Veronica's daughter Rebecca obviously does Irish dancing. A showcase would be a performance put on by the school of Irish dancing she attended.
Azrael is the Archangel of Death in many religions including Islam, Sikhism, Hebrew. He is the personification of Death and is regarded as being the last one who will die. The lifting up Veronica refers to in the sentence before the statement of the name may be a reference to the custom among Berber men of Morocco of shaving their heads but of leaving a single lock of hair on both sides right and left to assist Azrael 'pull them up to Heaven on the last day.'
Booterstown is a leafy well established up-market suburb of South County Dublin. It is for the most part populated by professional people. The author is letting us know how comfortable Veronica and her husband are financially.
Belfield is the area where University College Dublin is - again an indication that Veronica had a middle class education and mixed with others of a similar background. The Belfield bar is ....yes, you guessed it ...a student public house on the campus of the University - only in Ireland!
Jimmy O'Dea was a much loved comedian and entertainer in Dublin in the Thirties, Forties and Fifties. He was the nearest thing to a star that an impoverished Ireland had!
The Legion of Mary was founded in Ireland in 1921 as a lay Catholic organisation devoted to enriching the spiritual and social welfare of everyone in the community through prayer and good works, Frank Duff was one of its leading lights and he concentrated his efforts in particular on helping 'fallen women' redeem themselves.
A Belfast sink is a large ceramic butler's sink common to many homes built from the 1900s to the 1950s. In the latter half of the century kitchen sinks were generally made of stainless steel.
Veronica recieved a College education which would have opened up a whole world of possibilites outside of the narrow confines of a Catholic education and upbringing. Her father has just discovered she is carrying condoms in her handbag and loses his temper shouting at her calling her names that even she knows he doesn't believe. Mentioning Robespierre and Frank Duff in the one sentence indicates Veronica thought long and hard about morality. Frank Duff, one of the founding fathers of the Legion of Mary helped 'fallen women'. Robespierre was a one of the best known figures of the French Revolution (1758-1794). He was a Deist, believing in a Supreme Being who created men to help each other to love each other and to attain happiness by way of virtue