Paul Muldoon has pored over his own mixed feelings about the heritage of the Rising

The new public ambivalence is best exemplified by two northern artists, Paul Muldoon and Rita Duffy

The people of three of the five parts of These Islands (Scotland, Northern Ireland and Ireland) now see their relations with the rest of the world in one way while those of the other two (England and Wales) see them very differently.

Current political shape of These Islands carries asterisk: terms and conditions apply

Ballymun: on the estate in 1996; the last high-rise was demolished in 2015. Photograph: Jeremy Sutton-Hibbert/Rex

Dublin’s best-known tower blocks were to be a bright new world. What went wrong?

The aftermath of the 1998 Omagh bombing: “Donald Trump and Newt Gingrich, for example, could benefit from a crash course in the Troubles to remind them that Isis no more equals Islam that the UDA equals Protestantism or the IRA Catholicism.” Photograph: Frank Millar/The Irish Times

Our communities have generated resilient and effective terrorist organisations

A woman arrives with a stuffed toy and a bouquet of flowers as people pay tribute near the scene where a truck ran into a crowd at high speed killing scores and injuring more who were celebrating the Bastille Day national holiday, in Nice, France. Photograph: Pascal Rossignol/Reuters

The line between an open, democratic and civilised society and its nihilistic opponents is defined by terror and pity

Former British Conservative Party leadership candidate Andrea Leadsom. Photograph: Chris J Ratcliffe/AFP/Getty Images

Opportunistic politicians are promoting a discourse based on unrealistic optimism

A sign saying welcome to Northern Ireland is seen on the border of Armagh and Louth in Ireland. Photograph: Clodagh Kilcoyne/Reuters

The Government must oppose moves to take NI out of the EU against its will

 Boris Johnson: The farce of Boris Johnson’s abortive leadership bid is just a token of a deeper truth: this is a game of thrones that is all game and no throne.

Boris Johnson was only playing, after all. But he was playing with fire

Backward-looking nostalgic nationalism: when, exactly, was the golden age of Englishness that Brexiters want to return to? Photograph: Chris J Ratcliffe/AFP/Getty

Leave campaigners cling to ‘Jerusalem’ and ‘This scepter’d isle’. They’ve misunderstood both William Blake and Shakespeare

Focus on equality rather than the creation of a super state

A file image from 2005 showing a fortified police station in the Border village of Crossmaglen in  Northern Ireland. ‘Given that the Border could not be secured with army watchtowers during the Troubles, it is not at all clear how a new policing operation will work.’ Photograph: Christopher Furlong/Getty

Opinion: ‘To do this seriously and soberly is bad. To do it so carelessly is frankly insulting’

'Vote Leave' campaigner Boris Johnson attends a press conference in London after the Brexit referendum. Photograph: Mary Turner/Getty Images

Brexit vote reveals rancour and distrust at the heart of the English body politic

The English nationalism that fueled this week’s revolution was not explicitly on the table — it was cloaked in talk of Britain and the UK.

Stiff upper lips part and release wild and inarticulate cry of rage and triumph

‘The proportion of children living in consistent poverty nearly doubled in the austerity years. Basic hunger returned as a reality.’ Photograph: Getty Images (file photo)

By investing in young citizens, democracies can rediscover the joys of good government

 Mini demonstrators for Brexit are seen in front of a miniature of British Parliament in Mini-Europe miniture park in Brussels. Photograph: EPA/OLIVIER HOSLET

Leaving the EU is a form of self-harm for suffering communities

English nationalism: Nigel Farage of Ukip unveils a referendum poster. Photograph: Jack Taylor/Getty

The country seems to be stumbling towards independence as an unintended side effect of disgruntlement with the European Union

A friend of Amanda Alvear holds up her photo at a memorial service the day after a mass shooting at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida. Photograph: Carlo Allegri/Reuters

Group that bought Nama’s NI portfolio also owns an assault rifle maker

The funeral of Gareth Hutch, who was shot dead at the Avondale House flat complex on Dublin’s North Cumberland Street, at the Holy Family church on Aughrim Street, Dublin, last week. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons/The Irish Times

Why crime is the best stimulus to the nation’s social conscience

Strong women: Marion O’Dwyer in the Peacock premiere of Portia Coughlan, in 1996. Photograph: Abbey Theatre

The Co Offaly playwright unleashes the great forces of sex and death, doom and rage – in language whose words ooze into each other(...)

Bruce Springsteen’s Croke Park concert: short of impounding Enda Kenny’s air guitar and holding it to ransom, it seems impossible to force the Taoiseach to grasp the value of the arts

No Taoiseach since Éamon de Valera has been so culturally destructive. IDA Ireland understands far better the importance of our gl(...)

There is no disciplinary action arising from the O’Higgins report and none from the Clare Daly affair. File photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

If you read the O’Higgins report, you will find that at the bottom of so many of its case histories is sheer fecklessness

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks at the National Rifle Association convention, Friday, May 20th, 2016, in Louisville, Kentucky. Photograph: Mark Humphrey

White House hopeful offers white working class magical thinking and chance to get even

“If you mention inheritance tax in print, as I have done in the past, you will be bombarded with sob stories about the current oppressive regime and about adult children being thrown out of the family home because they have to sell the house to pay the tax when their parent dies. Some of these stories are complete nonsense.” File photograph: John Giles/PA Wire

The Government has shown its true colours with its cynical inheritance tax stunt

Photograph: David Sleator

The report concludes with the deeply depressing words: “the commission considers that the institution of any disciplinary proceedi(...)

New literary style: Roddy Doyle around 1993. Photograph: Nutan/Gamma-Rapho via Getty

Roddy Doyle’s novel about a 10-year-old whose parents’ marriage is falling apart reveals the dark secret that the writer had been (...)

“It would be great to think that the new Government has had a Damascene conversion . . . But its programme reads like somebody blurting out awkward truths and then, appalled at the implications, shrinking back into silence.”  Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA

‘Maybe we’ve just seen the greatest ideological reversal in Irish politics. I genuinely hope so’

Teacher and exile: Patrick McCabe in 2007. Photograph: Kate Geraghty

The former teacher’s dark masterpiece gives a disconcerting but compelling voice to the mistreated children who were Ireland’s dar(...)

‘Belief that governments can achieve positive social change has evaporated’

Untitled: Philippe VACHER was   filmed in an actual operating theatre, and  shows the French actor falling forward onto a surgical cart littered with medicine bottles and medical devices. Photograph © James Coleman

The influential Irish postwar multimedia artist played with our sense of time and reality

 Mick O’Dea’s portrait of Eamon de Valera. In Tom Murphy’s An Aspect of the Rising, the prostitute  works herself into erotic ecstasies by unleashing a torrent of blistering invective towards the Long Fellow. Photograph:  Nick Bradshaw

Ever since the seismic events of 1916 Irish artists have taken a nuanced view of events

“Instead of waving rifles or proclamations, we should proudly hold aloft our Form 11s.” Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Confidentiality of tax returns is unquestionable only because it is unquestioned

Going his own way: Paul Muldoon around the time of Madoc. Photograph: Frank Miller

The Co Armagh-born poet is arguably the first real Irish writer of globalisation

Corporate tax avoidance is now a huge political issue forcing the government to stand up to the corporations: President Obama’s effective blocking of the Pfizer/Allergan deal is a resonant moment. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg

For ordinary Americans our foreign direct investment wheeze is too shady for comfort

“Abtran is a reputable, law- abiding and entirely legitimate operation. It is not using the BVI to evade tax; it pays its taxes in Ireland. It is quite upfront about the reasons why it is now owned by a BVI company: secrecy.”

The secrecy inherent in offshore is incompatible with democratic accountability

Taoiseach Enda Kenny  at Custom House Quay, Dublin. File photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

The party knew long before it drew up its manifesto that the new government would face fiscal issues

The playwright’s ambition was to create a theatre that was serious in its reflections on Northern Ireland’s political crisis, whil(...)

The former Christian Brothers industrial school at Letterfrack, Co Galway, where Peter Tyrrell was taken in 1924. Photograph: Joe O’Shaughnessy

Commemorating Rising should not be at the cost of amnesia about the failure of its ideals

Fighting for his life: The Trial of Roger Casement, 1916, painted by John Lavery. Photograph:  Crown copyright/ UK Government art collection/Courtesy Royal Irish Academy

As Casement faced trial for treason in 1916, Shaw wrote a speech that he was convinced could turn the trial into a national dram(...)

Public voice: Paula Meehan in 2015. Photograph: Dave Meehan

The Dubliner grew up in the oral tradition of stories and singing – ‘a vivid, interesting and textured world’. However complex her(...)

Irish Volunteers and one Irish Citizen Army member inside the GPO 1916. Photograph: Defence Forces Military Archives, Cathal Brugha barracks www.militaryarchives.ie

On the second day of the Easter Rising, soldiers poured into Dublin, and martial law was declared

Mount Street Bridge, where one of the bloodiest  fights of the Easter 1916 Rising took place.  Photograph: Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Mount Street battle erupts, an engagement in which 230 killed or wounded

Jacob’s Biscuit factory, Dublin at the time of the Easter Rising 1916. Photograph: Topical Press Agency/Getty Images

On Easter Monday 1916, the rebels seize key buildings across Dublin city centre

A cross which marks the place where James Connolly was executed, sitting in a chair, in the stonebreakers yard in Kilmainham Gaol yesterday. The other thirteen leaders of the rising were shot against the opposite wall. Photograph: Frank Miller

After a chaotic week, British commander Maxwell proceeds, against advice, with executions. Confusion over who is to die causes ups(...)

Soldiers inspect the interior of Dublin's General Post Office, viewing the complete destruction of the building after being shelled by the British during the Easter Rising 1916.   (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

On the last day of the 1916 Rising, the rebels are forced to surrender unconditionally and brought to Richmond Barracks, where t(...)

Martin Maloinowsk is among the familes facing notice to quit their homes in Tyrrelstown. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw/PA

They may be on the same site, but it’s a hell of a long way from Boland’s Mills to Boland’s Quay

Writing Observe the Sons of Ulster was an eye-opener for Frank McGuinness, a Catholic republican

Frank McGuinness’s searing drama dared go into the minds of Northern loyalists who have made their own blood sacrifice in the tren(...)

Sigmund Freud had a name for the psychological mechanism that brings together visceral hatred and deep similarity. He called it “the narcissism of minor difference”. (Photo by Imagno/Getty Images)

Party needs to convince itself that the beautiful reflection it sees in the mirror is a real, and utterly unique, self

It would not be as dramatic as another Rising, but it would make those words on the tattered green flag - Irish Republic - more than a broken dream.

Can the business of forming a government actually be infused with reminders of what we wanted an independent government for?

The Baptism of St Patrick: Harry Clarke’s stained-glass art is deeply questioning. St Patrick is haggard and weary; the image seems to invite us to wonder about his anxiety and about what would come after him

Harry Clarke and Richard King created profoundly questioning work

Shelling: from GPO in Flames, by Norman Teeling. The paintings reproduced here are from his series The Rising, on show at the Oriel Gallery, Clare Street, Dublin 2; theoriel.com

As Trinity College became a barracks, fire wiped out the east side of O’Connell Street

We are not racist, stupid, greedy, lacking in moral direction, guilt ridden or chicken

As British forces storm O’Connell Street, Patrick Pearse orders rebels to evacuate

Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin.  Photograph: Chris Radburn/PA Wire

What we voted for is a profound shift of priorities, towards decent services, a fair use of public resources and a reversal of th(...)

Derek Mahon: the industrial world he grew up in was gradually disappearing. Photograph: Michael Mac Sweeney/Provision

In this collection, as in much of the poet’s work, dreams of permanence give way to history’s merciless demand to leave everything(...)

Photograph: Eric Luke / The Irish Times

They now have one comfortable majority between them and if they don’t occupy that space together, it becomes a power vacuum.

British prime minister David Cameron. “The odd way in which the threat of a British exit makes the notion of Europe interesting again is actually quite familiar.” Photograph: Emmanuel Dunand/AFP/Getty Images

Threat of Brexit may see union reconnect with its roots in positive side of fear

The Irish Times.Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons / THE IRISH TIMES

For most of its period of office, the coalition told citizens that it was essentially powerless and only obeying orders

Friends since university: Eavan Boland and Mary Robinson at Trinity College Dublin, where they met in the 1960s. Photograph courtesy of Eavan Boland

Poet’s reclaiming of the reality of women’s experience was both important and thrilling

The Whitaker consensus: For my entire lifetime, the three pillars of that consensus have shaped Irish government.  Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

Whoever gets into power after the election will run the country in much the same way

Donal McCann as Frank Hardy in the Abbey Theatre’s Irish premiere of Faith Healer by Brian Friel, directed by Joe Dowling, Abbey Theatre, 1980. Photograph: Fergus Bourke, courtesy of the Abbey Theatre

Brian Friel wrote three superb plays in an astonishing two-year burst of activity. ‘Faith Healer’ was the least well received but (...)

Mount Rushmore: Abraham Lincoln may pass muster, but Thomas Jefferson (slave owner), George Washington (slave owner) and Theodore Roosevelt (white supremacist and imperialist) do not. Photograph: Scott Olson/Getty

Statues of old white guys are being removed, vandalised or campaigned against. The problem with the new iconoclasm is knowing wher(...)

This fecklessness matters. It means that ministers can get away with pretty much anything. Photograph: Alan Betson

Elected with a huge mandate for radical democratic change, it lapsed into collective indifference and impotence

Sarah Palin and Donald Trump: if the Republican candidate is elected president, the US could lurch towards a weird mixture of unilateralism (kick their asses and ask questions later) and isolationism (withdrawing into a nativist fantasy world with no Mexicans, no Muslims and no international obligations). Photograph: Mark Kauzlarich

A lack of political authority due to spiraling inequality is the common thread

“Nearly 20 years ago, I went to the Project Arts Centre in Dublin to see a play called Ladies and Gentlemen by Emma Donoghue, who now has an Oscar nomination for adapting her superb novel, Room. The play wasn’t all that good.” Photograph: Eric Luke / The Irish Times

The glamorous stuff that gives the nation a lift is a byproduct of a messy, dynamic creative ecosystem full of knowns and unknow(...)

“Other than broad allegations of threats to his safety, we do not know what David Drumm has experienced in prison. But we do know that the US prison system is a disgrace to a civilised country”.

Government has a duty to ensure that citizens who have not been convicted are spared the horrors of US prison system

‘The shock of that famous appearance on Top of the Pops in 1972 wasn’t just the visual weirdness or the playing with homosexuality. There was something deeper and more disturbing going on - the shapeshifter beaming into our living rooms.’

As geniuses tend to do, he anticipated what was coming in the virtual world

Hugely admired: Seamus Heaney in the 1970s. Photograph: Jack McManus

In the poet’s most direct response to the Troubles in his native Northern Ireland, the past is alive with an atavistic violence t(...)

A photograph from The Irish Times property supplement of November 25th 2004  of a  field on the Knocklofty Road in Newcastle, County Tipperary. The sign says: “For Sale: Land Zoned Residential”.

Time and again, local people protested against development on flood plains

The Dublin-born writer found fame in New York, but her best stories are set in Ireland

Phil Lynott performing on stage in 1976. Photograph: Evening Standard/Getty Images

In this piece, originally published in Magill magazine in January 1986 in the wake of Phil Lynott’s death, Fintan O’Toole recalls (...)

Last time our ruling class thought there was some kind of historic karma at work - Irish developers flying around in his and hers helicopters was payback for the Great Hunger. Photograph: Joe O’Shaughnessy

Dame Fortune has given us another chance to build a real republic

“In some ways they’re like passengers who have walked away from a car crash, the awful shock buffered by the joy of survival. The sad thing, of course, is that so many of them have indeed walked way”

The rug was pulled from under them but they gradually found their feet

I’m not sure we learn anything from the arts – except that we need them more than ever

Set for the stage: Pamela Mant and Dearbhla Molly prepare for the opening night of Da, by Hugh Leonard, at the Olympia Theatre in Dublin in 1973. Photograph: Kevin McMahon

The Dublin playwright, himself an embodiment of upward mobility, brilliantly captured the comedy and melancholy of new money

The Government knows that, unlike Willie Loman in ‘Death of a Salesman’, it is not well-liked. It is supported, broadly, by a large chunk of the population. But there’s very little affection for it. Photograph: Keystone Features/Getty Images

Even an existential crisis has not disturbed the distribution of privilege or caused failed institutions and practices to be swept(...)

RTÉ Investigates: Hugh McElvaney went so far as to claim it was he who lured the broadcaster into his trap

Councillors filmed by RTÉ seeking financial rewards for help with planning have been confident and combative since the broadcast. (...)

Fintan O’Toole: “I thought perhaps JG Farrell might have been excluded on the basis that he was half-Irish, but so was Laurence Sterne, and Elizabeth Bowen, CS Lewis, Joyce Cary, Jonathan Swift and Iris Murdoch, none of whom was British, got in. Puzzling”

The Irish Times literary editor was one of 82 foreigners polled by the BBC to choose the 100 best British novels. Read how he got (...)

There is only one way to root out corruption and that is to have an independent, properly resourced anti-corruption body with full police powers. Photograph: Getty Images

Proposed watchdog’s independence from politics completely stripped away

Brian Clough: “We’ve done it as I assume everybody wants to do their job: nicely, honourably and well.”   (AP Photo/PA)

The idea that talented people need to be incentivised to work to the best of their abilities by obscene salaries and bonuses is to(...)

Both an insider and an outsider: JG Farrell at his home in London in 1978. Photograph: Jane Bown

The fall of the British Empire is expressed as dark comedy in this resonant novel

 Fine Gael leader Dr Garret FitzGerald (right) and Mr John Bruton, TD, FG, spokesman on finance promised reform of the budget process in 1981. Photograph: Pat Langan

The level of engagement the Houses of the Oireachtas in the budgetary process is the lowest observed in any OECD country

Domhnall Gleeson and Saoirse Ronan in ‘Brooklyn’: Ronan makes Eilis so alive to every moment that we understand completely how she gets caught up in them

‘Brooklyn’, ‘Room’ and ‘The Secret Scripture’ all have unapologetically literary sources

Paris will be the same. Terrorist atrocities change forever the lives of the bereaved and the survivors. They do not change the lives of big cities.  (AP Photo/Francois Mori)

Making sweeping statements about the Paris attacks puffs up their lethal vanity

“I assumed that the raging energies of curiosity and sensation would be kept in check here. What’s happened to Pat Carey over the last week shows that I was wrong.” Photograph: Alan Betson / THE IRISH TIMES

What happened to to Pat Carey shows that our tradition of restraint has faded

Thursday’s  Waking The Feminists event at the Abbey Theatre, which highlighted the lack of gender equality in the Abbey’s programme of events for 2016. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

The relationships between the Abbey Theatre, the Government and the Arts Council show plenty that’s wrong with arts governance in (...)

Attorney General Máire Whelan: The Fennelly report raised very serious questions about her judgment. She gave seriously inconsistent evidence to the inquiry. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

A common thread is the pretence the AG is a special creature above politics

La Misère à Dublin - Le Mirroir . Image Courtesy of the National Library of Ireland

Perhaps the Georgian tenements were better than today’s homelessness

Travellers provide negative reassurance that a culture deeply shaped by mass migration, and utterly neurotic about its sense of home, is “settled”. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons.

Travellers are hated because they don’t share Irish society’s great article of faith: that without a house you’re nothing

A house on Captains Road, Crumlin. Crumlin was built by the local authority, Dublin Corporation, with funding from the central government in the 1930s.

Why could State build housing in hungry 1930s and postwar 1940s but not now?

Poor Pearse Doherty, utterly defeated, meekly withdrew his proposal for an analysis of the impact of the Budget

Neither before nor after the budget will Michael Noonan produce even a basic analysis of whether his measures as a whole are progr(...)

Singer  Van Morrison. File photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Singer distances himself from civil action taken by wife over views from property

Unheralded leaders of the Rising take their places alongside Pearse, Connolly and Plunkett

John McGahern: lost his Clontarf teaching post. Photograph: Patrick Gregory

Official Ireland approved of McGahern’s mesmerising debut novel, based on his upbringing in a Roscommon Garda barracks. The bannin(...)

The Game: Theatreclub’s scarifying exploration of prostitution takes an avant-garde cliche and  makes it terrifyingly real.  Photograph: Fiona Morgan

If the Dublin Theatre Festival takes the pulse of Irish theatre, this year’s suggests that the life of the Irish literary play is (...)

Still waiting . James Reilly at a 2011 press conference committed to abolishing the HSE by 2016 and delivering a Dutch style universal health insurance system.Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons / THE IRISH TIMES

Where’s the evidence that the Government can actually do big things?

 Brian Friel at the Gaiety Theatre, Dublin. File photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Playwright’s language will ring out around the world for as long as theatre survives

Portrait of the artist: Brian Friel in one of Colin Davidson’s portraits of the late playwright

For the late playwright the past and our images of it were slippery and treacherous. Truth lay not in public facts but in private (...)

Deep in thought: Brian Friel in Dublin in 1980, at the Gate Theatre opening of his play Translations. Photograph: Tom Lawlor

The late playwright did not like to be interviewed, and eventually he gave it up altogether. But he did give this rare interview t(...)

"The sleight-of-hand is more Tommy Cooper than Penn and Teller". Taoiseach Enda Kenny with Minister for Finance Michael Noonan. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons/The Irish Times

The top 10% pay 29% of their incomes in tax. The bottom 10% pay 28%

The cast of the 2001 production of Tom Murphy’s A Whistle in the Dark at the Abbey Theatre

Tom Murphy’s searing indictment of a distorted Irish masculinity was in the great tradition of Synge and O’Casey – telling Ireland(...)

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