Who knows when we will have an opportunity to read live tweets about a Gabriel Byrne television series again?

This posting is full of reactions to Elegy for April, the last episode of Quirke, my favorite of the three episodes, written by playwright Conor McPherson. He did a masterful job of adapting the book.

First, you will see the live-tweets from @ByrneingCutie (AKA Karen), who shares her thoughts about the show as it is airing, with a few observations from me. Many thanks to Karen for her contributions!

Next, you will find a selection of tweets–positive, negative, and in-between–organized by topic (because I am a librarian after all!) from viewers in the UK.

The last two reviews are included (one a yea and the other a resounding NAY) and information for the DVD that has just been released (yes, finally!) is provided. To close, I will tease you about my essay and the Quirke screencaps that will soon be coming your way.

This has been an emotional rollercoaster of a series: so evocative of the books and yet with its own style and voice. I have found it often powerful, sometimes tragic, and always riveting. I am sorry to see it end, but so happy that it has finally aired in both the UK and in Ireland. Can the USA be next? Let us hope!

In the meantime, check out the BBC One website for Quirke for more information about cast and crew and episode synopses!


live tweets from @ByrneingCutie

This was so realistic I was shaking along with him!

I love how evasive Quirke was with the priest. Just like Paul’s patients! wink

quirke-promo-32Already put the scarf away…sorry!

Two brothers having dinner and NOT talking about the important stuff. And feeding the dog at the table. Perfect.

Struggling…and failing!

John Banville says Quirke is irresistibly attractive to women, you know…

Favorite line of the evening! Oh, and the one about being “gallant…” Darn it. The one about “staying sober for someone.” Oh heck. All of ’em!

It’s their eyes.

So nice to see Dr. Griffin show his power!

He was extraordinary in this episode. The writing was superb and he made it live.



Mine, too. wink

Elegy for April screencaps sheet

UK #Quirke tweets

I’ve put an heart by those that struck my funny bone or touched my heart.

anticipation (including a lot of looking forward to Colin Morgan)

Helen Stanton @Helannsta · To #Quirke or not to Quirke, that is the question @maudie43 ?? I know it was a bit dark and mumbly but I sort of want to know …..

COLIN MORGAN NEWS @ColinMorganNews · It’s 2 hours until third episode of #Quirke, starring #ColinMorgan, @AisFranciosi & @Nick_Dunning, airs on @BBCOne!

CarOLINe MORGAN @heartsincamelot · Can we all just take a moment to realise #ColinMorgan will be on my tv in less than two hours #Quirke

Gabriel Byrne as Quirke and Colin Morgan as Jimmy Minor
Gabriel Byrne as Quirke and Colin Morgan as Jimmy Minor

Ann Spencer @AnnSpencer4 · Last episode of #BBC1 #Quirke tonight. The papers have been unkind in general but I think it is good #OriginalBritishDrama

Anna Goodman @AnnaGoodman1 · Last #Quirke tonight, guess ill have to read the books now… Loved first two episodes, love Gabreil Byrne even more…

heart Carla Boulton @naughtymutt · Ooh #quirke eek

heart Paddy Blewer @Padsky · Here we go. 90 mins of irish miserablism, hopperesque cinematography and great acting #quirke

heart Alice @Alice_Denmark · Hold onto your seats as it’s time to get depressed and drained with #Quirke

Samantha Cromar @SamanthaC86 · Colin Morgan… um I mean #Quirke time! wink

JaneBB @JaneBB · How good has it been to have Gabriel Byrne on Sunday night TV? #Quirke @BBCOne

rachael grace @flatlined_heart · seeing ‘Colin Morgan’ in the credits just gave me palpitations #Quirke heart

Jan @janwiththeplan · I’m addicted….and now for some #quirke

I have never heard of these!
I have never heard of these!

funny/snarky/negative responses

heart Michael Newbury @MichaelNewbury · Hey, it’s #Quirke. Hurmy durmy gruffly duffle droomer dron.

Alison Fahey @nosila_63 · Been watching #Quirke for three weeks now and still no sign of Pauline.

random ranter @Tweater_ranter · Wtf is even going on in this program #Quirke

Patrick Ring @PaddyRingo · #Quirke I tried but zzzzz…

Michael Lennon @Mikes_musings · This #quirke is shit. Slower than a turtle with a limp

heart Kathleen Donnelly @gypsyteacher1 · #Quirke People had a lot more sex in the ’50s than we were led to believe…

justannie @annieandmorris · Is this the last ever #Quirke ? I do hope so

heart Colin Sanderson @colinofstoney · #Quirke tonights episode was so slow I think time is going backwards. Einstein would’ve been proud

Beverley Smith @beverleys59 · Stuck with #Quirke to the very end. What was it about? Four and a half hours lost…..

Chakra Cakes @chakracakes · What #Quirke needs is a good cup of my chakra tea and a cake! smile

heart Pam Sabine @Pamisab · Whoever was in charge of the fog/smoke machine whilst filming #Quirke should have had it taken away from them.

heart Kathleen Donnelly @gypsyteacher1 · #Quirke Ok. I’d give him a big hug if he didn’t throw up on me…

Gabriel Byrne as Quirke
I will attempt to be gallant, my dear.

positive responses

Jojanneke v.d. Bosch @Jojanneke · The styling, the voice, the man. #quirke And fortunately thanks to @bbcone now sound quality as well.

James Whale @THEJamesWhale · It’s #Quirke @BBCOne It’s quirky but I like it.

heart Jen Davey @roodavey · Scientific discovery number two: Irish accents and tuxedos also cause a positive reaction. A very positive reaction #Quirke

Kathleen Donnelly @gypsyteacher1 · #Quirke The fabulous Dublin architecture is a major character in this. And the damn weather as well…

heart Lee @leelovesjerry · Loving Quirke on #BBC One smile Every frame reminds me of a Jack Vettriano painting. And I need a cigarette #Quirke #Art #painting

heart Kathleen Donnelly @gypsyteacher1 · #Quirke Love the idea of a musical version of Playboy of the Western World…

Adrian @AdrianShephard4 · #quirke it’s been great. Darkly stylish. Let’s have some more.

heart Darren Greenidge @Darrengreenidge · These #Quirke storylines are darker than the devils’ soul. Brilliant writing & class acting throughout #Irishnoir

Melissa Honey Bee @mistycloud9 · Just caught last ten minutes of #Quirke. Pretty dark Dublin after such a sunny day. Great acting

CarOLINe MORGAN @heartsincamelot · Superb, truly truly superb! Fantastic story lines, incredible acting! A great tv show. @BBCOne #Quirke

Jan Bullock @maymay22 · An absolute master class of fabulous acting. Loved every moment of #Quirke

kay child @kayeatschoc · #Quirke brilliant series. Dark, smoky, 50’s, slow, moody, great writing.

Patricia Blalock @PatBlalock · When they say there are dvd’s of ‘series 1’ of #Quirke, can we assume they’ll be a ‘series 2’? Hope so! Brilliant on so many levels.

heart John A Morrison @Clansman2 · the last #Quirke was the best.

quirke-bbc-trailer-toastYes, Episode 3 was superb

Jean @tweetyjeanie · Absolutely superb #Quirke on #BBC1 Darkly compelling #Drama wonderfully portrayed characters in 1960’s #Dublin #Religion #Abortion #Equity

Prof CatherineHarper @ProfCathHarper · Just finished watching excellent @bbc drama #Quirke – more like this please… loved the books, great dramatisation…

Mark Hartl @M_Hartl · #Quirke. Brilliant!

H.L. Graham @HLGrahamDesign · Absolutely loved @BBC’s #Quirke tonight – slow-burn noir at its very best. And #GabrielByrne excellent as always. More please!

Gabriel Byrne

Maria Flynn @AveMariaMusic · Always been a fan of Gabriel Byrne, loved him in “the usual suspects” & he’s particularly good in #Quirke

Stigster @retsgitS · Gabriel Byrne in #Quirke is just brilliant

heart Paddy Blewer @Padsky · Gabriel Byrne just did a great piece of acting. The self hating / pitying of a drunk puking and dry barfing. Really rang true. #quirke

Sue @Suerow · Loving #Quirke and #GabrielByrne is rather fetching!

heart Kathleen Donnelly @gypsyteacher1 · #Quirke Interesting. Shows the effect of all the Catholic Church crap on the men as well. And I still want to give Garbriel Byrne a big hug.

heart justine walshe @justinewalshe · I hope there is more #Quirke I could watch #GabrielByrne all night.

Fiona Fletcher @FionaFletcher1 · Loved the filming, moody tones & g8t styling of #BBC1 ‘s #Quirke tv series. #GabrielBryne was wonderful as the flawed anti hero !

heart MOTOWN GOLDRUSH @motowngoldrush · #Quirke yeah, I enjoyed that. That Gabriel Byrnes still knows how to mumble a top line.

Adrian Knight @AdyKnight58 · Gabriel Byrne awesome, photography awesome, storyline awesome. More Quirke please!!!!! #Quirke

other characters, including Colin Morgan

heart Jim O’Hanlon @OHanlonJim · Just sprained my ankle playing for Yerbury Dads FC; thank Goodness for the finales of #Quirke and #Intheflesh on BBC tonight to cheer me up
(Note from Stella: Mr. O’Hanlon directed this episode of Quirke!)

heart Bernie @BernieK76 · Merlin smokes! #Quirke

CarOLINe MORGAN @heartsincamelot · My mum keeps on saying Colin kidnapped April and I just want her to leave the room #ColinMorgan #Quirke

heart Callum Smith @CallumSmith100 · Ser Barristan is in #Quirke!!! #GameOfThrones

MamzelleHermy @MamzelleHermy · Jimmy is kind of creeping me out #ColinMorgan #Quirke

Nostrils Girl @JoselynMorgan3 · I love that everyone is fangirling over #ColinMorgan on #quirke

heart rachael grace @flatlined_heart · watched all 3 episodes of #Quirke just to see Colin Morgan in the third episode, i have no idea what’s happened in it but…Colin Morgan!

Mara @chldlktndncs · @BBCOne #Quirke was excellently done, no sound problems, acting was great, especially Gabriel Byrne, Colin Morgan and Aidan McArdle

Sabine Melloh @mooondreamer · I so hope #Quirke will come to Germany soon & will have another season. Again great acting by @AisFranciosi @Nick_Dunning and #GabrielByrne

Nick Dunning as Malachy Griffin
Nick Dunning as Malachy Griffin

And a few from days following the airing of the episode on June 8

heart Dorothy Langman @Bluebeatbabe · #Quirke/#BBC/#GabrielByrne~#ElegyForApril~When #Less is #More~the brilliantly understated Gabriel plays the drinksodden Quirke to perfection

heart Simon Mawdsley @revhorse · ‘Is there anyone you’d want to stay sober for?’ #alcoholic #Quirke

heart stuart nuttall @stuartnuttall · Mourning the end of #Quirke. #johnbanville + #conormcpherson + #gabrielbyrne : an unfathomable cauldron of #Irish #Arts talent & torment.

Mali Tudno Jones @MTudnoJ · I loved #Quirke…it better be coming back! Joy! #gabrielbyrne @BBCOne

And to close, here are the #Quirke tweets from Alistair Canlin, aspiring writer. He hates the show, it seems, but he follows the plot and he is often quite funny in his disapproval!

Alistair Canlin @alcanlin · Any man who tips his fag ash into his saucer is definitely a cad, and most probably a bounder #Quirke

Alistair Canlin @alcanlin · If they cut out all the scenes where they drink tea, and stare into space they could easily make this 50 minutes long #Quirke

Alistair Canlin @alcanlin · You sent a sick note to your family in Ireland in the 50’s? “I don’t feel up to being your brother today, might be ok next week”

Alistair Canlin @alcanlin · Blimey! 10 minutes after failing at sobriety he’s seduced by an actress…. 50’s Ireland was rather racy #Quirke

Alistair Canlin @alcanlin · DEAR GOD! WHEN IS SOMETHING GOING TO HAPPEN? #Quirke

Alistair Canlin @alcanlin · Crikey! The way #Quirke is drinking he’ll end up sleeping with the Irish dominoes team

Alistair Canlin @alcanlin · Right. So far as I can tell, this episode is about a girl who might have disappeared, but might not, a randy actress and a drunken #Quirke

Alistair Canlin @alcanlin · This episode of #Quirke is enough to drive me to drink

Alistair Canlin @alcanlin · I think I’ve had four birthdays since this episode started (it’s so blooming slow) #Quirke

Alistair Canlin @alcanlin · Acting talent good. Production values superb. Characters likeable. Story atrociously vague with nothing to say. Turned into a dirge #Quirke

And so we say a fond and heartfelt farewell to Quirke...
And so we say a fond and heartfelt farewell to Quirke…

reviews (spoilers, of course, so be careful)

The Killing Times: Dissecting the UK’s Best Crime Drama on Television and Radio : a positive review

Throughout the three stories there has been an examination of identity. Who is Quirke? Where did he come from? Who is he now? Not only has Quirke himself been dealing with these questions, his daughter is now experiencing the same notions of displacement and disillusionment her father did when he found out his true parenthood. As ever, Quirke, at its heart, hasn’t been a crime drama at all – it has been the story of a dysfunctional family in mid-1950s Ireland, a place of heavy, ancient religious codes and repressed family secrets.

But it has been identity that has served as the underlying theme here. Family members who have been ripped apart because of secrets and lies have experienced that one, most precious thing being taken away from  them – who they thought they were and who they have been told they are. The grand tent of artifice that everyone constructs around them, the pegs hammered into the ground by their families, blown away by the storms of truth…

The Telegraph : a negative review

You sensed in last night’s episode that the director wasn’t particularly interested in the whys and the wherefores of the plot himself. Whether it was following some aesthetic credo or just because they couldn’t afford convincing Dublin backdrops, almost all of it was filmed with the camera right in the actors’ faces. In the case of Gabriel Byrne, a man whose face is an atlas of world-weariness, that’s understandable. But then you remember that Quirke is supposed to be a detective drama with a mystery to be solved in each episode. Here the mystery was: what happened to the storyline?


Well, mine is on the way, so never mind…

Seriously, you can purchase the 2-disk set at Amazon UK. It was released on June 9. It looks like this:


a final tease

A Quirke essay is on the way. I will focus on the television adaptation of Benjamin Black’s book Elegy for April, comparing it to the book so you can see ways in which the television production captured the written word.

If you have any questions about Quirke that you would like me to think about and address, just let me know.

And once my DVD arrives, let the screencapping begin! There are shots of Mr. Byrne in this episode that I am dying to capture (no, not the one where he…well, you know–but lots more) that are just perfect representations of the character’s state of mind and Gabriel’s skill as an artist. I will let you know when those are ready. It will take some time, but someone has to do it, right!?


Don’t forget to leave a comment. Have you seen Quirke? What did YOU think?


  1. I have bought the DVD’s and I have seen the 3 episodes.
    All episode made a deep impression on me, but I liked the two last ones better than the first one.
    The actors are all first class and like a bunch of beautiful different flowers.

    What we need now is to have episode 4, 5 and 6 of Quirke!
    Benjamin Black has written the books, so BBC must start working on more episodes now.

    • I like that, Nora: “a bunch of beautiful different flowers”–someone complained that there were too many close-ups in Episode 3, but I disagree! Besides the “world-weary” face of Gabriel (we should all look so weary!), there was a wonderful juxtaposition of older folks and youngsters. Each face told its own story, of course. And added to the whole story. The casting director deserves an award!


  2. What a wonderful series. Loved the way they let you taste the atmosphere of Dublin then and the way they disclose the characters slowly, making you want more, which I do!
    You have to admit, at least Quirke is suffering in nice company, poor sucker!

    • See my response above. LOL

      I fear that Mr. Byrne is not very interested in reprising his role as Quirke, but we never know. I hope for more, as we all do. Television of this caliber is rare indeed.

  3. Stella wrote: If you have any questions about Quirke that you would like me to think about and address, just let me know.

    Here are some questions I think/wonder about:

    Why does Quirke drink so much?
    Why does The Truth mean so much for Quirke?
    Why has Quirke not married again?
    What feelings does Quirke have for Phoebe?

  4. Hi,Stella!Thanks for sharing this!! It’s interesting reading what other people think about Quirke.I’m a 17-year-old from China and Mr Byrne is not really well known among my friends,so it’s so good that I find this website and people who also enjoy and love his performance.

    I’m watching the The Graham Norton Show – 2007 – S2x02 Gabriel Byrne, Leticia Dean on Youtube and I find it hard to understand what Gabriel is saying as my English still needs to improve.I so wish I can understand every word what he says but I know none native speaker here,so I cannot find anybody who might be able to help me.I know I’m asking too much,but if you have the time,Stella,is it possible for you to do a transcript for this interview,please? Only what Gabriel says will be enough!! I will really appreciate this!! Thank you!!


  5. Mr. Byrne’s performance was riveting. It’s always interesting to watch him develop a character, especially when he’s allowed to dig deep over three episodes; and Quirke is a man haunted by his demons. A great role for him.
    I don’t understand some of the negative comments above and a few rather hateful ones that I read over the past month. I wonder if there is still some bigotry in the UK about all things Irish…there I’ve said it.


    • Please note that I was referring to the tweets in the posting , not the comments section.


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