Eamonn Fitzgerald was born in Ireland and grew up in the Munster borderlands where the tectonic plates of Limerick, Cork and Tipperary meet. A love of traditional music led him to the Music Department of Radio Telefis Éireann, the national broadcaster, in 1980, and a love of journalism led him to a post-grad Diploma in Journalism at the National Institute of Higher Education, now Dublin City University, in 1984. From Dublin to London to New York to Munich has been the progression during the past 21 years. He works as a Content Manager at Spotlight Verlag GmbH and is married to Ann Walsh, a cardiac nurse. Eamonn blogs at Rainy Day.
Why do you blog? > Emily Dickinson once began a poem: 'This is my letter to the world, / That never wrote to me, —'. Actually, I think it's because I grew up in a pre-TV home (1960s Ireland) and we all talked like mad all the time. Blogging is a way of keeping the conversation going.
What would be your main blogging advice to a novice blogger? > Be bold and keep an eye on podcasting, de.lico.us, flickr and all the other social technologies that will transform blogging.
Who are your intellectual heroes? > Montaigne, Dr Johnson, Christopher Hitchens.
What are you reading at the moment? > Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (re-reading it in memoriam of gonzo).
Who are your cultural heroes? > Bob Dylan, Muhammad Ali, George Best, John Paul II.
What is the best novel you've ever read? > The Great Gatsby. Shimmering prose and all that.
What is your favourite movie? > Citizen Kane. Still an audacious work of art after all these years.
What is your favourite song? > 'The Boxer' by Simon and Garfunkel. I saw Mike Tyson fight in his early days and it was obvious that he was going to end up carrying the reminders of every glove that laid him down or cut him.
What philosophical thesis do you think it most important to combat? > Anti-Americanism. It's a new kind of anti-Semitism, deforming, perverse and rapidly uniting the ugliest strands of European and Arab rage.
Who are your political heroes? > Lincoln, Churchill, Kevin O'Higgins, Irish Minister for Economic Affairs, murdered by the IRA in 1927, and Donagh O' Malley, Irish Minister for Education who introduced free post-primary education and free school transport in 1966, thereby allowing a generation to go to university and escape poverty.
What would you do with the UN? > Start again. But I know that that's not going to happen, so the best we can hope for is forcing it to set a dictatorship test for its members and ensuring that any country that fails it would then be kept off every major committee and council.
What do you consider to be the main threat to the future peace and security of the world? > The threats are in constant flux, but apart from Islamism I think that an arms deal between the EU and China could be far more destabilizing than many think, as it would reward a tyranny, mock its victims, upset the power balance in Asia and further undo the transatlantic relationship.
Do you think the world (human civilization) has already passed its best point, or is that yet to come? > The ancient Greeks didn't have the internet and the Romans didn't have antibiotics, but both civilizations had games, poetry and wine. Civilization keeps rushing from one best point to the next.
Do you think you could ever be married to, or in a long-term relationship with, someone with radically different political views from your own? > Radically different? Doubt it. Different? Based on experiences so far, it's the way to go.
What do you consider the most important personal quality? > Humour. Its absence indicates a lack of humanity; its presence suggests a willingness to defy the worst that life can throw at us.
In what circumstances would you be willing to lie? > To get a ticket for next year's World Cup Final.
What is your favourite proverb? > It's an Irish one: 'Is trom cearc i bhfad' (A hen carried far is heavy). I love its imagery and its honesty about burden sharing.
What commonly enjoyed activities do you regard as a waste of time? > Apart from watching TV? Discussing David Beckham's hair, his tattoos, his kids' names, his voice, his wife, his...
If you were to relive your life to this point, is there anything you'd do differently? > I would have protected myself properly during the under-14 hurling match in which my front teeth got knocked out.
Who would play you in the movie about your life? > Al Pacino. He's a tad older, but he's better looking and he swears with much more panache than I do.
Where would you most like to live (other than where you do)? > Beside the sea.
What would your ideal holiday be? > Walking through Italy. Town and country, food and drink, beauty and ugliness, Italy's got it.
What do you like doing in your spare time? > Clipping articles from newspapers.
If you had to change your first name, what would you change it to? > Ned. It's solid and would add a nice contrasting element to Fitzgerald.
What talent would you most like to have? > A bow hand that could play triplets the way Donegal fiddler Tommy Peoples does.
Who is your favourite comedian or humorist? > Ricky Gervais. Can't wait to see him put on a few pounds and do a Michael Moore impersonation.
If you could have one (more or less realistic) wish come true, what would you wish for? > Better health for my mother.
If you could have any three guests, past or present, to dinner who would they be? > Oscar Wilde for the epigrams, Condi Rice to dish the Beltway dirt, and Liam O' Flynn to play the pipes for us all.
What animal would you most like to be? > A pedigree Hereford bull. There's always enough to eat and drink; the odd trip to a show with the prospect of returning with a ribbon or two is guaranteed; and the day job doesn't require deleting spam.