The Wager – Chapter 2 – ‘Two Visits, Two Mistakes’

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Download: Chapter 2

I was almost honoured to be approached by Skellig Historical Society after reading the first chapter of great grandfather’s once notorious, now sadly novel. As you are perhaps aware, great grandfather was one of Skellig’s most generous benefactors, having been fascinated all his life by the history and unique culture of islands.

Leman Bodley, former chair of the society, told me a great anecdote about great granddads’s lewd performance at the bicentennial of the sinking of Hollands Melvaart, which of course I can’t share for legal reasons. Buy me a dozen quarts of the black stuff and perhaps you’ll wet it out of me.

In any case, the surviving members of the society are all interred together in a retirement community near Clara Lara, and seemed to greatly enjoy the last excerpt, as far as their carers could discern. It seemed only right to give them another slice of history, as they have room enough remaining for only one or two before joining it themselves.

Music Concerto in E flat major Op.30; G minor Op.12, by Antonio Vivaldi, recorded from Grandfather’s phonograph.

Image: Photograph of great grandfather having a grand old time, from the family archives. Courtesy Skellig Historical Society, circa 1911

A Page from History



Download: Chapter 1
My great grandfather’s book ‘An examination of the effect on character of greatly altered circumstances, as epitomised by the divergent conditions into which two young unfortunates are thrust by the wretched cynicism of their betters,’ or ‘The Wager’ caused an enormous stir upon its initial release in 1919. The book so shocked and dismayed its late Edwardian audience, that it was prohibited both in Ireland, and across the Commonwealth. The book’s content invited comparisons in The Times to ‘the depravities of Wilde, absent his wit’. Today long forgotten, I thought I’d wile away a Summer evening with what seemed likely a dry exercise, but became an entertaining one. This reading is from the second edition, released abroad in 1920.

Music Concerto in E flat major Op.30; G minor Op.12, by Antonio Vivaldi, recorded from Grandfather’s phonograph.

Image: Scan of great-grandfather’s portrait, from the dust jacket.

Choices – Episode 6 – DiCaprio Island

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Episode 6 of the brand new series from Dead Medium Productions and Dublin City FM. First broadcast 11th June, 2014.

Natalie’s bullying finally culminates in a complete mental breakdown for Ainesh. Humiliated and desperate, Ainesh locks himself inside a classroom and refuses to come out. Inside he creates a sock puppet utopia. Committed instantly, Ainesh is taken to Our Lady of Infinite Jest mental hospital. Stillman is on his first internship and Ainesh is his first patient. Can Ainesh escape the hospital and find justice?

Download: Episode 6
Credits: Read

‘Of Mongooses and Men’ – Episode 5 – The Gareth Stack Show: Live

Your monthly dose of lowbrow comedy and middlebrow culture with Gareth Stack, hosted by Andrew Booth. This episodes first guest was Tom Rowley of Storymap.ie, a website that lets you find and create stories to accompany your trip to Dublin. We were also joined by Dublin indie folk harmonisers Mongoose, who lent their dulcet chorus to our tired old ears. We chatted about manhood, murder, storytelling and munched down on some phallic confectionary. This month’s murderer was celebrated drummer Jim Gordon.


Download: Episode 5



Choices – Episode 5 – The 7th Seal

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Episode 5 of the brand new series from Dead Medium Productions and Dublin City FM. First broadcast 4th June, 2014.

An encounter group led by Sean becomes deeply personal. Ainesh seeks help from his therapist. He finds his therapist is going out of business due to a glut of newly trained psychotherapists. Ainesh takes on a humiliating and poorly paid job at a fast food restaurant. Stillman arrives to try to convince Ainesh to help him save Emma Jane.

Download: Episode 5
Credits: Read


Choices – Episode 4 – Yippie Ki Yay

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Episode 4 of the brand new series from Dead Medium Productions and Dublin City FM. First broadcast 28th May, 2014.

A flashback reveals Stillman’s origin, and his unusual relationship to Emma Jane. Cut to today – Ainesh is deeply sceptical about Stillman’s unlikely story. A guided meditation session becomes a strange psychedelic experience in the hands of Esmeralda. The cult like aspect of the course is revealed when two higher ups from the Alfred Himmler Institute arrive, seeking a successor for the aging guru.

Download: Episode 4
Credits: Read


Choices – Episode 3 – Maguffin

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Episode 3 of the brand new series from Dead Medium Productions and Dublin City FM. First broadcast 21st May, 2014.

Ainesh and Stillman attend a hipster funeral, where Stillman makes a horrible scene. Stillman is heartbroken over Emma Jane’s affair with Krisha. Natalie continues her persecution of Ainesh, as he begins his own expensive psychotherapy. Stillman is left a mysterious package by his deceased friend.

Download: Episode 3
Credits: Read

Choices – Episode 2 – Black Rebel Motorcycle Club

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Episode 2 of the brand new series from Dead Medium Productions and Dublin City FM. First broadcast 14th May, 2014.

Ainesh learns cushion counselling from his eccentric lecturer Sean. After Emma Jane’s flirtation makes him run for the safety of his cinema books, Stillman hassles him about getting a job. Ainesh starts to realise the course might be more than he bargained for when a puppet role-play goes out of control. Ainesh goes house hunting, barely resisting the advances of an older lady, and just avoiding baptism by an over-enthusiastic priest. A mysterious dog saves the day. Dragged clubbing by his classmate Sally, Ainesh runs into Emma Jane, but before he can romance her she meets his much cooler motorbike-riding cousin, Krishna.

Download: Episode 2
Credits: Read

Choices – Episode 1 – The Hero’s Tale

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Episode 1 of the brand new series from Dead Medium Productions and Dublin City FM. First broadcast 7th May, 2014.

Ainesh Sharma is sacked from his minimum wage job for being a smart aleck, and is placed by the social welfare department in a course called ‘Choosing Therapy’ – a radical form of psychotherapy which teaches that everything in life is our choice. The course proves to be quite the indoctrination. Ainesh is befriended by two mysterious classmates, Stillman and Emma Jane.

Download: Episode 1
Credits: Read

Men Becoming Animals – Episode 4 – The Gareth Stack Show Live

Your monthly dose of lowbrow comedy and middlebrow culture with Gareth Stack, hosted by Andrew Booth. May’s guests are three of the most flabbergasting Irish musicians at work today. Myles Manley has been described variously as Mick Jagger meets Alan Partridge, and as ‘whitesploitation’. Chanteur Dr David Turpin is an expert in mid-twentieth century American poetry (although his botany leaves much to be desired). Gamepak’s Andrew Edgar creates a melange of child noise from his beastly machines live in the Radiomade studio. Join the ‘lads’ as they discuss the arrest of top tweeter Gerry Adams, Richard Ayoade’s Dostoevsky derived ‘The Double’, and why super producer Ronnie recently saw fit to swim around Ireland. This month’s murderer is Sid Vicious.


Download: Episode 4 – Men Becoming Animals