“Irish male politicians, in that typical Irish fashion, seem to be okay with quotas unless they personally get caught in the crossfire: gender equality nimbyism.”

In the hypothetical ‘How To Get Elected To Office In Ireland’, the ‘merit’ chapter is pretty small

Blistering feminist energy: Reykjavíkurdætur. Photograph:  Sigurður Ástgeirsson

Gender balance, a sophisticated vibe and great acts mark this festival out

One of the bill boards that Airbnb had to apologise for and remove.

“Tax is a problem the past concerned itself with. This is the brave new world, and we do things differently here. Look, there’s a (...)

Graham and Helen Linehan: “Ireland turns its back on women in a time of need.” Photograph: Eric Luke

Helen Linehan had an abortion because of a fatal foetal abnormality. Now she and her husband, the ‘Father Ted’ creator Graham Line(...)

Not-In-My-Back-Yard: The scene at Rockville Drive, off Glanamuck Road, Carrickmines at the site of the proposed emergency halting site. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

Carrickmines blockade did not take place in a vacuum, but in our discriminating society

Panti: the pronounced, vivacious, magnetic creation of Rory O’Neill, who is reserved, slightly stand-offish, shy. Illustration: Dearbhla Kelly

Panti, Rory O’Neill’s drag queen, is the subject of a new film. Her persona and what she represents are the result of decades of c(...)

 One Direction fans  outside the 3Arena in Dublin ahead of Friday night’s gig: from left, Laura Twohig, Niamh O’Leary, Leighan Morey and Tanya O’Mahony, all from Cork. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

1D begins a weekend of gigs at the 3Arena in Dublin on Friday night - all sold out of course

To the limit: Ben Foster as Lance Armstrong in The Program

Foster’s blood-doping preparations place him among a pantheon of actors who go that extra mile of crazy for their art

Marks & Spencer has launched #ShowYourStrap, a social media campaign that encourages women to take and post a selfie with their bra strap showing

‘The sexualisation of breast cancer awareness has been almost inevitable. I don’t have breast cancer, but if I did I’m not sure ho(...)

Aisling Law, a descendant of Maud Gonne, in Rossnaree House, Slane, Co Meath. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Aisling Law, a great-granddaughter of the rebel, feminist and social activist, is opening her doors to the public for the Muse of (...)

“Porndog  encapsulates many food and restaurant trends in Dublin that need to just go to their bedroom and think about what they’ve done.”

Dismantling of generic Irish restaurant menu is to be welcomed

Maeve Higgins

‘My career is different to my male peers. I was always told that I was ‘niche’

David Bowie, 1973 final show of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars. Photograph: Chris Walter/WireImage

Is there life on Mars? wailed Bowie, slightly prophetically. And is wasn't the last time a song predicted the future

“The hottest start up at the web summit was the web summit itself”

It fed into a loose narrative that Dublin was legit in the tech world

‘It’s become difficult to talk frankly about emigration without offending.’ Photograph: Getty Images

Ireland now has 205,150 fewer twenty-somethings than six years ago

‘We should not be afraid of our thoughts on abortion, nor our reservations.’ Photograph: Getty Images

‘In between the time you woke up this morning and go to bed tonight, a dozen Irish women will have left this country to have an ab(...)

Justin Vivian Bond: doesn’t let conventional boundaries restrict her, in her art or in her life

Singer-songwriter, actor, writer, painter, drag queen . . . ‘V’ lets loose about her upcoming Fringe show, getting creative at the(...)

Martin Sharry: a study in intentional awkwardnes

An anti-stand-up show that could be very good indeed

What starts out as a small crowd in the Little Big Tent ends up as an appreciative throng

‘With its rotting fairytale castle, a duckpond featuring miniature boats full of refugees, a princess in a chariot crash being bombarded by paparazzi (above), and frowning staff, Dismaland is the latest in Banksy’s wry anti-establishment commentary battering his five favourite Cs: capitalism, conflict, conservatism, consumerism and celebrity.’ Photograph: REUTERS/Toby Melville

‘In Trolley Land, hundreds of HSE workers push pens around while bandaged mummies moan on their stretchers’

Pop music is popular, shocker

Ladies and gentlemen, our first 5 star review from Electric Picnic 2015

A set that is beefy, brilliant and unforgiving in its forcefulness

Even the most casual observer couldn’t help but realise why Grace Jones is an icon

Brian Eno: ‘What I mean by surrender is an active choice not to take control. An active choice to be part of the flow of something.’ Photograph:  Sergio Dionisio/Getty Images

The two biggest things – love and death – happen to you no matter what you do

‘Mistress America’ director Noah Baumbach and actor Greta Gerwig, who plays entrepreneur Brooke in the film. Photograph: Ryan Pfluger/The New York Times

‘The permanent pensionable job has been gone for some time, but now most things resembling it have disappeared’

Social media is largely bookended by narcissism and outrage. Opinions fall like rockslides, pebbles pinging you with stupid, reactionary points of view. Photograph: Getty Images/iStockphoto

The honeymoon period is over for social media platforms

On the tedium-o-meter, I’d put it after looking at pictures of other people’s children on Facebook

Actor Amy Schumer arriving at Belvedere College in Dublin for a Q&A with Judd Apatow, who directed her in the film Trainwreck. Photograph: Dave Meehan

Comic’s appearance with director Judd Apatow in Dublin the hottest ticket in town

‘The gender pay gap is one of the most blatant and consistent indicators of inequality between men and women.’  File photograph: Getty Images/iStockphoto

‘Maybe it’s not motherhood punishing women’s earning power, maybe it’s heterosexual motherhood’

Lost in the Black Forest: Dorret Conway (fourth from left) and fellow contestants on The Great British Bake Off. Photograph: Mark Bourdillon/PA Wire

Review: The Late Review and The Great British Bake Off

‘We need to learn from this. We can’t keep building crap.’ Photograph: Getty Images

Smaller Dublin apartments? We have really learned nothing

Joe Duffy:  Liveline host  joins the summer exodus of top presenters at RTÉ leaving Damien O’Reilly to hold the fort.  Photograph: Alan Betson

Review:‘Bright Sparks’, 'Liveline' and 'Pat Kenny Show'

Bolands Mills: being redeveloped by Nama to the tune of €150 million. Photographer: Dara Mac Dónaill

Grand Canal Dock’s regeneration has made it shiny and new - but off-putting

‘Most journalism students I have met over the years aren’t particularly interested in the listicles or churnalism that typifies the low-paid long-hours culture of what the work has become for young journalists.’ Above, Eddie Holt. Photograph: Alan Betson

‘He took the painful Leaving Cert English essay style we had all arrived with and destroyed it’

What’s the deal with all the bloke-centric festival bookings?

‘Nothing is good about sleeping in a tent, or spending any time whatsoever in a tent.’ Glastonbury 2014. Photograph: Ian Gavan/Getty Images

‘I’m staring at November on the calendar, when I might get to the Airwaves festival in Reykjavik (I hope the doctors aren’t readin(...)

Orange Is the New Black: Danielle Brooks, Samira Wiley, Lea DeLaria, Laverne Cox, Lori Petty, Taryn Manning, Uzo Aduba, Taylor Schilling, Laura Prepon, Natasha Lyonne, Yael Stone, Ruby Rose, Kate Mulgrew, Selenis Leyva and Dascha Polanco in the third season of the Netflix hit

Black, lesbian, transgender . . . The Netflix hit has been the ‘breath of fresh air we didn’t even know we needed’, according to i(...)

’ Photograph: Gareth Chaney/ Collins

The internet is a democratic tool – if only political parties could learn to use it

Back in the day: The Corrs in 2000

The Corrs are set to release new material, with live dates lined up for September. Una Mullally can't wait

“This was the first time many young people had confronted the status quo, and they won. That won’t be forgotten.”  Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

‘For the first time in people’s young lives, they saw the direct connection between their individual actions and changing the worl(...)

The Puffin Rock animated series

Series already shown on RTÉ Junior will now reach international audiences

‘There’s also a brilliant sense of lightness about her performance.’ Above, Patti Smith performing in Barcelona recently. Photograph: Marta Perez/EPA

It is remarkable that Horses, a record released 40 years ago, and its creator, can still summon such urgency

‘I almost felt myself sinking lower in my cinema seat, as the dystopian-bikini-clad model-actresses billowed in the wind.’ Above, Charlize Theron in ‘Mad Max: Fury Road’.

Why are women continuously absent in Irish films?

Yes campaigners Una Mullally and Colm O’Gorman at Dublin Castle on Saturday for the results of the referendum on marriage equality. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

‘At Dublin Castle I couldn’t help but think of all of those who lived secret lives’

Sarah Francis and Una Mullally after voting  on  Pearse street in Dublin on Friday. Photograph: Alan Betson

This is also about people who never made it this far, the shoulders we are all standing on

At last, a trailer has emerged for the Steve Jobs film, stylised as steve jobs

A   new referendum mural by artist Joe Caslin, who also created the mural on St Gt George’s Street, has been installed on a 15th-century castle near Craughwell, Co Galway. Photograph:  David Sexton

Inspired by The Meeting on the Turret Stairs, mural shows two female figures in a tender pose

Political reporter, Ursula Halligan, who made her personal case for a Yes vote this week. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

In the 1803 Proclamation of Independence, Robert Emmet wrote: ‘Show to the world that the Irish are not only a brave, but also a g(...)

When it comes to sci-fi TV, Philip K Dick is your only man

‘It will be fascinating to observe the impact of the marriage referendum’s engagement of new voters on the next Dáil, which will probably lie somewhere between a butterfly effect and a Freakonomics anecdote.’ Photograph: Aidan Crawley/The Irish Times

The biggest impact might not even be on marriage equality, but on the wider Irish political horizon

‘Sarah held me as I walked out of the hospital in the midst of a panic attack. She stood there when I screamed at the sky in the carpark. She took notes when the surgeon explained that this was very serious and they needed to move straight away to see if it had spread to my liver and my lungs.’ Photograph: Getty Images

‘I was just starting to focus when the doctor told me they found a tumour. They didn’t have the biopsies yet, but straight away kn(...)

Floral tributes at High Craigton Farm to Karen Buckley. Photograph: Andrew Milligan/PA

‘Any time I write about violence against women, there’s a volley of abuse in the comments on The Irish Times website. Some people (...)

“Two of the most inspiring people I’ve come across recently come from the student movement. I would happily vote for Laura Harmon, USI president, (pictured) and Lynn Ruane, president of Trinity Students Union.”

Government generally avoids interacting with youth, viewing them with suspicion

She’s one of the most compelling singers to ever grab a microphone and glare down the barrel of an audience, but how much do we re(...)

Storm Large: ‘A lot of girls ask me how they can get to where I am. And they don’t like my answer.’ Photograph: Laura Domela

Storm Large is a full-on, larger-than-life performer, part rock’n’roll, part cabaret, who scares men and doesn’t care about taking(...)

RTÉ seems to be suggesting that anyone who has ever turned up on ‘Bosco’ or looked sideways at Biddy and Miley somehow has their personal opinions policed by the station.

Accusing RTÉ of bias is a national sport, but the term is being misused in this debate

Ben Bix (bass and vocals), Donnacha O’Malley (synth and vocals), Tadhg Byrne (violin), Micheál Quinn (drums) and Brian Dillon (synth/electronics) of Meltybrains? at the Pepper Canister church in Dublin. Photograph: Alan Betson

The members of Meltybrains? might be classically trained musicians, but their music is indefinable, their fans look like cult memb(...)

The popularity of head shops also coincided with a fall in cocaine use. The economy was slipping, and as Robin Williams once told us, “Cocaine is God’s way of telling you you are making too much money”. When the shops closed, the illegal drug trade picked up the slack. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

Nobody – aside from criminals – benefits from drug prohibition

Go big or go home: the Swedish agency Forsman & Bodenfors got Jean-Claude Van Damme to do the splits in its Volvo trucks ad

Featuring Tomi Ungerer, Forsman & Bodenfors, Snask, Niels Shoe Meulman, Veronica Ditting and Ian Anderson of the Designers Republi(...)

‘When the beating of Rodney King (above) was filmed and broadcast, it felt like an extraordinary event.’ Una Mullally  on how  filming acts of violence has become terrifyingly common.  Photograph: J Emilio Flores/The New York Times

What was once alarming is now seen as ‘content’ in our film-everything culture

In celebrations of Women’s Day, we asked Dublin band Bitch Falcon to compile their ultimate playlist of female songmakers

In honour of International Women's Day 2015, Una Mullally lists seven classic records that need to be given the full live treatmen(...)

The recent event ahead of Offset in the Twisted Pepper, Dublin

A recent event gave newcomers a chance to learn from some of the smartest women in the local creative industries

Taking flight: There is something sad about the prospect of Aer Lingus flying the nest. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Scratch the surface of many ‘Irish’ brands and you’ll find they’re owned by faceless multinationals

Anatomy of an advert: Mobile phone company Three had their Christmas advert filmed in the Artic circle

The advertising industry produces some cutting-edge art. Two of the creatives who’ll be at the Offset conference explain how their(...)

Adult Swim are at it again, this time with John C Reilly packing shopping bags

Greek prime minister Alexis Tsipras.  ‘Syriza did what so many other leftist political groups have failed to do, and that’s form a coalition.’  Photograph: Simela Pantzartzi/EPA.

Watching Greece assert itself, regardless of the outcome, is encouraging

“A society with a greedy generation, that doesn’t want to surround itself with children, that considers them above all worrisome, a weight, a risk, is a depressed society,” said the pope last week. Photograph: AP Photo/Andrew Medichini

Pope Francis said couples who don’t have children are ‘selfish’ and part of ‘greedy’ generation

Behind the scenes: Kate Hudson prepares to go onstage at the Dolby Theatre in 2014. by Christopher Polk/Getty
Backstage at the Oscars

Do you really end up having a laugh with George Clooney? Or becoming best friends with Jennifer Lawrence in the ladies’ loos? Mark(...)

‘You can find dozens of articles and news pieces online examining the “phenomenon” of vocal fry, but my personal favourite is the ABC News headline, “The debilitating speaking disorder afflicting North American women”.’

Vocal fry is a creak that sometimes happens at the end of a sentence or a statement when you’re talking

‘I’ve been attacked in the capital a few times, mostly gay-bashing incidents’

‘If you confront violence in a successful way, chances are the perpetrators will think twice before they attack someone again’

 ‘What’s slightly tricky to understand about Coláiste Eoin and Coláiste Íosagáin, secondary schools on the Stillorgan Road in Dublin, is that they are both linked and separate.’ Above, pupils arriving at Coláiste Eoin, Stillorgan, Co Dublin. Photograph: Eric Luke / The Irish Times

‘If parents are genuinely perturbed by the idea of anti-homophobic bullying initiatives, then perhaps they too would benefit from (...)

The Gender Recognition Bill will allow transgender people to have their status recognised by the State for all purposes – including the right to marry or enter a civil partnership and the right to a new birth certificate.

While the Gender Recognition Bill is welcome, there are huge shortcomings

Most LGBT people won’t have to come out on radio like Minister for Health Leo Varadkar, but there is still pressure involved in the process.  File photograph: Aidan Crawley/The Irish Times

For most in LGBT community coming out is a positive experience but problems remain

Theatre Machine: ‘It’s brilliant for young companies to test their work in an environment that’s not necessarily final or complete. It’s so important to have someone in to see your stuff before going into a final production’

Each evening, audiences pay €14 to see four short works in progress. You might see a disaster or an embryonic hit

Minister for Health Leo Varadkar with Miriam O’Callaghan in RTÉ yesterday when he announced he is gay. Photograph: Aidan Crawley

Role models such as the Minister for Health show being gay is not a hindrance in Irish society

Aaron Paul: dreams of being born. Photograph: Robbie Reynolds

The actor, best known for his role in Breaking Bad, was in Dublin recently, so we put a fat stack of short, sharp questions to him

People hold panels to create the eyes of late Charlie Hebdo editor Stephane Charbonnier, known as “Charb”, as French citizens take part in a solidarity march (Marche Republicaine) in the streets of Paris on Sunday. Photograph: Reuters/Yves Herman

Given its stranglehold on societies for generations, religion should be poked and prodded

‘As for the cheapness of Wetherspoons’ alcohol, why is this being met with no opposition when there has been a national conversation for decades about excessive consumption of alcohol, a level of consumption that is directly linked to the cost of that alcohol?’ Above, a JD Wetherspoon  pub in London. Photographer: Matthew Lloyd/Bloomberg

Opinion: pubs are one of our biggest draws for visitors and natives alike

A resolution for RTÉ: since Santa brought Montrose the early Christmas present of Ray D’Arcy, the station now has to figure out how to maximise his talent. Here’s a resolution for it: give him a big TV gig.

‘Abstinence and cutting back are tough enough at the best of times, but in grim January, it’s even more torturous’

Damien Rice’s scorched singing lit up Other Voices. Photograph: Rich Gilligan

The open, authentic Dingle festival shows no sign of losing its Midas touch despite a drop-off in media attention

Dolly Parton singing ’9 to 5’ at Glastonbury was amazing

Get off Facebook: Social media turns everything into a competition. Photograph: Getty Images

Seven steps to give yourself an online break

By pulling The Interview Hollywood has cowered. Its stubbled, sweating action heroes now appear more ludicrous than ever. Photograph: Justin Lane/EPA

It may be a ‘silly comedy’ but allowing it to be censored sets a terrible precedent

James Vincent McMorrow. Photograph: Ben Houdijk

Musicians, labels, promoters and fans can all take credit for a perfect storm of factors that made 2014 a special year for music (...)

‘The Christmas lights are twinkling and the cocktail glasses are clinking, but there are endless streams of people begging.’ Photograph: Alan Betson / The Irish Times

‘The public has become a Simon Cowell to the Government’s ‘X Factor’. Ministers stand up and perform, and we slate them . . . If w(...)

Main Street, Dingle. Lyrics and lyricism are central to this gem of an event

Other Voices is a gem in Dingle with free gigs in pubs and a programme of concerts in a church

Ciarán Clark: ‘We all had the idea to make it into a proper library.’ Photograph: Alan Betson

Ciarán Clark has brought the Outhouse centre’s library back to life and created a city centre gem in the process

Connected, which has won RTÉ2 legions of female fans

A year and a half into the job, RTÉ2 channel controller Bill Malone is claiming some victories in persuading younger audiences an(...)

‘I wrote about the ramifications of a ruling the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland made on the Derek Mooney show Mooney Goes Wild, where a discussion on marriage equality took place.’ Photograph: Cyril Byrne

‘I have been told by national radio stations that in order to discuss my history book, there must be someone present who opposes (...)

Civil partnership battle: in 2007 the Greens and Fianna Fáil fought over equal treatment. Photograph: Gabriel Bouys/AFP/Getty

A new oral history book by the ‘Irish Times’ columnist Una Mullally looks back on the long campaign that led to the upcoming refer(...)

A small crowd of regular punters were split between thinking the whole episode was bizarre and reflecting how incredible it was that the head of the Government could casually have a pint in a gay bar

Taoiseach’s appearance in Pantibar showed a widening acceptance of LGBT issues

What's tickling our cultural fancy this week

Naeshee Rice at  a rally at the Cudell Recreation Center in Cleveland, Ohio, this week. Photograph: EPA/DAVID MAXWELL

‘If you want to look at inequality in America, look at East St Louis’

Soundtrack to an era: Joni Mitchell in the 1970s. Photograph: Henry Diltz/Rhino

The singer-songwriter, whose new box set is a reworked retrospective of her career, is still refreshingly out of sync with the ti(...)

Jamie Dornan, who plays a serial killer in television drama The Fall. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

Opinion: it’s difficult to talk about male victims when men are so often depicted as perpetrators

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