The A to Z of Weird sex (Deluxe version)

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

or much of 1996, The A to Z of Weird Sex has endeavoured to demonstrate that there is little in the human erotic imagination that has not already been experimented with, labelled and classified.

As part of the Hot Press mission to explain, we have provided you, the regular reader, with a rich lexicon of perversion and depravity, and will continue to so in the new year. Never again need you find yourself at a loss for the correct word to describe a lascivious attraction to statues (agalmatophilia), short people (nanophilia), insects (formicophilia) or armpits (axillism).

At dinner parties and society fetes, you can confidently and eloquently state that a person who likes to have sex with trees is a dendrophile, a woman who is aroused by watching others smoke is a capnolagniaist and a man who gets into compromising positions with Saint Bernards is Michael Lowry.

For our Christmas special, we have decided to go one step further. Having named the acts, we now name the activists. With neither fear nor favour, we unmask some of the guilty men and women, all the while fully aware that fear, favours and masks are just a sample of the diverse elements utilised by the adventurous and imaginative in their sex play.

For your delectation, I have scoured the annals of the past. My mission? To find out what the most celebrated, distinguished and/or notorious figures in history got up to in the boudoir. You ve heard of hagiography, this is a shagiography.

I have omitted from my list the names of artists, writers, musicians and theatrical folk on the grounds that such people are almost invariably, by definition, degenerate. What I was on the lookout for was the sick little puppy that lurked inside the respected statesman, the deviant beneath the august cloak of power.

In passing, I was intrigued to discover that Fyodor Dostoevsky (1821 to 1881) was a keen spanker and foot fetishist, Algernon Swinburne (1837 to 1909) was sexually obsessed with babies and delighted in intercourse with his pet monkey and Hans Christian Andersen (1805 to 1875) died a virgin.

Behind every great man or woman, there usually lies a dirty little secret. Here then is a modest rummage through the soiled underthings of a selection of titans and colossuses, both heroic and villainous.

Bonaparte, Napoleon (1769 to 1821):

The future French Emperor lost his virginity to a prostitute at the age of 18. Fearing he would be impotent with a beautiful woman his own age, the young Napoleon concentrated his attentions on women who were old enough to be his mother, or grandmother, as in the case of the 60-year-old Mademoiselle de Montansier. His notorious first marriage, to the tempestuous Josiphine de Beauharnais, was marked by frequent bouts of infidelity on both their parts. He subsequently wed Marie Louise of Austria, an 18-year-old virgin so sheltered during childhood that all male animals were kept from her view.

At 42, Napoleon s worst fear materialised; he was declared impotent. Throughout the final decade of his life, he suffered a progressively fatal malfunctioning of the endocrine glands. An autopsy after his death revealed that his pubis was feminine in appearance, his penis and testicles having shrunk to minuscule size. Glandular changes had also caused him to develop softly-rounded, creamy-textured breasts.

Cleopatra (69 to 30BC):

Cleopatra was a Macedonian Greek, descended from Ptolemy, Alexander The Great s general who ruled Egypt upon Alexander s death. An intellectual, she was the first member of the royal family who bothered to learn the Egyptian language, and was also fluent in other tongues.

Historians have recorded that Cleopatra staged weeks of nightly orgies, at which those in attendance engaged in various forms of debauchery. The lascivious atmosphere of her court intensified during her love affair with Roman leader Mark Antony, when she played to his notorious taste for obscene jokes, sexually provocative conversation and lewd entertainments.

Cleopatra is said to have had an enormous appetite for fellatio. She was known to the Greeks as Meriochane: she who gapes wide for 10,000 men. According to one account, Cleopatra is said to have fellated 100 Roman noblemen in a single night.

Ellis, Havelock (1859 to 1939):

Dubbed the Darwin of sex, Havelock Ellis is principally known as a sex educator and the author of a seven-volume work issued between 1897 and 1928, entitled Studies In The Psychology Of Sex. During his lifetime, he defended homosexual and women s rights, and pioneered open discussions on sex.

However, his own sex life was far from happy. He suffered from chronic impotence. Though he had many love affairs, and was married for 25 years, he did not have an erection in the company of a woman until he was 60 years of age. Many more followed and he enjoyed energetic intercourse throughout the last 20 years of his life. Both before and after he overcame his impotence, his favourite sexual act was to masturbate while watching one or other of his girlfriends urinate.

Franklin, Benjamin (1706 to 1790):

The Boston-born statesman, philosopher and draftee of the American Declaration of Independence was an avid advocate and practitioner of what he termed nude air baths. Well into old age, he would spend several hours a day wandering around the countryside in the nip. He claimed to do all his best thinking this way.

Gandhi, Mahatma (1869 to 1948):

Gandhi was married at 13, in the Hindu tradition. Three years later, his father died, at the very moment the Mahatma was sexually importuning his pregnant child bride. This left him with a lifelong sense of sexual guilt, which he eventually sublimated into political activism.

Gandhi shared the Hindu obsession with digestion and excretion. He worshipped semen, as the vital life force. Though highly-sexed, he believed ejaculation to be debilitating to both body and mind. For him, abstinence was the only morally acceptable form of birth control. After five sons, he decided to forswear sex, wishing to conserve all his energy for a life of service. However, he surrounded himself with hordes of beautiful young women who slavishly ministered to his every need. As well as taking dictation, they would feed, dress, massage and bathe him, much to his wife s displeasure.

In later life, Gandhi claimed to suffer from shivering fits and had a young naked woman from his inner circle (usually a virgin) sleep with him every night to warm him. His shivering fits were then replaced by regular nocturnal emissions, to which he confessed publicly as a form of atonement. When the bride of a grand-nephew began sleeping, in the nude, with the Mahatma, her husband was so upset he offered to keep the old man warm himself. Gandhi declined his offer.

If feeling unwell or feeble, Gandhi would lean on young women as his walking sticks when moving about. He also had one of his favourite girls administer an enema at least twice every day.

Hitler, Adolf (1889 to 1945):

In 1932, Bavarian beauty Eva Braun became Hitler s mistress-in residence. She was 23 years his junior, and said to be intellectually-limited. However, she compensated for her lack of brains with a shapely, athletic body that had only one flaw: a vagina too small for normal sex. After falling in love with Adolf, she underwent painful corrective surgery, doggedly enduring secret and lengthy post-operative treatments.

According to Braun s diaries, Hitler preferred sex on the floor rather than in bed. He encouraged Eva to cavort about their living quarters naked in the evenings, hinting that she seemed too hot in her clothes. Outdoors, he insisted that she swim and sunbathe nude, while he took photographs to add to his huge pornographic collection.

Usually, the shots were close-ups of her buttocks. After his death, thousands of snaps of Eva s butt were discovered among Hitler s private possessions. Adolf defended his obsession with his wife s bottom with the assertion that if he were to photograph her full body, she might be recognised should the pictures fall into enemy hands.

Testimonies by some of Hitler s many mistresses suggest that he was an inveterate arse-man, with a penchant for spanking in particular but all sadomasochistic activities in general. According to a 1972 biography, by Walter C. Langer, Hitler, having once undressed for the German film star Renate M|ller, begged her to kick him as he lay on the floor, which she did repeatedly, but which, to her distress, succeeded only in making the F|hrer more and more excited.

Hitler s one true love appears to have been Angela Reubal, the daughter of his half-sister. When the 21-year-old Angela came to live in Munich, in September, 1929, her 40-year-old Onkel Adolf appointed himself her guardian-protector. He gave her a bedroom adjacent to his own in his lavish Prinzregentplatz apartments, and assigned guards to keep her a virtual prisoner.

Hitler forced his niece to engage in coprophiliac acts with him, both passively and actively. He had her pose in every obscene position he could devise, while he drew precisely-detailed sketches. In 1931, unable to bear such sex-slavery any longer, Angela shot herself through the heart with Hitler s personal 6.35mm Walther pistol.

Hitler s pathological hatred of Jews may have stemmed from his suspicion that his paternal grandmother, Anna Maria Schicklgruber, had been seduced by her Jewish employer s student son. While an unmarried servant girl, she gave birth to Hitler s father, Alois.

Ivan The Terrible (1530 to 1584):

The first Russian ruler to use the title Tsar, Ivan the Terrible had a novel way of finding a wife. He summoned 1,500 maidens to Moscow so that he could select a bride. When the first died, he chose a second. When the second died, he chose a third. However, before the third marriage could be consummated, the young woman died in 1569, reputedly from the shock of having been chosen.

Luther, Martin (1483 to 1546):

Clerical celibacy was among the aspects of Catholic Church doctrine that most offended the man who would become the leader of the Reformation and the founder of Protestantism. Luther insisted that sexual intercourse was a natural function ordained by God. He argued that an impotent man should supply a sexual partner for his wife, and he preferred bigamy to divorce. Shortly after he was excommunicated, he married Katharina von Bora, one of the many nuns he had helped escape from cloisters.

Luther believed that females were emotionally and intellectually weaker than males and that they craved sex more intensely. In his eyes, women were created to stay at home and keep house, for they have broad hips and a wide fundament to sit upon. He saw himself as in perpetual battle with Satan, and he often touched specified parts of his wife s body while being tempted by the devil.

Obsessed with his own bodily functions, he frequently waited more than a year to change his bed sheets, permitting them to become saturated with sweat. He kept a diary of his bowel movements and regarded defecation as a sexual act (it is said that he composed his famous 95 Theses while sitting on the can). In the throes of a clash with Satan, he would taunt his nemesis by crying out, I have shit in my pants, and you can hang them around your neck and wipe your mouth with it.

Luther boasted that he could drive away the evil spirit from his bed with a single fart.

Mussolini, Benito (1883 to 1945):

Mussolini was the undisputed master of the quickie. The Italian dictator would receive female admirers in his office and copulate with them on a window seat, in the doorway, on his desk or on the floor, rarely taking the trouble to remove his trousers or shoes. He was loath to allow ladies to spend the night with him, afraid that they might laugh at the old-fashioned nightshirt he slept in for good luck.

Mussolini liked to beat women after sex. As a teenager, he even stabbed one lover with the pocket knife he always carried. Her crime was to complain about the speed of his performance. Il Duce viewed females, in his own words, as mere objects to plunder, and plunder them he did, sometimes seven or eight in rapid succession.

A regular client of prostitutes who also enjoyed numerous dalliances with society matrons, Mussolini had an obstinate preference for women who were plump and wore no perfume. Skinny, scented girls make me sick, he declared. Italian peasant girls, now they are real women.

Nietzsche, Friedrich (1844 to 1900):

In his book My Sister And I, the sexually-repressed German philosopher wrote at length about his incestuous adolescent affair with his sister Elizabeth. Aside from his life-long ardour for prostitutes, the only other woman who he claimed to love was a blonde, nymphomaniacal countess who had seduced him when he was 15. Sexually hungry, yet castrating and cruel, the countess had goaded the young Nietzsche until he grabbed a riding whip and flogged her. One night, she sneaked into his school dormitory disguised as man, and beat him with a blunt instrument. As he was about to pass out, she became excited, and made love to him. Cruelty, he concluded, does not quiet down the lust of a woman, but, on the contrary, intensifies it to fever pitch.

Persn, Eva (1919 to 1952):

Marma Eva Duarte was born in Los Toldos, an impoverished slum on the pampas, about 150 miles from Buenos Aires. Barely literate, she ran away to the capital when she was 14, in search of theatrical stardom. She soon became one of the country s leading radio actresses. Her ambition led her to cultivate the company of widowed colonel Juan Piron, 24 years her senior. She married him in 1945. With Eva at his side, Persn became president dictator of Argentina.

Evita used sex throughout her life as a means to wealth and power. Before Persn, she had been mistress to a string of influential men, and was regularly paid for her services. At 14, she had secured her ticket out of Los Toldos by selling herself to a local cabaret singer. In Buenos Aires, she posed for pornographic photographs (later collected and destroyed) and peddled blow jobs in the financial district.

Old habits died hard; at the height of her affluence, in 1947, she met Aristotle Onassis during a trip to Europe, and they had sex together. She charged the tycoon $10,000 for the privilege.

Evita was revered by the poor. She promoted women s suffrage, organised workers but also pumped millions into her own Swiss bank accounts under the guise of the Eva Persn Welfare Foundation. She died of cancer of the uterus at age 33. After her death, Juan Persn carried on Eva s tradition of public service by forming the Union Of Secondary School Students, a nationwide organisation which procured comely young girls for his pleasure.

The Eva Persn story was immortalised by the stage musical Evita, a film version of which will be released shortly, with Madonna in the title role.

Rasputin, Grigori Yefimovich (1871 to 1916):

Equipped with a 13 inch-penis, the young Rasputin was the object of impassioned interest among the females in his native Siberian village. At 16, he was effectively gang-banged by the beautiful wife of a Russian general, and six of her maids, who, on visiting his locality, had heard rumours about his prodigious manhood.

Around 1900, Rasputin joined a heretical religious sect known as the Khlist. These were a group of enthusiastic self-flagellants who believed that humans must sin first in order to be redeemed later. They practised a bizarre series of sexual customs and rites, invariably including outdoor orgies and sadomasochistic behaviour.

Expelled from his native village by the local priests, Rasputin travelled throughout Russia, performing cures and initiating hordes of women into the rituals of the flagellants. By 1905, he had settled in the capital, St. Petersburg, where tales about his miraculous healing powers brought about an audience with Tsar Nicholas and Tsarina Alexandria. Rasputin s apparent ability to ease the suffering of the imperial couple s haemophiliac son won him immense favour, especially with Alexandria.

Feted by the wealthy and powerful, Rasputin s sexual adventurism intensified in St. Petersburg. He frolicked with both prostitutes and the wealthiest and most sophisticated women in the capital, often at the same time. He set up shop in a city-centre flat and ladies gathered to wait for an invitation to his bedroom, which he dubbed the holy of holies. So fashionable did his attentions become that the husbands of his conquests sometimes bragged to one another that their wives had belonged to the great Rasputin.

Even Rasputin s death had sexual overtones. His murder was plotted by men jealous of his power. His assassins invited him to a midnight feast, and fed him poisoned cakes and wine. One of the murderers, Felix Yussupov, was a homosexual prince. When Rasputin became groggy, Yussopov buggered him twice and shot him four times.

Rasputin fell, still alive. He was then castrated by another attacker who flung the severed member across the room. A servant recovered the penis and made a gift of it to a maid who, it is said, kept it inside a polished wooden box in her Paris apartment, until her death in the early 1970s. Its whereabouts today are unknown.

Young, Brigham (1801 to 1877):

Born in New England, Brigham Young took command as the second President of the Mormon Church after the death of its founder, Joseph Smith, in 1844. He was instrumental in leading the church to Salt Lake City, in Utah, where it established enduring roots, and in making polygamy an official Mormon doctrine.

A strict disciplinarian, Young s will was only usurped once, when Mormon women united in opposing his edict that they dress in a desert costume of his own design: a ludicrous ensemble comprising an 8 inch top hat, a baggy calf-length skirt over trousers, and an antelope skin jacket.

Young claimed that the injunction to adopt the principle of polygamy was revealed to him by Joseph Smith in a dream as divine truth. Initially, the idea faced intense objection from leading members of the church since The Book of Mormon specifically forbids plural marriages. Young, however, insisted on forcing through the new initiative. He lead the way himself, flamboyantly practising what he preached.

Before he issued his official blessing on polygamy in 1852, Young had married at least 22 times. By his death, it has been estimated that he had accumulated up to 70 Mrs. Youngs. The Mormon Genealogical Society credits him with a total of 53 wives. It is known as fact that he fathered 56 children.

The Lion House, a large mansion in Salt Lake City, housed most of Young s wives, each with her own bedroom suite. When he decided upon a partner for the night, he made a chalk mark on the selected wife s door. Young fortified himself for each carnal encounter by eating dozens of eggs, which, he believed, enhanced virility. n


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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.

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

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Stories of the Blues

LIAM FAY remembers Rory the superb raconteur with a dry wit

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Polly Unsaturated

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.

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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!

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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!

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The snuff legends are made of

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.

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I walked the Line... ...and the Line won

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

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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

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Shine On, You Crazy Diamond

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.

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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.

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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.

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Taking the Mickey

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.

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A Year in the Life

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

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

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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.

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Out In L.A.

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

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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.

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The Snake

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

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give PIERCE a chance

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.

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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.

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Give Pierce A Chance

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.

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

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The Man Behind The Choir

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

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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

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

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Rough Justice

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

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The disgraceful spectacle

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?

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Rapid Eye Movement

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.

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The Inside Track

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.

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How the west was one

“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.

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How The West Was One

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.

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Marianne Faithfull: “Faithfull” (Island)

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Lost In The Former West

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

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Byrne-ing Down The House

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.

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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.”

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I Had A New York Girlfriend

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

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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.

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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

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Bjork on the wild side

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.

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Garth's World

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.

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

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

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Undercover Blues

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.

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Even better than the Real Thing

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

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Moving on up

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

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Grevious Bodily Gram

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.

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The Politics of Rape

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.

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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

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