in favour of caning as a punishment for law-breakers. liam fay reckons this is Biff’s bottom line, right enough.

Interview: The snuff legends are made of

1995-01-25 00:00:00

Liam Fay talks to the three men behind the first “unmissable” movie smash of '95 SHALLOW GRAVE and hears why comparisons with the American death-and-glory tradition are a misnomer.

Commentary: I walked the Line... ...and the Line won

1995-01-25 00:00:00

A broken and distraught LIAM FAY recounts his nightmare on Stephen Street where he endured the full horrors of LINE DANCING . . . and just about lived to tell the tale. Pics: Mick Quinn

Interview: Shine On, You Crazy Diamond

1995-01-11 00:00:00

He’s a legend, an icon and a farmer. His hit singles tally in this country is surpassed only by Elvis Presley and Cliff Richard. He is, above all else, the man who brought... ‘Do You Want Your Old Lobby Washed Down’ and ‘Carrots From Clonoun’. Behold the unexpurgated brendan shIne on sex, drugs, drink, the accordion, grunge, GATT and Donie Cassidy’s wig. Interview: Liam Fay. Pix: Cathal Dawson.


1994-12-14 00:00:00

Nog Nog Noggin ON HEAVEN’S DOOR Come with us on a fantastic voyage to the mythical kingdom of Gibletland in the wondrous empire of Sallynoggin where sex, drugs and rock'n'roll rule and where your decadent host is, eh, Dustin the Turkey. DUSTIN THE TURKEY!!! Read on but beware of fowl play. Your demented guide: LIAM FAY.

Frontlines: LEFT IN THE DARK

1995-01-25 00:00:00

Despite its good intentions, Channel 4’s recent After Dark special on the Church and sex in Ireland didn’t shed much light on the issues raised. Night owl: LIAM FAY


1995-01-11 00:00:00

Tabloids, those small, square, screeching newspapers in which England in particular specialises, have never really caught on in Ireland, certainly not in the same way that they have across the water. It’s certainly not because we don’t have the shock! horror! scandals needed to feed their hungry maw. In fact, some of the stuff that goes on in this country is actually too sensational for the sensational press. Below, Liam Fay looks at some of the secrets in the lives of four famous Irish figures from the past hundred and fifty years or so and attempts to reinterpret them as a modern day tabloid would. All of the ‘scandals’ alluded to are factual. Joyce was a coprophiliac, Yeats did have sheep glands inserted into his body, James Clarence Mangan was a phenomenal dipso and Michael Collins was, well, inordinately fond of wrestling.


1994-12-14 00:00:00


Commentary: Taking the Mickey

1994-12-14 00:00:00

It's been a year of momentous upheaval throughout the planet. Wars have flared up, governments have fallen and the hole in the ozone layer has continued to grow. Inside the global y-fronts, however, was where the real cut and thrust of 1994 was going on. A cross-legged Liam Fay reports on twelve months which have seen a huge increase in the rate of worldwide castration and which prove beyond any doubt that the penis is not mightier than the sword.

News: A Year in the Life

1994-12-14 00:00:00

How was it for you? The assembled Hot Press writers offer their own opinions on 1994 over the next five pages.


1994-12-14 00:00:00

. . . with a litre bottle of Jameson in the passenger seat. Liam Fay on the fine art of sozzled speeding.


1994-11-16 00:00:00

Billed as the publishing event of the century, Crossing The Threshold Of Hope by Pope John Paul has already netted its author an advance of $10 million and is currently topping bestseller lists the world over. LIAM FAY wades through this extra helping of papal bull and comes to the conclusion that His Holiness is now, certifiably, as crazy as a shithouse rat.

Album: Trailer

1994-11-16 00:00:00

Of all their undeniable qualities, it is Ash’s bone dry sense of humour and their eye for unnervingly absurd detail that bodes most auspiciously for their long-term future.

Album: The Snake

1994-11-02 00:00:00

Shane MacGowan And The Popes: “The Snake” (ZTT)

Album: Out In L.A.

1994-11-16 00:00:00

Red Hot Chili Peppers: “Out In L.A.” (EMI)

Interview: give PIERCE a chance

1994-11-02 00:00:00

While commercial success hasn’t exactly come a-knockin’ on his door, Pierce Turner, in stoical mood, tells Liam Fay why he’s not all that bothered at the relative lack of lolly rolling in but how with his new live album Manaña In Manhattan just released, the wily Wexford wizard believes his time will come . . . Pic: Cathal Dawson.

Interview: The Man Behind The Choir

1994-10-19 00:00:00

As founder and director of the acclaimed choral group, Anuna, MICHAEL McGLYNN has established himself as one of the country's most gifted and innovated composers. However, he has also become a figure by some elements in the Irish Music Industry and been dismissed by others as a "pig ignorant arrogant bastard" Inetrview: LIAM FAY

Interview: IT’S ONLY RRRRROCK’N’ROLL . . .

1994-10-19 00:00:00

But try finding someone who doesn’t like it. The album Monster is yet another glittering addition to arguably the most astonishing canon in pop music, ever. Here, in a historic summit, the world’s greatest fortnightly rock paper gets together with the world’s greatest rock band for an intimate chat about the big issues: sex, death, drinking and, of course, rrrrrock’n’roll. What else is there? Interview: Liam Fay


1994-11-02 00:00:00

From circus dwarves, incest and lesbian love affairs to severed organs and transvestite Indian brothels, John Irving’s novels are awash with enough tales of screwball sex and lurid violence to make even Quentin Tarantino blush. With his mammoth new 633-page novel A Son Of The Circus just published, the multi-million selling New Hampshire author indulges in a spot of verbal wrestling with liam fay, who discovers why he should keep this particular tête-à-tête purely literary. Pix: Cathal Dawson.


1994-11-02 00:00:00

Oliver Stone’s controversial new movie Natural Born Killers has been banned in Ireland. Liam Fay finds it hard to discover why.

Album: Spirits

1994-10-05 00:00:00

Gil Scott-Heron: “Spirits” (TVT/Mother Records)

Album: Faithfull

1994-09-07 00:00:00

Marianne Faithfull: “Faithfull” (Island)

Album: Lost In The Former West

1994-09-07 00:00:00

Fatima Mansions: “Lost In The Former West” (Radioactive Records)

Interview: Rapid Eye Movement

1994-09-21 00:00:00

With compass in hand and their newly unfurled Map Of The Universe nestling comfortably on their laps, Blink are boldly going where few Irish bands have gone before. But what happens when they get to Cork and Ballybunion? Intrepid explorer LIAM FAY dons his rucksack, climbs aboard the Blinkmobile and survives to tell the tale.

Interview: The Inside Track

1994-09-21 00:00:00

Striking Gold and setting a new World record might be enough to satisfy some athletes but for Sonia O'Sullivan such exploits are merely a warm-up for the glories that lie ahead. Ireland's athletics superstar talks to Liam Fay about winning, losing and the personal sacrifices she's prepared to make in order to become the best.

Interview: How the west was one

1994-09-21 00:00:00

“I was living fast, planning to die young and I was probably gonna take a few people with me,” says Fatima Mansions firebrand Cathal Coughlan of his descent into a personal and creative nightmare. Now back stronger, healthier and with an acclaimed new album, Lost In The Former West, under his belt, he retraces the highs, lows and kicks in the teeth of the last few years with Liam Fay.

Interview: Byrne-ing Down The House

1994-09-07 00:00:00

LIAM FAY gets a hot line to DAVID BYRNE on the eve of his Dublin concerts and found a pretty talkative head, discussing everything from Brazilian merengue music to Tommy Cooper.

Frontlines: Rough Justice

1994-10-05 00:00:00

Despite the IRA’s declaration of a ceasefire, there is considerable evidence to suggest that the Provos, like their Loyalist counterparts, are still engaging in “punishment attacks” and in the issuing of expulsion orders. Report: Liam Fay. Pics: Alan O’Connor

Message: The disgraceful spectacle

1994-10-05 00:00:00

The disgraceful spectacle at Shannon Airport last Friday was the final straw. It was a humiliation too far. How much more can this tiny little nation take?


1994-09-07 00:00:00

Liam Fay spends a day behind the counter of the Condom Power store in Dublin, Ireland’s only condomerie and sex shop, and a place where there is no shortage of “realistic vibrating buttocks.”

Album: I Had A New York Girlfriend

1994-08-24 00:00:00

Robert Forster: “I Had A New York Girlfriend” (Beggars Banquet)

Interview: Moving on up

1994-02-09 00:00:00

As they prepare to storm Dublin's Olympia for two reunion shows later this month, LIAM FAY talks unfinished business to KEITH DONALD and EOGHAN O'NEILL of MOVING HEARTS

Interview: Grevious Bodily Gram

1994-02-09 00:00:00

LIAM FAY celebrates the re-release of Gram Parsons’ two solo albums, G.P. and GRIEVOUS ANGEL on mid-price CD with an appraisal of the life and work of the man dubbed The Father of Country Rock.

Frontlines: The Politics of Rape

1994-02-09 00:00:00

Since writing her book The Morning After: Sex, Fear And Feminism, author Katie Roiphe has been subjected to an unprecedented level of private and public vilification for her outspoken views on rape. Here, she talks to Liam Fay about the growing complexity of sexual politics in the States. Pix: Cathal Dawson.

Frontlines: KITSCH ’N’ SYNC

1994-08-24 00:00:00

The Miss Ireland competition is in its 45th year. Liam Fay went along to the Burlington Hotel final to come to (metaphorical) grips with the assets of Miss Irish Sun Newspaper, among others. He found the experience deeply embarrassing. Pix: Colm Henry.


1994-08-24 00:00:00

They are a hunted species, forced to live out their lives in covert(s) under constant threat from marauding hounds and their society masters. You’d imagine that a fox would know something about what it feels like to be gay in ’90s Ireland but not johnny fox, the independent TD for Wicklow. Here, he unleashes an unrestrained attack on homosexuality, the practice of which he believes should never have been decriminalised in this country. For good measure, he also has a go at the government’s ‘liberal agenda’, the European Community, Bord Fáilte and the standard of refereeing at GAA football matches. Interview: Liam Fay. Pics: Cathal Dawson

Frontlines: CAUSING A STIR

1994-01-26 00:00:00

It’s a rare thing indeed to hear an Irish lesbian speak openly and frankly about her life, lusts and loves. Gay writer, EMMA DONOGHUE, however, is one of the first of a new and more confident generation. At twenty-four, she has already produced a prodigious body of work ranging from drama to cultural history to her just-published first novel, Stir Fry. In the process, she has emerged as a proud and powerful voice for hundreds of young lesbians in this country. Interview: LIAM FAY. Pix: COLM HENRY

Interview: Undercover Blues

1994-02-23 00:00:00

Liam Fay teams up with the IMRO hit squad as they venture north to Monaghan in search of bars, discos and other such venues that do not have a licence to thrill, or at least a licence for the public performing of music.


1994-03-09 00:00:00

There has been no increase in the rate of teenage pregnancy since 1972 . . . and that’s official! Report LIAM FAY.


1994-03-09 00:00:00

It is still possible to ban a book or magazine in Ireland if it advocates the use of contraception. Report: LIAM FAY

Frontlines: Even better than the Real Thing

1994-02-23 00:00:00

Er, perhaps not, but after 25 years of waxing, back-combing and tottering around on six-inch heels, Mr. Pussy has certainly earned the right to call himself ‘Ireland’s Most Misleading Lady’. LIAM FAY gets a lesson in cross-dressing from the man who’s stripped Bono to the waist, offered solace to Charlie Haughey and stuck a hairy appendage under Ringo Starr’s nose. PIX: Colm Henry

Album: Way Out Where

1994-01-12 00:00:00

THE VERLAINES: “Way Out Where” (Slash)

Album: Turn It On

1994-01-12 00:00:00



1993-12-01 00:00:00

It was a night of mayhem, hysteria and high decibel screaming which left LIAM FAY psychologically, emotionally and aesthetically scarred. It was TAKE THAT’S Irish debut at The Point. This is his report from the front line.

Commentary: BRAND'S NEW BAG

1993-12-01 00:00:00

With her stinging one-liners and droll, deadpan delivery, JO BRAND has established herself as the Queen of British comedy. In the run up to her Dublin appearance, she talks about men, booze, cakes and Gary Bushell to LIAM FAY, and explains why she would eventually like to become an MP.


1993-12-15 00:00:00

“IN THE NAME OF THE FATHER” (Directed by Jim Sheridan. Starring Daniel Day Lewis, Peter Postlethwaite, Emma Thompson)

Frontlines: THE YEAR IN BRIEF 1993

1993-12-15 00:00:00

LIAM FAY reviews 1993 from the vantage point of the newspapers.

Album: The Red Shoes

1993-11-17 00:00:00

KATE BUSH: "The Red Shoes" (EMI)

Album: Anúna

1993-11-17 00:00:00

ANUNA: "Anúna" (Danú)

Album: Greatest Hits

1993-11-17 00:00:00



1993-10-20 00:00:00

WILLIAM GIBSON is no ordinary science-fiction writer. Aside from coining such essential nineties' terms as Cyberspace and Cyberpunk, his work has also influenced everyone from computer hackers to scientists developing virtual reality technology. In the rock world, he's regarded as a visionary and artists as diverse as U2, Billy Idol and The Rolling Stones have all claimed inspiration from his novels. Interview: Liam Fay. Cyberpics: Cathal Dawson.


1993-11-17 00:00:00

Historian and broadcaster ROBERT KEE is best known for his acclaimed series Ireland – A Television History. He talks to LIAM FAY about the Northern conflict and the role of censorship in prolonging it.


1993-11-17 00:00:00

The night has a thousand eyes, and, after a skinful of booze, most of them are on the lookout for a good after-hours cook-house where they can get a nice fry up. Bon vivant and gourmet, LIAM FAY, takes a long, strange trip into the netherworld of The Manhattan and The Gigs Place, two exotic night spots where daytime rules no longer apply.


1993-11-17 00:00:00

There is only one way to combat AIDS and that is to resist it - with information, education, safer sex, condoms, awareness, agitation and solidarity. We're all in this together - and we're in it for the long haul. Report: Liam Fay.

Album: The Paul Simon Anthology

1993-10-20 00:00:00

PAUL SIMON: "The Paul Simon Anthology" (Warners)

Album: Wild Wood

1993-10-20 00:00:00

PAUL WELLER: Wild Wood (Go! Discs)

Album: Island Angel

1993-10-06 00:00:00

ALTAN: "Island Angel" (Green Linnet)

Album: All Around The World

1993-09-22 00:00:00

JASON DONOVAN: "All Around The World" (Polydor)

Commentary: ON THE PIG'S BACK

1993-09-22 00:00:00

In Francie Brady aka Frank Pig, author PAT McCABE has created one of the most unique characters in Irish fiction, an underground cult hero who's already been likened to Holden Caulfield and Huckleberry Finn. The novel from which he comes, The Butcher Boy, is a smash hit on both sides of the Atlantic and work on the movie adaptation is already well advanced. Here, the man who's made a silk purse out of a sow's ear (sort of) talks comics, showbands, the human condition and, of course, pigs, in the company of LIAM FAY. Pix: COLM HENRY

Frontlines: KING of COMEDY

1993-10-06 00:00:00

From Have I Got News For You to his own sketch show series, from his soap ads to any television awards ceremony you care to mention, Paul Merton is undoubtedly the biggest and busiest star in British comedy. As he hits Dublin for a series of shows, he talks to Liam Fay about the price of fame, his close brush with nervous breakdown and, most importantly, his love affair with Bishop Eamon Casey.

Message: A WEEK ago, while walking up Grafton Street,

1993-10-06 00:00:00

A WEEK ago, while walking up Grafton Street, I was approached by a young man in an unnervingly yellow jumper who asked me if I had ever been to the land of my people.

Album: Waiting For Herb

1993-09-22 00:00:00

THE POGUES: "Waiting For Herb" (WEA)

Album: The Hits/The B-Sides

1993-09-22 00:00:00

PRINCE: The Hits/The B-Sides (Paisley Park/Warner Bros.)

Album: It Won't Be The Last

1993-09-08 00:00:00

WITH 'ACHY Breaky Heart', Billy Ray Cyrus managed to conquer the world and really get on its tits at the same time.

Interview: Black To The Future

1993-09-22 00:00:00

Funky Ceili, non-conformist politics and the approval of Bob Dylan, Robin Williams and Johnny Cash to name but a few. Larry Kirwan tells Liam Fay how Black 47 have become the hottest band in New York and one of 'The Ten Most Hated Things About America


1993-09-22 00:00:00

East Timor is a small island close to Indonesia. Invaded in 1975 by its much larger neighbour, in the intervening years almost one third of its population has been wiped out in an ongoing campaign of international terrorism and genocide. The arms being used to terrorise this small island are being supplied by Britain. Report: LIAM FAY


1993-09-22 00:00:00

LIAM FAY asks Nazi Revisionist DAVID IRVING, "Are you mad?"

Album: Watermark

1988-04-21 00:00:00

Watermark is reminiscent of lots of things - yet it's like nothing you've ever heard before. Traces of classical, traditional and rock are easy to spot but Enya and crew haven't been content to drink only from established sources - rather they've managed to come up with a potion all of their own.

Album: The Best Of The Undertones

1993-08-11 00:00:00

ELVIS PRESLEY was so lonely he could die, and he did. Sid Vicious self-destructed, his way. But The Undertones, they just wanted to get teenage kicks all through the night. Now, tell me, which of those epitaphs would you prefer?

Interview: Won't get fooled again

1993-08-25 00:00:00

Or will we? Pete Townshend's solo career has been marked by an increasingly ambitious search for more "mature" forms of saying what he's got to say. His latest project, psychoderelict, is no exception. So just why has the former powerhouse behind The Who, and much-acclaimed spokesman for a generation, lost confidence in the rock 'n' roll music he did so much to define in the '60's and '70's. Liam Fay goes up before the beak.

Interview: TONED DOWN

1993-08-25 00:00:00

Despite the imminent release of a 'Best of . . .' compilation, LIAM FAY finds there's still disappointment in The Undertones camp.


1993-08-25 00:00:00

Radioactive 101 FM is back on the air, and bolshier than ever. Liam Fay reports.


1993-08-11 00:00:00

LIAM FAY reports on strange goings on at Tower Records


1993-08-25 00:00:00

LIAM FAY hears Senator Donie Cassidy's radical ideas for boosting the Irish music industry.


1993-08-11 00:00:00

Two major London newspapers recently ran large advertisements which contained the most extraordinary injunctions to world leaders - and proposed the direst of consequences should they fail to comply. Under the dramatic headline World News Flash, it was confidently predicted that the world would end on July 25th 1994.But will it? And who is behind this incredible attempt to save us all from imminent extinction? LIAM FAY reports

Album: Harmony Hill

1993-08-11 00:00:00

DERVISH are a Sligo troupe who know a thing or two about poking up the ashes of a piece of traditional music until it bursts into flames.

Album: Woodface

1991-07-11 00:00:00

There is almost nothing that can't be made uninteresting if it's approached with sufficient fervour. Songwriting is a case in point.


1993-08-11 00:00:00

Liam Fay reports on strange goings on at Tower Records


1993-08-11 00:00:00

Or how to stare apocalypse in the face and still keep smiling. Liam Fay talks to Ute Bellion, the German-born chairperson of Greenpeace International and a woman who remains optimistic despite the scale of the environmental problems with which she daily grapples.

Interview: The Immaculate Collection

1998-05-27 00:00:00

Undiscovered genius, ahoy! liam fay finds Pierce TurneR still struggling for the recognition his rich talent deserves. And to coincide with the release of his own Best Of, he asks Turner to compile the album of his dreams.

Interview: Robinson Crusade

1997-09-17 00:00:00

In late 1990, shortly prior to her election as President of the Republic of Ireland, MARY ROBINSON gave the following interview to this magazine, which we reproduce here as a Hot Press Greatest Hit to mark the occasion of her retirement from the office. It turned out to be a clear and definitive statement of her manifesto, which she ended up carrying out virtually to the letter. At the time, it was described as the longest suicide note in political history , by the Irish Press seven years on, her comments make interesting and often provocative reading. Tape: LIAM FAY.

Interview: Polly Unsaturated

1995-04-19 00:00:00

After a career barely spanning five years, there is a definite feeling amongst those who know about such things that POLLY JEAN HARVEY is destined to be one of the true rock music greats. Her darkly visceral, sexual and lacerating work has struck a raw chord, and made her the object of passionate adoration. But it has also cast her in the eyes of some as an "axe-wielding bitch cow from Hell." LIAM FAY travels to meet ze monsta, but instead finds a home-loving Yeovil lass who likes nothing better than gardening and whipping up pots of rhubarb marmalade.

Interview: Young Stuns Go For It

1988-07-28 00:00:00

Liam Fay meets Galway hopefuls The Stunning

Interview: Bjork on the wild side

1994-08-10 00:00:00

She can't sit still. She has the attention span of a senile goldfish. And she has got some very strange personal habits. But Bjork is still one of the brightest and most compelling pop stars the nineties has produced thus far. LIAM FAY travels to darkest Blackpool for a close and often strange encounter with the Icelandic imp herself.


1998-03-04 00:00:00

pat mcCABE is on a roll. Neil Jordan s film adaptation of his acclaimed novel The Butcher Boy has been rapturously received. His latest meisterwerk Breakfast On Pluto about a border county transvestite is about to be published. He s going on the road with Jack L. And what s more he was recently named Monaghan Man of the Year! Interview: liam fay. Pics: Mick Quinn

Interview: Too Long In Exile

1998-01-21 00:00:00

LIAM FAY talks to writer TIMOTHY O GRADY and photographer STEVE PYKE about their new book, I Could Read The Sky, which chronicles the lives of quiet desperation lived by the forgotten members of London s Irish community.

Interview: Bringing It All Back Home

1991-04-04 00:00:00

U2, Elvis Costello, The Pogues, The Waterboys, Emmylou Harris, Hothouse Flowers, The Everly Brothers, Christy Moore just some of the dozens of artists who contribute to an adventurous new five part TV series which traces the extraordinary return journey that Irish traditional music has made to America and beyond. Here, Liam Fay previews the programmes, talks to Philip King who originated and nurtured the project and hears many of the participants explain how they discovered the importance and influence of Irish music.

Interview: How The West Was One

1994-09-21 00:00:00

I was living fast, planning to die young and I was probably gonna take a few people with me, says Fatima Mansions firebrand Cathal Coughlan of his descent into a personal and creative nightmare. Now back stronger, healthier and with an acclaimed new album, Lost In The Former West, under his belt, he retraces the highs, lows and kicks in the teeth of the last few years with Liam Fay.

Interview: One More Time With Feeling . . .

1993-12-01 00:00:00

During the late eighties, Aslan were among the most celebrated of Irish rock acts, immensely popular at home and signed to EMI, a major multinational label, on which they released their debut album, Feel No Shame. And then it all came unstuck, amid squalid tabloid accusations of drug addiction, egotism and recrimination. Now they re back, older, wiser and more resolute but with their musical batteries recharged, a new contract with BMG under their belts and that old emotional band intact. Report: Liam Fay (with additional reporting by George Byrne).

Interview: Give Pierce A Chance

1994-11-02 00:00:00

While commercial success hasn't exactly come a-knockin' on his door, Pierce Turner, in stoical mood, tells Liam Fay why he's not all that bothered at the relative lack of lolly rolling in but how with his new live album Manana In Manhattan just released, the wily Wexford wizard believes his time will come.

Interview: Menace

1997-10-29 00:00:00

DENIS LEARY, sultan of sneer, is en route to Dublin to star in the Murphy s Ungagged Comedy Festival. By way of a little limbering up, and proving that there s no smoke without fire, here he lets rip on Noraid, The Kennedys, The Royals, Bill Hicks, Dean Martin, Oasis, Father Ted, drugs in Kerry and, oh yes, why he d like to go to Riverdance with a sniper s rifle . Interview: LIAM FAY.

Interview: The NALLY STAND

1997-10-15 00:00:00

Former cop, private eye and the only man on the Presidential ballot paper, derek nally is the dark horse candidate who could yet shake up the race for the Park. Here he holds forth on low standards in high places, how Sean Doherty almost destroyed the gardai , the foul treatment of Albert Reynolds, the case for the decriminalisation of prostitution and why he wasn t surprised by J. Edgar Hoover s penchant for frocks. Interview: liam fay. Pix: Cathal dawson.

Interview: MOORE than this

1997-10-29 00:00:00

Avuncular Belfast-born writer brian moore may continually encounter difficulties in getting people to pronounce his name correctly, but one thing he s never had trouble with is the quality of his literary output. His latest effort, The Magician s Wife, is yet another effortlessly elegant concoction of seamless prose. Interview: liam fay. Pix: Cathal Dawson


1997-12-10 00:00:00

THE FINAL YEARS OF peter cook The father of modern British comedy, peter cook s death in 1995 brought the strangest chapter of his life to a close. Ravaged by alcoholism, he dedicated his final years to sloth, drink, drugs, porn, daytime television and late-night radio phone-ins. But even in his darkest hours, the black humour and brilliant wit that marked him out as the towering comedy talent of his generation just kept on breaking through. liam fay reports.


1997-12-10 00:00:00

THE FINAL YEARS OF peter cook The father of modern British comedy, peter cook s death in 1995 brought the strangest chapter of his life to a close. Ravaged by alcoholism, he dedicated his final years to sloth, drink, drugs, porn, daytime television and late-night radio phone-ins. But even in his darkest hours, the black humour and brilliant wit that marked him out as the towering comedy talent of his generation just kept on breaking through. liam fay reports.

Interview: Born to Run?

1997-09-17 00:00:00

In a presidential nomination field virtually devoid of candidates of real calibre and charisma, the name of ex-Boomtown Rat and Live Aid hero BOB GELDOF has cropped up again and again. Despite his outright denial that he will run for office, the rumour refuses to die away. Here, in an interview with LIAM FAY, he gives his assessment of Mary Robinson s seven years in the job, and his hopes for the future occupants of Aras an Uachtarain.

Interview: Stories of the Blues

1995-06-28 00:00:00

LIAM FAY remembers Rory the superb raconteur with a dry wit

Commentary: The Heart In PopMart

1997-08-20 00:00:00

In Vienna, along with another 99,999 people, LIAM FAY witnesses what may well be the finest rock n roll extravaganza ever mounted and discovers that its got both art and heart in abundance as well.

Commentary: WOE, Vienna!

1997-09-03 00:00:00

Ah yes, the glamorous life of the rock n rolling travel writer. Getting to see u2 live in Austria was a delectable piece of cake for liam fay. But getting back again that was when the dream turned into a nightmare.


1997-08-06 00:00:00

American writer john horgan has earned the wrath of the scientific community and the unwelcome support of the fundamentalist Right for his provocative theories aimed at separating science fact from science fiction. Interview: liam fay. Pix: CATHAL DAWSON

Interview: Jeers of a Clown

1997-08-06 00:00:00

You thought Noel V Ginnity was a bland cabaret funnyman, peddling lite entertainment to American tourists and OAPs at the Burlington Hotel. But you were wrong! Wince as the 59-year-old Meathman unleashes an unstoppable torrent of vitroilic bile at virtually every other stand-up comedian in Ireland and a whole lot more besides. Interview: liam fay. Pix: mick quinn.

Interview: I Drink Therefore I Am

1989-07-27 00:00:00

Liam Fay calls on Shane MacGowan at home, where over mugs of brandy, the singer cheerfully rationalises his notorious alcohol-intake in the face of widespread concern that he might be drinking himself to an early grave. The premier Pogue disagrees, predicting instead a happy fulfilling life away from the stage, in which he would own and run a fully-licensed restaurant in London and face extended vacations in Thailand.


1998-04-01 00:00:00

brian hayes is a 28-year-old Fine Gael TD who represents the constituency of Dublin South West. At the last general election, he virtually tripled Fine Gael s vote in the Tallaght area. He opposes the legalisation of cannabis, claims that feminists need to have a fundamental re-think on their current position, feels guilty about not attending Mass regularly, and reckons that You need order in society . . . you need people who know what they re about . Is this the face of young, politically aware Ireland? Interview: liam fay. Pics: colm henry.

Frontlines: It s My Party (And I ll Vote If I Want To)

1998-03-04 00:00:00

LIAM FAY investigates the strange phenomenon of the RAINBOW PARTY, a pseudo-democratic movement dedicated to the abolition of politics and politicians , and meets its leader, the enigmatic RAINBOW GEORGE.

Frontlines: Dana: The Man Who Made Her Run

1997-10-01 00:00:00

Dana may be trying to shunt him into the background, but TCG O?Mahony is adamant that it was he who inspired the former Eurovision winner to run for the presidency. And while he is confident that ?she will win if it is God?s will?, he warns of serious repercussions from above should one of her opponents triumph in the race to the Aras. Our man with the locust repellant: liam fay.

Frontlines: The Lying Game

1997-10-15 00:00:00

It may have been billed as the last stand of CHARLES J. HAUGHEY, but no-one told the man himself. Last week at Dublin Castle, having been hauled before the McCracken payments-to-politicians tribunal in an attempt to get him to finally explain his business relationship with Ben Dunne, the former Taoiseach indulged in a faintly pathetic display of obfuscating, wheedling and stalling. LIAM FAY was one of those looking on eagerly from the public gallery. This is his report.

Frontlines: The Burke Ethic

1997-09-17 00:00:00

Why did RAY BURKE receive #30,000 from a construction firm eight years ago? And what on earth did he spend it on? These were just some of the many questions awaiting answers in the Dail last week. Our man in the public gallery: LIAM FAY.

Interview: The Touchable

1997-06-25 00:00:00

He may unashamedly refer to himself as an artist and others may caricature him as a cold fish, but even if he suspects he has spent too much time writing and not enough living, john banville bears scant resemblance to the pompous boffin of popular prejudice. With the publication of his latest novel, The Untouchable, the acclaimed author gets his round in with liam fay. Pix: Cathal Dawson.


1997-07-23 00:00:00

Regarded by most sane citizens as an irrelevant safe haven for pompous political windbags, Seanad Eireann is really . . . an irrelevant safe haven for pompous political windbags. Why then, is the decidedly sane TCD academic, ivana bacik, so anxious to get elected to Dail Eireann s Upper House? liam fay finds out.

Interview: RIOTS of PASSAGE

1997-03-19 00:00:00

You know you re doing something right if your book disturbs both Cat Stevens and Snoop Doggy Dogg. But Sligo-born eamonn sweeney s debut novel, Waiting For The Healer, with its explosive mix of booze, blood, manic comedy and rock n roll, is also winning rave reviews for its uncompromisingly forthright author. Interview: liam fay.

Interview: Stirring Up A Hornet s Nest

1997-04-02 00:00:00

Best-selling crime-writer PATRICIA CORNWELL has a gripping new tale of sex, exploitation and violence to tell. But this time it s her own. LIAM FAY hears the story she didn t tell on Kenny Live. Pix: colm henry

Interview: Wax In Haste, Repent At Leisure

1997-04-02 00:00:00

When liam fay went along to interview comedienne and chat show host ruby wax, he expected a garrulous, loud, flashy American who would brook no argument as to the sheer wondrous fabulousness of her televisual output. What he got was a garrulous, loud, flashy American who was almost touchingly keen to disown most of the programmes she has starred in during her career, and eager to proclaim herself a serious artiste . . . not to mention her burning ambition to interview Yasser Arafat.

Interview: BLACK POWER

1997-04-16 00:00:00

Incendiary Irish-American rabble rousers black 47 are coming to town for a couple of Irish shows later this month. liam fay talks to band mainman larry kirwan about those two eagerly-awaited dates, as well as their new album, Green Suede Shoes.

Interview: Master McGrath

1996-12-02 00:00:00

The books of author PATRICK McGRATH depict insanity and psychological breakdown with a detail and accuracy that are second to none. LIAM FAY meets the mental hospital worker-turned-writer to discuss the very particular nature(s) of madness. Pic: CATHAL DAWSON.

Interview: O Carroll s No.1

1997-01-08 00:00:00

He may well be a prime target for the jibes of other Irish comedian-types, but right now brendan o carroll is riding the crest of a wave of popularity of quite phenomenal proportions. With three best-selling books to his credit, a smash hit play and a movie already in the offing, he s back on the road with his sell-out one-man show The Story So Far. Here, in a startlingly honest interview, he talks about his addiction to gambling, his contempt for the theatrical establishment, the fear and paralysis that is endemic in RTE, Father Ted, the Catholic Church, groupies and (cue fanfare please) his plans to become an M.E.P. Tape recorder: liam fay. Pix: MICK QUINN

Commentary: THE PLAYBOY of the westbury hotel

1997-02-05 00:00:00

LIAM FAY not a man who subscribes to Shaved Orientals swallowed his pride and morality recently to attend the PLAYBOY magazine 1st-anniversary-in-Ireland celebration bash. There he met Miss December 1996, VICTORIA SILVSTEDT. Did he succumb to her boundless, eh, force of personality? Read on and find out . . . Pix: MICK QUINN

Interview: Myth World

1997-02-05 00:00:00

Teach Shinanna, in Shanraw, County Leitrim is the place where pagans go on their holidays, an adventure playground for all manner of earth-worshipper and Celtophile. Liam Fay hears all about it from its founder Chris Thompson and an imposing gentleman known as The Fluid Druid. Pix: Michael Quinn

Interview: In The Belly OfTheBeast

1997-02-19 00:00:00

The second instalment of our wide-ranging interview with Sam Smyth sees the reporter extraordinaire come clean about life amid spindoctors, pol. cors., lobby fodder and other strange creatures indigenous to Leinster House. He also talks about his real reasons for leaving the Sunday Independent, his falling-out with Vincent Browne and his mano a mano battle with Noel Pearson. All this plus his favourite Donie Cassidy story. Tape recorder: liam fay. Snaps: colm Henry.

Interview: The Bald Facts

1997-03-05 00:00:00

Minister for Finance Ruairi Quinn on hair loss, economic growth, hairy times in government and hair-raising incidents in the house. Demon barber: Liam Fay.

Interview: Bury My Heart In The Tudor Rooms

1997-06-25 00:00:00

They ve been gigging for 27 years and they were doing Words when Boyzone were still in the balls zone. They are Big Chief Flaming Star, Crazy Horse, Sitting Bull, Little Thunder, Wild Hawk and Dull Knife (not their real names). They are THE INDIANS and they hope to still be on the warpath in the next millennium. LIAM FAY pow-wows with an authentic showband phenomenon.

Interview: The Post With The Most

1997-04-02 00:00:00

LIAM FAY casts an expert eye over ace cartoonist and occasional painter TOM MATHEWS latest exhibition, Post Pop

Frontlines: hailtheconquering zero

1997-03-19 00:00:00

Fianna Fail justice spokesperson John O Donoghue wants the Gardam to pursue a policy of zero tolerance. But how would it work in reality? liam Fay conducts a social experiment. Artist s impression: david rooney.

Frontlines: doing it for the kids

1997-04-30 00:00:00

Over 50% of the electorate in the forthcoming General Election will be under 30 years of age. With this in mind, the main political parties are popping policies like smarties in their attemps to court the youth vote. LIAM FAY stands on their doorsteps.


1997-04-30 00:00:00

Hot Press favourite prelate, bishop michael cox of Cree, Co. Offaly, would dearly love to stand for election and if he succeeds in breaching the gates of Leinster House, he promises to banish the Rainbow like St. Patrick banished the snake . The one big obstacle in his way is a lack of funds. Ben Dunne never threw me any money, he tells liam faY, but I wouldn t say no.


1997-04-30 00:00:00

LIAM FAY reports on the search for a showband star from a bygone age.

Frontlines: Radio Days

1997-04-02 00:00:00

LIAM FAY delivers his verdict on the first two weeks of the country s newest FM station, RADIO IRELAND


1997-01-22 00:00:00

Fact, fiction and hard graft form the inspirations for DERMOT HEALY s acclaimed memoir The Bend For Home. LIAM FAY meets an author who moves rocks, stones and words. Pic: CATHAL DAWSON

Commentary: The Last Of The High Kings

1996-12-16 00:00:00

inishing off a year in which his immersion in the craziness of orthodox religion won him a top journalism award, Liam Fay finds himself standing atop a windswept Hill of Tara in the dead of night in the depths of winter all the better to survey the diverse landscape of paganism and witchcraft in 90s Ireland.

Commentary: The A to Z of Weird sex (Deluxe version)

1996-12-16 00:00:00

A mind-boggling shagiography to keep fans of the regular column going until the New Year. Your guide: liam fay.

Frontlines: The Word According To Caoimhghmn O Caolain

1997-07-09 00:00:00

Sinn Fiin s first sitting TD since 1918 chooses his words carefully for the Hot Press Political Interview. I m not measured or calculating, he explains, this is me. As I am. LIAM FAY fires the questions. Pix: CATHAL DAWSON.

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