The Times We Lived In: photograph by Dermot O’Shea, published: February 28th, 1977

A wash and brush up for Goldsmith in the grounds of Trinity College, Dublin. Photograph: Tom Lawlor

Published: August 2nd, 1978 Photograph: Tom Lawlor

Paddy O’Leary: ‘I don’t know what motivates people to go up Everest now; climbing over dead bodies, and passing by people who are dying.’ Above, O’Leary in Connemara, with the Twelve Bens in the background. Photograph: Joe O’Shaughnessy

After a lifetime in the hills, Paddy O’Leary has penned a history of mountaineering. His own riveting stories involve the mother o(...)

Paul Durcan in front of a mural in Sandymount: in Breaking News, the poet recalls the final conversation between himself and Seamus Heaney on Sandymount strand. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

His latest book contains 67 poems on such disparate topics as the weather forecast, the Syrian war, a visit to the GP, retail ther(...)

Photograph: Peter Thursfield

The annual horse fair at Muff, near Kingscount, Co Cavan

Published: August 14th, 1990 Photograph: Frank Miller

Andrew Fox: ‘The idea of getting voices for the characters was important. But also there’s the sense of being overwhelmed by something.’ Photograph: Eric Luke

The short-story writer is a young Dubliner in New York whose debut collection, Over Our Heads, contains a double-edged, insider-ou(...)

Photograph: Eddie Kelly

The Royal Dublin Fusiliers leaving the Royal Barracks in Dublin (now Collins Barracks). Photograph: copyright Mike Lee, from the England collection of 32 photographs taken on the day

In 1914, sports club members volunteered for ‘Pals’ battalions, and fought in one of the first World War’s bloodiest battles. A ne(...)

Border country: Lough Neagh is the backdrop to Anthony Quinn’s crime fiction; his anti-hero faces the legacy of the Troubles. Montage photographs: Design Pics/SICI/Perspectives/Getty and Peter Muhly/AFP

Anthony Quinn’s Celcius Daly crime novels will change the way you look at rural Armagh

The artist  Camille Souter  in a room that she referred to as “The Folly” across from her studio in Achill Island

Published: March 9th 2001 Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

Daniel Simpson as Ted Hughes in the play Doonregan

A play about the poet’s escape to Ireland with his new partner after the death of Sylvia Plath isn’t particularly kind to Hughes (...)

Paperback review

Behind the scenes at the ballet: is it all punishing routines and simmering rivalries, or something less dramatic?

11th January 1982 Photograph: Pat Langan

Electric Picnic in Stradbally, Co Laois, which takes place in early September. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

A year of Yeats. The return of the Gathering. The zaniness of TedFest. The muckiness of the National Ploughing Championships. The (...)

Pupils from Scoil Naithí, Ballinteer, Dublin, during rehearsals for their production of ‘Aonghus agus Fainne an Fhatahaigh’ which opened at the school last night. From left (top) Meabh Ní Ghorrain, Dariona Ní Mhuirí and Dina Ní Riain and (below) Lisa Nic Gionnaith, Niamh Denmead and Niamh Ni Ghiarnan. Photograph: Joe St Leger

Published: March 23rd, 1994. Photograph: Joe St Leger

Published: February 21st, 1975. Photograph: Jimmy McCormack

Published: January 10th, 1970Photograph: Jack McManus

The Times We Lived In

Published: April 22nd, 1956

 Ian McEwan: ‘I’m sure Jehovah’s Witnesses won’t be pleased at being reminded that their proscription against blood transfusions wastes many lives.’ Photograph: Jeremy Sutton-Hibbert/Getty Images

Ian McEwan pays homage to Yeats and Joyce in his new novel, which, in its story of a boy refusing a blood transfusion, dramatises (...)

The Times we lived in

Published: June, 1963

A polar bear in the Northwest Passage

Cormac James’s new novel is set on a ship sent to search for survivors of John Franklin’s expedition

Photograph: Andrew Testa/New York Times

Writers are never certain, says the novelist, but winning the Man Booker Prize gave him the confidence to radically depart from hi(...)

First published: August 11th 1984 Photograph by Dermot O’Shea

Wanjiru Kamuyu: ‘I was thinking of the love-hate relationship with hips and butt. Wanting it yet not wanting it’

African-American dancer Wanjiru Kamuyu explores notions of beauty

Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre Company’s Much Ado About Nothing, at Castle Yard at Kilkenny Design. The Kilkenny Arts Festival continues until August 17th.

The rain proved no deterrent to festival goers keen to soak up Shakespeare

The Basiani Ensemble from Georgia singing in the rain outside Kilkenny Castle yesterday to mark the opening day of the Kilkenny Arts Festival. Photograph: Pat Moore

The Marble City is bracing itself for mayhem and merriment, not to mention an estimated 45,000 visitors

Artist and teacher Cathy Dineen, who is an avid walker and benefits from ‘the long think’ she has while out walking, says her pieces have been influenced by the techniques of icon painting

The ‘Solvitur Ambulando’ exhibition showing at the Grennan Mill Craft School in Kilkenny presents experiences, events and storie(...)

Published: July 8th, 1989 Photograph: Jack McManus

Published: July 18th , 1954 Photograph by Dermot Barry

Published: August 8th, 1981 Photograph by Peter Thursfield

Alex Miller: roll on novel number 12. Photograph: Eric Luke

Review: it seems nigh on impossible to reveal anything about the plot without giving away too much

Published: July 21st, 1955

Author Jung Chang talking to Peter Florence about ‘Empress Dowager Cixi: The Concubine who launched modern China’ at the Hay Festival Kells, Co Meath. Photograph: Clodagh Kilcoyne

Louis de Bernieres and Jung Chang among authors to read at Co Meath event

Joe O’Connell looking at a painting of Samuel Beckett at the Hay Festival Kells, Co Meath, which has returned for a second year. Photograph: Clodagh Kilcoyne

In person, Jeremy Paxman is as bossy and opinionated – although not as tall – as you would expect

Romanian communist party general secretary and president Nicolae Ceaucescu in Bucharest on November 20th, 1989, addressing party members. He and his wife Elena were executed by firing squad in December that year. Photograph: Gerard Fouet/AFP/Getty Images

Carmen Bugan’s memoir relates a tale of psychological cruelty after her father was imprisoned by Romania’s secret police

From left, Mikel Murfi, Enda Walsh , Cillian Murphy and Stephen Rea. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Enda Walsh’s intense new play brings together an all-star cast of Cillian Murphy, Stephen Rea and Mikel Murfi. Are they looking fo(...)

The Shergar foal in a frisky mood during a photocall with handler, Yvonne Morrissey. The foal was later sold for 325,000 guineas. Photograph: Matt Kavanagh

Published: November 21st, 1983.Photograph by Matt Kavanagh

Salman Rushdie: ‘If you don’t have a pretty clear sense of who you are, you’re not going to write good books.’ Photograph: Jeremy Sutton-Hibbert/Getty Images

He likes to blur the lines between fact and fiction, and if pushed he might recite some Tolkien in Elvish – this is not the type o(...)

Published February 4th, 1947, the photograph shows James Larkin’s four sons  at his funeral procession in Dublin. They are (left to right) Denis, Fintan, Bernard and James. Photograph: The Irish Times

A solemn laying to rest of the giant of trade union history and general Dublin legend

Open-minded: “It’s not for the novel to give a conclusion. It’s for the reader to do that,” says Mark Mulholland. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Mark Mulholland’s debut novel, set in the North, has a remarkable real-life parallel

Erris. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

This year’s winner was chosen for its balance of nature, activities, wilderness and beauty

Epic scale: 14-18. Photograph: Luk Monsaert

With its multimillion-euro budget, cast of 140, computer-controlled set and shifting seats, the musical ‘14-18’ aims to take its a(...)

Paperback review

Photograph by Peter Thursfield published: June 20th, 1988

Joël Dicker: ‘It’s absolutely not a paedophile story. But I was afraid that maybe some publisher could see it as politically incorrect and turn down the book for this reason.’ Photograph: Patrick Kovarik/AFP/Getty Images

The massive success of Jöel Dicker’s 600-page murder mystery proves that rumours of the demise of weighty tomes have been greatly (...)

The poet Patrick Kavanagh (left) and the critic Anthony Cronin outside Davy Byrne’s in Duke Street, Dublin. Photograph: Dermot Barry

Bloomsday recreation grinds to a halt

Busy year: Roddy Doyle. Photograph: Aidan Crawley

The Dublin writer is juggling a new book, ‘Brilliant’, a hush-hush new television series, Roy Keane, and the musical of ‘The Commi(...)

Judges Anne Enright and Jon McGregor in Davy Byrnes, Dublin. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

Tales of isolation in small-town Ireland, a boys’ football team, post-war Finland, the end of the world, a difficult daughter, and(...)

 The Lord Mayor of Dublin Andy Clarkin, with Joan Dowling actress (left) and  Petula Clarke, singer (right)

A nice bit of bling

Fianna Fáil leader Jack Lynch watches Liam Cosgrave conceding that he has lost the 1977 general election

The calm before the gathering storm

Barbara Stack: ‘It was 1972, so most of us wore short dresses. My two sisters had worn it before me.’ Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

Three women who still have their First Holy Communion dresses look back on ‘an important rite of passage’

Should we even be thinking about food on a day that’s supposed to be about a little voluntary self-deprivation?

For Catholics, eating fish today is said to be good for the soul. But what about the sole?

Donna Leon: ‘I don’t see any reason to be optimistic about our world. But I’m very optimistic about my life.’ Photograph: David Levenson/Getty Images

Donna Leon’s much-loved crime series centring on nice guy policeman Commissario Guido Brunetti is 22 years old. The new novel disc(...)

The Arts Council presenting to the millionaire Sir Alfred Chester Beatty a great portrait of himself in 1954. Photograph: Dermot Barry

Portrait of a gentleman

Parnell Square East, Dublin, showing Findalters Church and and Cavendish Row. Photograph: Jack McManus/THE IRISH TIMES

Compose your own ode to old Parnell Square

Sebastian Barry: ‘I think a writer needs to have the gift of absence.’ Photograph: Alan Betson

The main character of Barry’s latest novel, who is no angel, is inspired by the writer’s late grandfather, who had disapproved of (...)

An Irishwoman’s Diary about musical innovation in Sligo

Darragh McKeon: influenced by Colum McCann and Andrei makine

Darragh McKeon’s individuals are atomic particles adrift in a vast universe

Paperback review

Poetic beauty: Eoin McNamee aims not to provide glib answers but to make us re-evaluate our relationship with the act of storytelling. Photograph: Sarah Lee

Eoin McNamee’s ‘blue’ novels explore Northern Ireland before the Troubles

John Banville: ‘I hate the summer.’ Photograph: Cyril Byrne

With Quirke, he pounded the pavements of 1950s Dublin. Now the novelist takes on the great LA gumshoe Philip Marlowe

Armistead Maupin: ‘When I started writing Tales of the City, I was one year away from being a mental illness’

Author Armistead Maupin’s frank vision of San Francisco has won millions of fans

Paperback review

Alive with Sive: Nora Relihan and Margaret Ward, from Listowel, Co Kerry, who were in the first production of the play in 1959. Photograph: Alan Betson

As ‘Sive’ strides across the Abbey stage, two actors who formed part of the original cast share their memories of Keane’s early, e(...)

From the Archive: June 1990

Old friends: Hugo Hamilton. Photograph: Eric Luke

Hugo Hamilton’s new book travels into strange and slightly spooky literary territory. It’s a fictionalised account of a trip to Be(...)

Photograph: Eddie Kelly

Dance championship in 1988

João Almino: ‘Brazilian-ness is something that appears as a result of the writing process, not at the beginning of the process. If it’s at the beginning, it will put the writer in a straitjacket.’ Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Most readers of contemporary fiction would struggle to name 10 Brazilian authors. Novelist João Almino met a group of literature s(...)

‘When it works its magic the Arctic can be life-changing. That’s how it worked out for the composer Karen Power, whose short documentary, “can you hear the arctic”, aims to express the emotions which a three-week research trip last September evoked in her.’ Above, The Antigua tall ship in Trygghamna Bay, Svalbard. Photograph: Karen Power

An Irishwoman’s Diary: The song of the ice

Paperback review

Chris Morash, Seamus Heaney Professor of Irish Writing at Trinity College Dublin. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Chris Morash today becomes the first Seamus Heaney Professor of Irish Writing, funded by philanthropists

Liz Nugent: ‘I seem to find screwed-up, sociopathic male characters intriguing.’ Photograph: Aidan Crawley

Irish crime and thriller writers have made quite a mark in recent years. Now it’s the turn of a new wave of Irish literary novelis(...)

Patrick McCabe: got a bit of a shock when he caught his first glimpse of the challenge set for him by RTÉ television’s new series, Play Next Door

RTÉ sent McCabe to Castleblayney, ‘the Nashville of Ireland’, for a month to write a play set there

A new app of the classic story brings pre-first World War Dublin to life

Bloomsday, June 16th

From Malin to Mizen, here’s a selection of more than 80 festivals throughout the country for the year ahead

British troops blinded by tear gas wait outside an advance dressing station, near Bethune, France, in April 1918. Photograph:  Getty Images)

Irish writers, including a plethora of debut novelists, feature prominently in 2014’s literary line-up

Snout in the sun:  Hollie Swift applying sun cream to Fergi the saddleback pig at the DSPCA in June. Photograph: David Sleator

Summer 2013 started late but then it seemed to go on . . . and on, and had us basking in soaring temperatures and glorious autumn (...)

Sarah Crowe, Emily Doyle, Maria Doyle and Katie Stoker Phelan from the RTÉ Cor na nÓg choir  singing at the  world  record attempt  in Croke Park. Photograph: Aidan Crawley

Over 11,000 singers assenble at GAA headquarters

Carlos Andrés Gómez: ‘Working with Axis, I see these young men come into bloom.’ Photograph: Vallery Jean/Getty Images

Actor and poet Carlos Andrés Gómez is in Ballymun to spread an anti-macho message

Pianist Conor Linehan, director Jimmy Fay and choreographer Colin Dunne take a fresh look at the 1913 Lockout in a new production at the Abbey Theatre. Photograph: Eric Luke

The Abbey Theatre’s adaptation of James Plunkett’s 1958 play ‘The Risen People’ takes in elements of music hall and vaudeville, an(...)

Wicked: ‘The whole confection is absolutely irresistible’

Defying the critics, and gravity, ‘Wicked’ is an epic, enjoyable evening

President of IADT Annie Doona with creative director of the National Film School Donald Taylor Black in the green-screen studios. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

IADT’s investment in green screen and HD technology is preparing students for the way modern film and TV work

Michael Connelly. Photograph: David Livingston/Getty Images

Irish crime writing is booming. Ahead of a weekend festival, some of the writers who have their fingerprints all over this crime w(...)

Anthony Horowitz: ‘It’s an interesting aspect of children’s books, isn’t it? The glee with which the parents are killed in the first chapter.’ Photograph: Jon Cartwright

Anthony Horowitz’s new novel tells the backstory of Alex Rider’s arch enemy, the killer Yassen Gregorovich

Norwegian would: “I take some time off from Harry,then I want to hang out with him again.” Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

The first Harry Hole thrillers could be toe-curlingly savage. Ten novels later, Jo Nesbo is still putting his detective in dangero(...)

‘The book’s title, A Mystic Dream of Four, is a quotation from one of Hamilton’s poems. The number 64 also has special Hamiltonian significance. “It’s four by four by four – four to the power of three,” Iggy McGovern explains.’ Photograph: Frank Miller

An Irishwoman’s Diary: A sum of poetry and maths

Gallagh Man, a bog body discovered in Co Galway, at an exhibition in the National Museum. Photographs: Matt Kavanagh

The director of the National Museum, Raghnall Ó Floinn, talks about his plans to innovate in a frugal age and how to deal with kid(...)

Robert Harris: trademark approach. Photograph: Geoffrey Swaine/Rex

No novelist would dare dream up the Dreyfus affair, the spy scandal that engulfed France, but the author of ‘Fatherland’, ‘Enigma’(...)

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