How the home sod is doing, by a garrulous journalist and writer, now an expatriate in England. Like a competent Sunday supplement hand, worth his weekly stipend, Mr. Bestic in his round-up report on contemporary aspects of Ireland, sketches out general national headaches and calls up a smattering of specific instances. He points to the winds of change moving across the land on the basis of selected statistics, anecdote, newsy events and conjecture. There is undoubtedly, he feels, industrial expansion, some (though as yet unsuccessful) attempts to overcome agricultural lethargy, a relaxation of provincial attitudes toward the Unknown outside Ireland (credit TV), and a few stirrings amid the national funk concerning sexual prohibitions. There is also a new wave of dynamic social concern within the Church and ""more and more priests are identifying with the people."" Mr. Bestic's buoyant, news-trained vision also encompasses the arts, sports, festivals, tourism, etc. As for the present fracas in the North--time and education just might work a cure. A wide spread--tasty but not as filling as Cohane's The Indestructible Irish (p. 76).