Write side... with farmer and writer John Connelll
Farmer and writer John Connell on his 'Cow Book', dreaming up ideas on the tractor, and his Brian Friel tattoo.
Farmer and writer John Connell on his 'Cow Book', dreaming up ideas on the tractor, and his Brian Friel tattoo.
At a training session in a Dublin hotel, women hoping to run for election are being taught how to "grip and grin". They are advised on the importance of making good eye contact, how to offer a handshake with a smile - and, above all, how to get to know the voters. They are told...
Your novel Grace is set in the Famine. Do we shy away from the topic in Ireland?
Four Irish universities are now classed as "Universities of Sanctuary" as they introduce specific initiatives to welcome and support asylum seekers and refugees on their courses.
Novelist and poet Anne Haverty on Constance Markievicz, Charles Haughey and why children of gardaí become writers.
Jastine Valdez could have been anybody's sister, anybody's daughter walking along a busy road on a bright May evening - when she was bundled into a car, and later savagely murdered by Mark Hennessy.
Courses in social sciences, arts and humanities in Irish universities are undergoing a radical shake-up as colleges try to make them more relevant to the workplace.
To the English, during the good times we were the funny friends next door who came over to regale them with Woganesque Blarney.
Darach MacDonald on his Brexit travelogue Hard Border - and a world of secret roads and smuggling.
As she relied on the kindness of strangers, her friends and family to pay for her cancer treatment in recent weeks, Vicky Phelan had good reason to be scandalised by the behaviour of the State.
At the Beechhill fishery near Belfast, anglers relax next to the pond and reel in their catch on a showery spring afternoon.
Novelist Louise O'Neill on Disney movies and obsessive love, changing attitudes, and being useless after lunch.
The trial inside Court 12 in the Laganside courts complex in Belfast is finally over and all the defendants have been acquitted. But the case of rugby international Paddy Jackson and his friends will continue to prompt questions about the nature of consent, the sex lives of young people in...
In the shadowy world of online political campaigning uncovered this week, it was hard to know what was real and what was pure make-...
Former actress Lisa Harding on her sex trafficking novel, making a living as a writer, and her love for Winnie the Pooh.
Novelist Felicity Hayes-McCoy on living between London and Dingle, and having Maeve Binchy as a teacher
Miriam Varadkar, mother of the Taoiseach, once said of Leo's childhood: "Everyone adored him. He was adorable, a gorgeous baby - and then he went into Fine Gael."
Jon Kenny is working hard, feeling good and perfectly happy to be - when the mood takes him - a bit of a cranky auld bollix.
Mary Robinson famously said in 1990 as she became President that she was elected by the women of Ireland, who instead of rocking the cradle, rocked the system.
Novelist Justine Delaney-Wilson on the 2007 furore over her first book and the solitary experience of writing fiction
The issue of abortion is being debated in schools as thousands of pupils, aged 18 or over, prepare to vote for the first time in the referendum on May 25.
Novelist Nicola Pierce on her book about the Titanic, the animals on board, and the musicians who continued playing.
Doing Pana sounds like performing an exotic South Sea dance, but to residents of Cork city it involves ambling down Patrick Street, window shopping and talking to whomever they might meet along the way as the traffic trundles by.
Fianna Fáil TDs could be forgiven if they find their present co-existence with Leo Varadkar's Fine Gael government an irksome and humiliating experience.
Novelist and playwright Frank McGuinness on his obsession with Joyce, and writing lyrics for Marianne Faithfull.
A new book of John Redmond's letters offers an insight into the man who came within striking distance of heading an Irish government.
Crime novelist Steve Cavanagh on reading 'Silence of the Lambs' at the age of 12 - and becoming an accidental lawyer
When the first tremors of the financial shock arrived in Ireland 10 years ago, it took some time before we realised what was really happening.
To the Olympic gold medallist Ronnie Delany and millions of sports fans of his generation, Roger Bannister, who died this week, was like the first man on the moon.
Seán Hogan, the man in charge of Irish emergencies, is probably hoping for some quieter days ahead in the aftermath of Storm Emma.
Children will stay in single en-suite rooms with a spare bed for a parent. They will be able to play games, watch films and order their meals on their bedside "patient portal".
We do big weather events differently nowadays. It is not like the past when we looked out our windows with an element of surprise and the storm or the blizzard was happening before our eyes.
Debut novelist Danny Denton on his Roald Dahl rip-off poems, dragging himself from the bed to write, and his love of rain
In December 1918, Ireland went to the polls in the most momentous general election of the 20th century.
When Constance Markievicz made history in December 1918 as the first woman ever to be elected in a Westminster election, she was locked up as a prisoner in Holloway jail in London.
In fifth class at Mercy Boys National School in Galway, lessons can sometimes be a bit of a high-wire act.
Novelist Sophie Kinsella on her Irish backgrond, planning stories with spreadsheets and coping with pressure.
It was the morning when World War I came close to Dublin's shores, as the Germans attacked.
Satirist Blindboy Boatclub on writing stories, his plastic-bag persona and an unusual lawnmower ambition.
The Conservative MP Jacob Rees-Mogg is the sort of chap whose idea of being casual is to wear a tweed jacket and tie at weekends, rather than his normal workaday double-breasted pinstripe suit.
March 1918 was a catastrophic month for thousands of Irishmen serving on the Western Front in World War I.
This month, there has been snow on the ground at Attymass National School under the Ox Mountains in Co Mayo.
Historian Marianne Elliott on 'Hearthlands', her memoir about growing up in Belfast before the Troubles
Ireland is on the brink of a waste-management crisis following China's ban on imported plastics.
It only takes one visit to a recycling plant in Dublin to realise that we are not a nation that likes to comply with any kind of rules.
Susan Stairs on the attack that inspired her new novel, and her yearning since childhood to be an archaeologist.
Novelist John Boyne on finally broaching Irish themes in his fiction, and what he learned working in a bookshop
When Gerry Adams finally steps down as Sinn Féin leader at a special Ard Fheis on February 10 after 35 years in charge, he will pass the republican torch to a new generation.
Alice Taylor on her runaway bestseller, writing with a pencil and rubber, and her love of Biggles stories
If there is a general election this year, the Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin knows it will be a fight to the political death for himself personally.
Crime novelist and RTÉ broadcaster Sinéad Crowley on family noir and identifying with her detective character.
In the summer of 1912, there were scenes of uproar in Dublin as a flying hatchet thrown by suffragette Mary Leigh narrowly missed the head of the visiting Prime Minister Herbert Asquith, before grazing the ear of the Home Rule leader John Redmond.
At the height of the recent Frances Fitzgerald crisis, the Taoiseach Leo Varadkar gave a frank account of the difficulties he faces in doing his job. As his Tánaiste resigned amid controversy over her handling of the garda whistleblower Maurice McCabe, Leo said: "It is not difficult to identify some of the obvious problems that exist in our country and in some deep parts of our State.
For our round-up of the biggest news of the year, we are highlighting the people who were at the centre of the most talked-about stories of 2017, in politics and beyond.
It is an idea that many would shudder to contemplate. Some time in the 2020s, Irish soldiers could go to war under the blue flag of the European Union.
He has survived a tumultuous 10 days. Leo Varadkar has had to watch his Tánaiste Frances Fitzgerald resign having served as minister of a department that he himself has described as "dysfunctional".
Gerry Adams has finally announced that he will quit, probably to spend more time with his rubber ducks lolling about in his bath and tweeting cringeworthy inanities to his 150,000 followers.
Hotelier Francis Brennan on talking too much - and what to do with a lemon, apart from putting it in a gin and tonic.
At the annual convention of Cocaine Anonymous in a West Dublin hotel, up to one hundred recovering addicts gather in a circle, and hold hands together.
Jacqueline Wilson on having a teenage magazine named after her, and how persistence sometimes pays
Illustrator Peter Donnelly on his children's book, 'The President's Glasses' - featuring Michael D and a pigeon.
No Irish person excels in his chosen sport as much as Aidan O'Brien, the Wexford-born horse trainer who has recently smashed the record for the most Group One winners in a season.
In the 1960s, the Irish government was so concerned about a nuclear attack that it urged householders to stock up on groceries for 14 days - just in case it happened.
It is hard to explain to a generation born during the past 20 years how much Bewley's once mattered to Dubliners. With its stained-glass windows, steaming frothy coffee, sticky buns and motley clientele of half-baked philosophers and poets, it was once the bustling Bohemian heart of Grafton Street.
Two large yellow grapefruits changed the life of shopworker Mary Manning forever. When she refused to ring the South African fruit through the till at Dunnes Stores on Dublin's Henry Street on a summer day in 1984, Mary immediately found herself suspended from her job.
Kunak McGann on Red Rover, Red Rover - her nostalgic guide to familiar street games from an Irish childhood.
Paschal Donohoe, although self-satisfied in his demeanour, was hardly Churchillian in the delivery of a Budget that did not have a single memorable phrase. By the end, even the most attentive accountant had probably descended into a torpor.
They are the shiny apps on phones that were supposed to make our lives so cool and easy. We use these pioneering baubles of technical wizardry to order meals, to get around a city, and book an apartment on our holidays - and it all seems so simple.
Novelist Carlo Gébler on his mother Edna O'Brien, feeling like an outsider, and why Brexit made him depressed.
Michael O'Leary flew into a crisis this week with the cancellation of hundreds of flights, a virtual mutiny by pilots, and volleys of complaints from angry customers.
Sean O'Reilly on his whale of a debut, growing up in Derry during the Troubles, and writing naked.
JP Donleavy's reputation as an author largely rests on the success of his 1955 debut novel, 'The Ginger Man'.
'When I'm dead, I hope it may be said: his sins were scarlet, but his books were read." So wrote the Irish-American author JP Donleavy, who has died at the age of 91 in hospital in Mullingar, near his home, Levington Park.
To his critics he is the epitome of the boorish rugby club alickadoo, but unlike other rugby club bores he is given a daily platform for his chauvinistic views on radio.
Novelist Hazel Gaynor on her new book 'The Cottingley Secret' and how Arthur Conan Doyle was away with the fairies.
An a cappella group sings 'Amazing Grace' in close harmony outside Brown Thomas on Grafton Street as the evening skies draw in. Inside the store, a woman is selling python-skinned Gucci handbags for €5,000.
Darach O Séaghda on how the success of his Twitter account led to 'Motherfoclóir', his book about Irish words
Dr Harry Barry is concerned that children using phones are now only two clicks away from an Islamic State beheading or a clip of violent porn.
The excitement on the streets of Castlebar is palpable as the town looks forward to Mayo's semi-final replay against Kerry today.
Biographer Joshua Green on 'Devil's Bargain', his bestselling book about Trump's top advisor, Steve Bannon.
In February 1923, as the Civil War was drawing to a close, a Leitrim priest was arrested with his housekeeper on a charge of abandoning a baby on the doorstep of a house in Dublin's north inner city.
How were you discovered as a writer?
In Ireland we can only dream of sunny weather, but across southern Europe they now see it as a satanic curse. The devilish heatwave that has hit the continent over the past fortnight has been dubbed 'Lucifer', with temperatures soaring above 40°C.
The columnist Kevin Myers sparked outrage this week with his offhand remark that Jews were "not generally noted for their insistence on selling their talent for the lowest possible price".
Jews hoping to flee Germany to Ireland in the 1930s faced an almost insurmountable obstacle. Charles Bewley, Ireland's envoy to Berlin from 1933 to 1939, was an unashamed supporter of Nazi rule, and did not conceal his anti-Semitic views. He made strenuous efforts to stop Jews getting into Ireland.
Historian and blogger John Dorney on his exhaustive new history of a bitter conflict, 'The Civil War in Dublin'.
Caroline Foran on her new book, a "bullsh*t-free guide" to living with anxiety
Time stood still in Carlingford when the railway that passed through the town closed in the early 1950s. The coachloads of day trippers who came from the abstemious North to fill up with drink on a Sunday stopped visiting this Norman outpost on the Cooley Peninsula.
When Paul Carroll's parents Joyce and John took over Ghan House in the early 1990s, the Georgian mansion on the edge of Carlingford was in a run-down state.
A leading hotelier has called for price limits for rooms on the weekend of concerts and major sporting events in Dublin as new figures showed that room rates have surged by 40pc in the capital.
Hoteliers may be counting their profits in Dublin and some other tourism enclaves, but the soaring cost of hotel rooms is causing widespread alarm - even in the tourism industry itself.
Stuart Neville on his American novel, his guitar hero pen name and his rock band, the Fun Lovin' Crime Writers.
Angela Gallagher enjoyed her work as a civil servant in Limerick. She says she was devastated when she was forced to retire as she reached her 65th birthday.
Alison Jameson on her Enid Blyton inspiration, what annoys her in books, and interviewing growers of giant cabbages
It is hard to believe that it is almost a decade since Vincent Browne first got his teeth into politicians on his TV3 show. He has hardly loosened his grip since, but now he is finally bowing out at a time of his own choosing.
Ballaghaderreen is a town in the west of Ireland that is determined to fight back.
First-time novelist Andrea Mara on 'domestic noir', and how her blog helped her to break into fiction
Ireland is being hit by a wave of sobriety. The latest figures from the World Health Organisation show that our reputation for heavy drinking is now little more than a quaint historical stereotype.
As Imam of the mosque in Blanchardstown, Dublin, Dr Umar Al-Qadri says he has been warning for years that hateful messages have been spread by jihadists in Ireland over the internet.
The afternoon drinker in the Red Lion pub in Erdington has no doubt about what he would like to do with the Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn.
In a few days' time an onerous responsibility will fall on the shoulders of Leo Varadkar, as he fulfils his ambition to be elected Taoiseach in the Dáil.
Lisa McInerney on her drug-dealing character, the Irish way of complaining, and blocking Donald Trump on Twitter
Claire Bowes can relate to the experiences of the victims injured in the Manchester bomb. She has been through the ordeal of a calamitous explosion herself.
Radio presenter Rachael English on her adoption novel, her big break with moving statues, and finding time to sleep
Primary teachers and principals are concerned that there is not enough English language support being given to immigrant children in schools.
It is certainly no ordinary pose for a candidate in a parliamentary election. Mike Nesbitt, former leader of the Ulster Unionist Party and candidate for Strangford, was photographed in recent weeks lying face down in the lounge of the Stormont Hotel, while an elderly woman appeared to tug on his collar.
Professor Bertil Marklund on his bestseller The Nordic Guide to Living 10 Years Longer.
Kevin Hollingsworth is still shocked by the poor standards of construction that he sees in his work as a building surveyor.
Crime novelist Sam Blake on her kickboxing garda Cathy Connolly and what makes a good story.
Thriller writer Julie Parsons on daydreaming on the Dart, an IRA killing and working with Gaybo.
A former advisor to Hillary Clinton has caused a stir by claiming that a year is too long a time for women to spend on maternity leave.
Going to college can be a difficult transition for students with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). In school they may have received special support, but they can struggle when they have to make the change to third level, even if they are academically gifted.
Patricia Scanlan on cleaning her microwave, writing in bed and her love for 'Gone with the Wind'
Over three decades it has been one of the most successful campaign groups in the country.
Not many people get to read their own obituary in the paper. Declan Murphy, the former jockey from Hospital, Co Limerick, is one of the privileged few.