Award-winning journalist who has worked as a literary editor, drama critic and columnist for The Irish Times since 1988. He has been a contributor to The New York Review of Books and was once the drama critic for the New York Daily News.
He studied English and philosophy at University College Dublin.
He has authored dozens of books including 2019's The Politics of Pain: Postwar England and the Rise of Nationalism.
He was raised in a working-class family.