Spirits  of Meath Halloween Festival, which includes more than  37 spooky events and family  fun from October 16th to November  1st. Photograph: Barry Cronin

‘Shoulder season festivals’ are coming into bloom, bringing colour, vibrancy and some much-needed cash to towns across Ireland

The Headless Horseman at the Spirits of Meath Halloween Festival. Photograph: Barry Cronin

Summer’s over, but ‘shoulder season’ festivals are just coming into bloom

Benny Lewis: ‘Language learning would be where you study grammar and you study tables of vocab. You do an exam, and maybe after a few years you might be able to get by in the language. Language hacking, on the other hand, gets you speaking from day one’

A Cavan man who speaks 11 languages and is known as ‘the Irish polyglot’ has devised a new way of becoming multilingual

Published: August 4th, 1989. Photograph by Paddy Whelan

Shelly McNamara and Yvonne Farrell, of Grafton Architects, at their office in Dublin. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

For Yvonne Farrell and Shelly McNamara of Grafton Architects, good design is about making a community

Penny Arcade’s ‘Longing Lasts Longer’ is a kick-ass rejection of consumerism, celebrity culture and cupcakes

'Hope Hunt'/'Wrongheaded' double bill dissects effects of patriarchy as 'Megalomaniac' shows vaulting ambition

Interior view of Clerys & Co department shop in 1965. Photograph: Dermot Barry

Published: October 8th, 1965. Photograph by Dermot Barry

Published: October 11th, 1967. Photograph by Dermot Barry

For Roald Dahl, language was a bendy business, including inventing an entire vocabulary, gobblefunk, for his Big Friendly Giant. Illustration: Quentin Blake courtesy of the Roald Dahl Literary Estate

From whiffswiddle to frobscottle, the author invented almost 400 new words, not to mention a host of characters, places and foods.(...)

Ian McEwan: “Things always seem to be getting worse. But we’re probably wrong about that.” Photograph: Jeremy Sutton-Hibbert/Getty Images

The English writer’s 17th novel is narrated by an unborn baby. Is it a prequel to Hamlet?

Published: May 15th, 1992. Photograph by Frank Miller

Published: March 15th, 1995. Photograph by Pat Langan

If you like to commune with the ghosts of the famous in haunting surroundings, Ireland has enough burial places to last you a life(...)

Published: January 24th, 1984Photograph by Matt Kavanagh

Photograph: Jack MacManus

Published: July 13th, 1988. Photograph by Jack McManus

Oonagh Young, whose  Tree Line Project will help transform  James Joyce Street, Dublin 1. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Seven new projects have been chosen for their ambitious nature and public involvement

The VR documentary Easter Rising: Voice of a Rebel

Guth Gafa festival is using VR headsets to offer documentaries with a difference, taking viewers into battle, into wheelchairs a(...)

Beach buggy: Driving on Dollymount Strand on a sunny day. Photograph: Tom Lawlor / The Irish Times

Published: July 12th, 1977; Photograph by Tom Lawlor

Photograph by Eddie Kelly, published 1954

The opening of Library Park, New Ross, Co Wexford, are (from left): Sophie Conroy, Ruby Reynolds and Sarah Conroy. Photograph: Mary Browne

Apartments built in the 1970s have given way to a new a public park in New Ross

1961 - The Dublin Airport “train” was kept busy  taking visitors around points of interest. Photographer: Dermot Barry

Photograph by Dermot Barry, April 4th, 1961

Patrick Moore, director at the  Armagh Planetarium, and  Brian Lenihan, Minister for Education, at the scientific exhibition in Birr celebrating the centenary of the great telescope which was, in its day, the largest in the world. Photograph: Gordon Standing / The Irish Times

Photograph by Gordon Standing, February 29th, 1968

Beverly handbags being made in  O’Rahilly Hall, Bray, Co Wicklow. Photograph: Dermot O’Shea/The Irish Times

Published: November 30th, 1966 photograph by Dermot O’Shea

Large-format children’s book offers an inspiring way to get back to nature

Published: October 29th, 1977. Photograph by Tom Lawlor

Charlotte Wood: the novel “has struck a big note I didn’t know it was going to strike [in Australia]”. Photograph: Wendy McDougall

The greatest shock of the Australian writer’s new novel about a misogynistic dystopia is that it is based on a real girls’ home fr(...)

Dr Roy Plevey from the School of Chemistry, University of Birmingham, performs an experiment with liquid nitrogen during the science exhibition at the Dublin Institute of Technology. Photograph: Paddy Whelan

Published: November 11th, 1999; Photograph by Paddy Whelan

Bailey, who grew up in London, would compile long mental lists of all the things she thought she had done wrong every day, from spreading disease to being a sexual pervert to killing people.

One in every 33-50 people is affected by obsessive compulsive disorder. Lily Bailey's sinister alter ego convinced her she was a s(...)

Lord Mountcharles at the Fine Gaul selection convention in Kill , Co Kildare, where he failed narrowly in an attempt to secure a party nomination for the Leinster constituency in the European Parliament elections. Photograph: Matt Kavanagh / The Irish Times

Published: March 12th, 1984. Photograph by Matt Kavanagh

Mike McCormack: “My early books were full of young men going stone mad, full of violence, with a soundtrack of Scandinavian death metal. Now I’m listening to Hank Williams”

In his novel Solar Bones, McCormack has written an expansive tale about a ghost, which is also a ‘hymn to engineers’

Eamon de Valera follows Princess Caroline, daughter of Prince Rainier and Princess Grace. Photograph: Dermot Barry / The Irish Times

Published: August 31st, 1963. Photograph by Dermot Barry

Eamonn McCann being removed from the stage of the Peacock Theatre, Dublin, during a protest about the revue, “A State of Chassis.” Centre stage is Martin Dempsey, the actor, while on McCann’s right is Tomas MacAnna, one of the revue’s authors. Photograph: Tommy Collins/The Irish Times.

Published: September 17th, 1970Photograph by Tommy Collins

Mia Gallagher: “The imagination is a way of getting away from things that might be tough in reality.” Photograph: Clodagh Kilcoyne

It has taken 10 years for Mia Gallagher to follow up her debut novel, but the almost labyrinthine Beautiful Pictures of the Lost H(...)

Victory Rose and Premoition arrive at Dublin airport for the 1953 Irish Derby

Photograph published: June 22nd, 1953

Restoration work on the Ruzbihan Koran. Copyright: the trustees of the Chester Beatty Library, Dublin

A copper-bearing pigment was burning through the 890-page 16th-century Koran, but the manuscript has been saved and is on display (...)

Edna O’Brien with director John McColgan, who presented her with a framed portrait before the tribute performance for her at the Gaiety Theatre in Dublin last night. Photographs: Dave Meehan

Gathering in Dublin includes Paddy Moloney, Michael Longley and Olivia O’Leary

Mathew Nugent (left) from Cabra, Dublin, and Martin Currey from Perth, Western Australia, viewing gold necklace beads at the National Museum, Kildare Street, Dublin. Photograph: Paddy Whelan

The Times We Lived In: Photograph by Paddy Whelan, published July 19th, 2001

Easter 1916: part of David Rooney’s illustration of Edward Daly

Artist David Rooney explains the poster published with this weekend’s ‘Irish Times’

On the doorsteps: census enumerator Ciarán Lynam with local resident Ahmed Atiya. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Census 2016 takes place next weekend. The operation to deliver forms to more than two million homes across Ireland has a logistica(...)

Gate opening: Rosaleen Linehan and Jacinta Whyte in Mary Makebelieve which was playing at the Gate. Photograph: Peter Thursfield/The Irish Times

Published: February 23rd, 1993. Photograph: Peter Thursfield

Rail worker Thomas McGlue with his shovel fixing the tram line, with two crew members. Photograph: Jack McManus / The Irish Times

Published: May 30th, 1956. Photograph by Jack McManus

Photograph: Gordon Standing

Published: July 3rd, 1964. Photograph: Gordon Standing

Published: June 21st, 1984. Photograph: Jack McManus

Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons/The Irish Times

Published: November 29th, 2001. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

Terry Wogan, director of Century Radio, the country’s first national independent radio station, arriving  for a lunch at the Century Pavilion, St Audoen’s Park, High Street, Dublin, to mark the station’s first day on the air. Photograph: Eddie Kelly

Published on September 5th, 1989, The Times We Lived In remembers Terry Wogan

Lizzie Burns, an illiterate Irish woman who married Engels shortly before her death

Gavin McCrea’s research into the elusive, illiterate Lizzie Burns is now a historical novel

Dr. Huiyi Bao, Lecturer, Department of English, Fudan University, Shanghai, China. PhD., School of English, Drama & Film, University College

A young Chinese poet delighted by the contemporary Irish poetry scene.

Start planning this year’s holidays and weekends away in Ireland with our guide to the best arts events and festivals throughout t(...)

Emma Donoghue

The Easter Rising centenary is about to unleash a volley of history titles, but there are some blistering stories from fiction’s b(...)

Sunjeev Sahota, author of The Year Of The Runaways, one of six books that shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize 2015.

In this noisy world you gotta stop and pay attention – or you’ll miss all the best stuff

Thirty-three Army cadets seen after receiving their commissions from the Minister for Defence at the time,  Michael Noonan, at the Curragh. Photograph: Eddie Kelly/The Irish Times

Published: May 3rd, 1988. Photograph: Eddie Kelly

Ian Rankin: “Rebus and Cafferty are a couple of dinosaurs, aren’t they? The last of their kind”

What will become of the retired detective and his nemesis, Big Ger Cafferty. Will they fall into friendship or kill each other? No(...)

The Minister for Health Dr Rory O’Hanlon, taking full advanrage of a conducted tour of the Department of the Elderly extension at St Columcille’s Hospital, Loughlinstown, Co Dublin, after he officially opened the building with Councillor Austin Groome, Chairman, eastern Health Board. Photograph: Matt Kavanagh

Published: May 1st, 1989. Photograph by Matt Kavanagh

Patrick deWitt in Dublin: “I think of The Ginger Man as being one of my favourite books, and I read it at a young age. My father gave it to me. But in terms of influencing this book, I think I had in my mind The Onion Eaters.” Photograph: Eric Luke

The Man Booker shortlist author on the joys of Portland, writing modern fairytales, his next project, and why he felt he had no ch(...)

The Palestrina Choir’s Christmas rehearsals in St Mary’s Pro Cathedral. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

The diverse members of the Palestrina children’s choirs in Dublin might have the voices of angels, but there’s devilment there too(...)

Crowds at O’Connell Street, Dublin, doing their Christmas shopping in  1959. Photograph: Dermot Barry

Published: December 19th, 1959. Photograph by Dermot Barry

‘Famine Folios’ authors Robert Smart (‘Black Roads’), L Perry Curtis jnr (‘Notice to Quit’), Michael Foley (‘Death in Every Paragraph’) and Gearoid Ó Tuathaigh (‘I mBeal an Bhais’). Photograph: Dave Meehan

‘Famine Folios’ aims to see national calamity afresh through 21st-century eyes

Aleksandar Hemon: “The damage [of the Bush years] just immeasurable. The destruction is enormous.” Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Interview: The Bosnian-American writer’s new novel is a comedy with tragedy at its heart: the main characters have all been destro(...)

 Donal Ryan:  “I spent 10 years thinking more than writing, and then thinking what I was writing. Deleting every sentence and writing it over and over again . . .” Photograph:  Nick Bradshaw

A new short story collection, ‘A Slanting of the Sun’, brings us back to the setting of his novels

Hopscotch opens with Fannin in Low Babies with her four-year-old peers at school in Howth, learning to sing There’s a Hole in My Bucket, and worrying about not being able to purl, and whether God can see her in the toilet. Photograph: Alan Betson

The one person Hilary Fannin worried about when writing her memoir was her mother

Patricia Bardon: “I love all music. I like jazz in the background when I’m making dinner, or whatever. I love Nina Simone. I love Adele and Amy Winehouse.” Photograph: Frances Marshall

Interview: Bardon, a Led Zeppelin fan who came to opera late, is home in Dublin for Mahler’s Resurrection symphony

Trees and sky near Lough Ennell, Mullingar, Co Westmeath. Photograph: Paddy Whelan

Published: March 3rd, 1989. Photograph by Paddy Whelan

How does your body respond to music? And how does society respond to that? Emma Martin has a few answers

Justin Cartwright: “That’s South Africa for you. On the one hand, it is this idyllic place; and on the other, there is this terrible risk.” Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Justin Cartwright’s new book starts off swooning over the idyllic side of South Africa before taking in the awful history of murde(...)

Victim impact: Colum McCann called for his attacker to  be spared prison. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

A vicious attack outside a Connecticut hotel left the Irish novelist not only needing new teeth but also facing a dilemma about hi(...)

How hard can learning one bit of a sonnet be? And shouldn’t watching it make for terrible theatre? Well pull up a chair so

 It Folds, at the Dublin Tiger Fringe festival, is poignant and funny, telling the story of a group of strangers brought together to perform a series of physical tasks, texts and songs. It’s at the Peacock on Sep 7th-12th at  7pm

Dublin’s Fringe is a two-week festival packed with plays, concerts, dance and other performances. Where do you start? Right here (...)

1952 - Micheal Mac Liammoir in the Gate Theatre production of Anouilh's Ring Around the Moon in which he played both Hugo and Frederick.   Copyright RTE

Published: December 22nd, 1952. Photograph: Dermot Barry

Hannah (5) Moloney with her mother Siobhan Molony from Kilmainham browsing some Oil Paintings by Artist Paul Ryan during the weekly Sunday display by various artists of thier Art on Dublins Merrion Square. Photograph: Alan Betson / THE IRISH TIMES

A street party will mark the anniversary of its opening, with music and family activities

The new Stieg Larsson: David Lagercrantz, author of The Girl in the Spider’s Web. Photograph: Moa Karlberg/New York Times

David Lagercrantz is a household name in Sweden, thanks to his biography of the soccer star Zlatan Ibrahimovic. But now he’s set t(...)

Published: March 29th, 1987 Photograph: Paddy Whelan

Pasta carbonara, the Cooks Academy way

Away from home for the first time, with little money, little time and lots of brain to feed? Start here . . .

Anti-EEC rally outside Leinster House, May 1972 – a masterclass in how to protest in style

Published: May 6th, 1972 Photograph: Eddie Kelly

Architects of Air’s Mirazozo. Photograph: Jason Nakrani

The Marble City was taken over by Saxon saxophonists, wearable sculptures, portrait painting and a focus on Bach

Leon Walsh Vaughan, Kemal Souleyman and Zach Bay Hammond watch Kojak perform at the Caravan Club Extravaganza as part of the AKA in Kilkenny over the weekend. Photograph: Dylan Vaughan

‘People are going on a journey - whether they come for a day or for the whole festival’

Sax Allemande get set to perform their Irish debut at the opening night of Kilkenny Arts Festival on Friday evening. The events run until August 16th. Photograph: Pat Moore.

Delicate instrument falters briefly at start of Kilkenny Arts Festival

Robert Pinsky: “There is a very active vital life of poetry in the US, quite contrary to the stereotype that all Americans are vulgar yahoos who don’t care about art.” Photograph: Wendy Maeda/The Boston Globe/ Getty Images

The three times US poet laureate is in residence at the Kilkenny Arts Festival

Passion: Zhu Xiao-Mei learned how to play Bach in a Chinese labour camp

The pianist Zhu Xiao-Mei first learned how to play Bach in a Chinese labour camp. Now she plays his work almost exclusively, thank(...)

Sunjeev Sahota who wrote ‘The Year of the Runaways’. Photograph:  Kaveh Kazemi/Getty Images

Like many good summer reads, these three novels are moving page-turners, but their headlong dive into the dark challenge the notio(...)

Graham Norton in Bantry. Photograph: Darragh Kane

Writers can get very angry but they shouldn’t go to the gym: these and other literary nuggets were divulged in Bantry

British rider John Whitaker taking Foxendale in hand after a difficult crossing at the triple in the Bord Bainne Speed Challenge at the 1989 Horse Show

Published: August 11th, 1989. Photograph: Matt Kavanagh

Vanessa Redgrave, daughter of Sir Michael Redgrave, in her father’s coat, sitting on the stop of the stage door of the Olympia Theatre Dublin. Photograph: Jack McManus

Published: March 1st, 1960. Photograph: Jack McManus

  The Mark and the Void: “By the end of reading William D Cohan’s House of Cards you feel like you’ve been trapped in a lift with six Monty Burnses,” says Paul Murray. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

The ‘Skippy Dies’ author hadn’t planned to write his next novel, ‘The Mark and the Void’, about the financial crash, but he couldn(...)

Sophia Tkacheva in action

Sophia Tkacheva (9), from Co Wexford, has gained international recognition for her skating. Not bad for someone who doesn’t have r(...)

The ruin of St Anne’s House, St Anne’s Park, Raheny built by Sir Benjamin Guinness. Demolished July / August 1968 Photograph: The Irish Times  1962

Published: February 2nd, 1962

Colin Barrett, last year’s winner of the  Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award 2015, says it is “the shortlist for which all short story writers surely dream of one day making”. Photograph:  Nick Bradshaw

On Wednesday a winner will be announced for the most lucrative short-story prize in the world

Jane Urquhart: ‘The Rás seemed to me to be a mythic thing when it began in the mid-1950s. God. The weather. And the potholes.’ Photograph: Stephen McCarthy

Canadian novelist Jane Urquhart, who had a cottage in Kerry for 20 years, has finally written a book set there. What took her so l(...)

Maeve Binchy, flanked by the actresses Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio (left) and Minnie Driver, at the Irish premiere of the film ‘Circle of Friends’, based on her novel of the same name, in the Savoy Cinema, Dublin, on May 10, 1995. Photograph: Paddy Whelan / THE IRISH TIMES . . .

Published: May 11th, 1995. Photograph: Paddy Whelan

 Fine Gael TD James Dillon  dancing with Mrs Dillon at the Fine Gael dance in Clery’s ballroom, Dublin

Published: May 11th, 1967 Photograph by Eddie Kelly

Harry Clifton, Paula Meehan and Michael Longley: to spend even a short time with these three very different poets is to experience a tiny fraction of their love of words and their finely-tuned sense of mischief. Photograph: Dylan Madden

Beekeeping, Belfast and Buddhism: books of lectures by Harry Clifton, Paula Meehan and Michael Longley cast the net wide

The Times We Lived In: September 22nd, 1990 Photograph: Frank Miller

Karen Gillece and Paul Perry: ‘We take a character each and we alternate chapters. So it’s a kind of relay-write’

Old friends Karen Gillece and Paul Perry came together as ‘Karen Perry’ as a joke and writing experiment

Joseph EA Connell jnr’s book will make you will look at the city in a whole new way. As the author explains, ‘Dublin Rising 1916’ is not a history of the Rising but a self-guided “awakening for the reader”. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

The American author of a new street-by-street history of 1916 has ‘always been interested in the little things’. Joseph EA Connell(...)

Published: June 15th, 1977. Photograph by Eddie Kelly

Belinda McKeon: Tender crackles with bitchy observations and sarcastic asides. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Her new novel, ‘Tender’, is ‘autobiographical at its core’. But the Irish author, now based in New York, would rather readers focu(...)

Students studying out in the sunshine on the grounds of St Mary’s Dominican Convent, Cabra. Photograph: Tommy Collins

Published: June 7th, 1965. Photograph: Tommy Collins

At the launch of the  Galway Arts Festival festival programme  are (from left):  Amy Conroy, Caoimhe Regan, artistic director Paul Fahy and Sonya Kelly. Photograph:  Nick Bradshaw

Biggest talking point likely to be Patricia Piccinini’s giant Sky Whale, which created quite a stir when it appeared in Melbourne (...)

Paperback review

Dmitri Shostakovich (left) with president Eamon de Valera and  the Provost of Trinity, AJ McConnell, at  Áras an Úachtaráin

Published: July 7th 1972 Photograph: Tommy Collins

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