Dalkey Literary Awards - 20th June 2020
Dalkey Literary Awards - 20th June 2020

Shushing and raring with Tara Flynn and Colm O’Regan

Tara Flynn and Colm O’Regan have taken the stage and we’re talking about shushing and raring in Irish society, and how Tara brought this into her book Giving Out Yards: The Art of Complaint.


Tara is talking about how expressing her opinions publicly, putting her head above the parapet and raring against the shushers in Irish society became a compulsion. “I’m addicted to it now.” 

Colm asks Tara about her viral video, Armagaydon, while mentioning awful ennui that comes with not going viral as an Irish fan in France at the moment.

Tara wrote the script for a spoof video Yes Equality campaign for the Marriage Referendum of 2015, and the Yes campaign became one of the many political issues she began campaigning on.

“I can’t bear to not put my head above the parapet anymore,” she says.

“If people are listening then what are you saying?” Tara says, talking about the responsibility she now feels to talk about real issues.

“Since I’ve started putting my head above the parapet it’s always about very personal things. Party politics don’t fire me up at all. I’ve no expertise, it’s the causes that I’m into,” Tara says, mentioning how once you’re a comedian who’s expressed a view publicly you get asked on panels to debate all sorts of things that you might know nothing about, but that you have to provide the “lighter” side to. “Can you talk about euthanasia but like, keep it funny.”


Tara is talking about how her book talks about the function of prolific, public complaining in Irish society from Joe Duffy to Twitter.

She’s reading some hilarious passages from Giving Out Yards, and the audience are having a chuckle.

Euphemistic language is brought up now, and Tara is talking about how the Irish have finally realised they can stand up for themselves.

Now we’re talking about French Women Don’t Get Fat, in relation to a spoof self-help book and offering people advice, which was the inception of Giving Out Yards.

Colm is talking about the process of writing and specifically the difficulty of writing comedy. “Sometimes it’s like chewing gum too long, all the mint has gone out of your joke.”

He’s writing a book called Bolloxology he tells us, and he wants the sub-heading to be “an anthology of bullshit”.

So far the gum’s still minty anyway.