Sherna Malone and husband Brendan McCormack, with twin daughters Ella (left) and Zoe in Rosscarbery, Co Cork.  Photograph: Emma Jervis Photography

We speak to three people who decided enough was enough and changed their lives for the better

'Advice from Irish grannies tends to be considerably more pragmatic.' File photograph: Stockphoto

Students should remember that grandmothers – not billionaires and popstars – know best

A woman and child leaving  the Manchester Arena after the May 23rd attack. Photograph:  Christopher Furlong/Getty Images

Experts advise on how to help a child understand the Manchester Arena attack

Dermott (Oisin Stack), possessor of the ‘maddest stare on TV’and Alfie (Shane Richie) in ‘Redwater’. Photograph: Patrick Redmond

TV Review: As a tourism initiative for Waterford, it’s a roaring success. But as a drama ...

In Ireland, to admit that your child won’t be making their communion is like saying you’ve signed them up as a junior member of a political party. Photograph: Getty Images

Opting out of Communion is not easy in Ireland. We wouldn’t segregate children by their parents’ politics. So why are we segregati(...)

Members of the O’Tooles and Castleknock teams shake hands after a game during an U10 football tournament in Clontarf. “Girls’ involvement in team sports tends to fall off a cliff ‘right at the time when they would benefit most’.” Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Finding physical activity they enjoy more important than relentless drive for success

Lip service: a mouth made up in Maybelline’s Touchable Taupe gives me the illusion that I am a fully functioning adult

Jennifer O’Connell: Does the world really need research on what men think about why women wear make-up?

Richard Dawkins:  confident the Irish people would vote to overturn the blasphemy law if there was a referendum on the issue. Photograph: Don Arnold/Getty Images

Atheist author rails against Ireland's blasphemy law but says he would ‘love’ Irish citizenship

Ireland’s fresh-faced, rosy-cheeked hopeful Brendan Murray, who was handpicked by Louis Walsh to represent us, is likely to be on stage around 8.40pm on Thursday.

When is it on, what are Ireland’s chances and is ‘sounds like Ed Sheeran’ this year’s trend?

Erica Stoll and Rory McIlroy had an Irish wedding – with a disappointing lack of bridezialladom. Photograph: David Cannon/Getty Images

My eye was fused shut by a mosquito bite. It was the best day ever

 Ivanka Trump with the Canadian foreign minister Chrystia Freeland and the president of the National Council of German Women’s Organisations, Mona Kueppers in Berlin, Germany. Photograph:  Getty Images

Blonde ambition: She’s a ‘gateway Trump’ – and just as big a menace as her father

Summer’s here kids. Photograph:  Dara Mac Dónaill

How hot was 1995? When were statues seen to move in Ireland?

Never, ever assume someone is pregnant, even if you’re both on the labour ward and she’s screaming for an epidural. Photograph: Getty

Jennifer O’Connell: Small talk is fraught with peril. A few rules can help avoid catastrophe

24% of women on maternity leave check their email. One in four does so daily. Photograph: Getty

Opinion: Employers can’t punish women for being pregnant. We manage that ourselves

By  forking out  €410,000 for a non-descript three-bed, your lifestyle could involved a daily supply of  flowers.

Jennifer O’Connell: The hope. The greed. The nauseating sense of deja vu

Facebook chief executive  Mark Zuckerberg:  the media was unimpressed by Zuckerberg’s promise to do better regarding live-streaming of attacks. Photograph: AP Photo/Noah Berger

Opinion: More than 1 million people have watched the killing of Robert Godwin. It’s not just an internet problem. It is a humanity(...)

‘This would have been a very loving gift from a husband to wife,’ says auctioneer Damien Matthews “This would have been a very loving gift from a husband to wife,” said auctioneer Damien Matthews ahead of the auction.

This ‘ladies companion’ from an Anglo-Irish family is to be auctioned in Co Meath

‘I have never believed those who claim they don’t go to coffee shops to eavesdrop.’ Photograph: Getty

Jennifer O’Connell: ‘The best coffee shops require something all the Starbucks community noticeboards in the world can’t emulate: (...)

“The iPhone’s principal achievement has been in ushering in a decade of constant, low-level guilt.”

Jennifer O’Connell: Love should mean rarely having to say you’re sorry – certainly not 2,629 times in 11 years

The Republic of Ireland women’s soccer team  outlined their grievances with the FAI at a  press conference this week. Photograph: Donall Farmer/Inpho

Will outrage over Ireland’s soccer team change how women’s sport is treated?

The study in the ‘Journal of Pediatrics’ says breastfed babies wake more often at night, which means more time to cry. Photograph: Getty Images

Danish and Japanese babies cry least,according to a new global study

The joy of an auction is about watching other people battle it out over the stuff you’d never dream of buying

Jennifer O’Connell: ‘Your first successful bid at an auction is like an alcoholic’s first sip of booze’

Will your outfit flying with your airline?

Footwear and manners are a must . . . and a Christmas tree is surprisingly OK with Delta

Britain’s Prime Minister Theresa May (right) and Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon pose for a photograph ahead of their meeting  on March 27, 2017. Photograph: Russell Cheyne/AFP/Getty Images

With its sexist front page, the ‘Mail’ has unintentionally done humanity a favour

Transcendence: Ben Rafter (11) drew this picture for an exhibition, ARTzheimer’s – a collection of powerful statements about love, loss, isolation, identity and memory – which opened this week

Yet amid the slow loss, there are moments when glimmers of the person emerge from the shrouds of the disease

The so-called “dark web” is providing ready and relatively risk-free access to drugs for a demographic that defies the stereotype of the Irish drug addict. Photograph: Getty Images

Tech-literate drug users are buying steroids, cheap medicines and ecstasy

On the Waterford Greenway, the longest off-road walking and cycling trail  in Ireland

Off-road track, along an old railway, includes coast, viaducts, tunnel and spectacular gorge

Kabbalistic? A customer looks at Madonna’s  children’s book The English Roses. Photograph: Tim Boyle/Getty

British politician George Galloway is to write a children’s book. Celebrity alone will not sell his efforts to such discerning rea(...)

Do you have a genuine claim to citizenship, or are you as Irish as soda bread biscotti?

A shrine, with an image of the Virgin Mary on part of the site of the former mother-and-baby home run by the Bon Secours nuns in Tuam, Co Galway, where the remains of an unknown number of babies and toddlers were found buried. Photograph: Reuters/Peter Nicholls

Ireland has always been a good place for children to grow up – as long as they were the “right” kind of children

Karima Merchant: “Landlords in Dublin are trying to take advantage of you being foreign any way they can”

International tech workers say Dublin's high salaries don’t always cover rent, childcare and health costs

The robots are coming: but don’t start building that bunker just yet. Photograph: E+/Getty

My weather bot recommends snowboots in spring. Another confuses trains and planes

For a small nation, we've plenty to boast about

A cure for leprosy? The Connemarathon? The home of Botox, or Viagra? Birthplace of the MGM lion? Whatever its claim to fame, kn(...)

The first time I ran all the way up the hill near my home, there was no magic, no flow, no dopamine high. There was just two feet, pounding painfully on the footpath. Photograph: Getty Images

I’m going to focus on rediscovering some actual awe rather than looking for it online

I’ve had several, fantastic live-out nannies and childminders over the years, some of whose presence in my life I mourn daily

We clean before the cleaner arrives and we make the cups of tea for the au pair

Brian Cullinan (third left) of PricewaterhouseCoopers after the Best Picture Academy Award was mistakenly awarded to ‘La La Land’.  REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson

When Brian Cullinan should have been giving Warren Beatty the right envelope, he was tweeting

Ryan’s toy reviews: consistently in the top five YouTube channels globally

A boy called Ryan opens toy boxes on YouTube and now his parents are extremely wealthy

Out of control: Bono meets Mike Pence in Munich. Photograph: Mike Pence/@VP Twitter

The U2 frontman seemed oblivious to Pence’s history on Aids and gay rights when the two met recently in Munich

Not for a younger audience: Felix Arvid Ulf Kjellberg, aka PewDiePie. Photograph: Stephen Morrison/EPA

Anti-Semitic messages have been found in the videos of one of YouTube’s ‘Let’s Play’ stars. So how child-friendly are the hugely p(...)

‘Despite being a Silicon Valley refugee and pimped up with more fancy tech gadgets than Elon Musk’s favourite godchild, I managed to lose my phone recently.” Photograph: Getty Images

I was going to be late for a safer internet event because I had broken the first rule of not being a colossal idiot on the interne(...)

Poet Stephen James Smith manages to tread the line between knowing and clever, and full of heart and raw emotion

Pauline Shanahan, in Dublin. “I’m performing a stand-up show entitled What’s Cooler Than a Hipster? A Spinster, because I think the word ‘spinster’ needs reclaiming.” Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

As Valentine’s Day approaches, the pressure to pair up is strong – but some are resisting the pull

Something approaching a shed emerged, and for a few hours there was peace. The bikes were warm and dry. Then the wind started to howl

The husband is a dab hand at the Ikea bookcase so what can be so hard about a shed?

A scene from season six of Game of Thrones, one of the most pirated shows in history. “In order to watch Game of Thrones I’d need to pay for a Sky subscription for a year. But I can’t get Sky because of my location”

Film and music fans reveal their downloading and streaming habits

“I found myself binge-watching episodes of One Born Every Minute and furtively looking up baby name chat forums.” Photograph: Mike Harrington/Getty Images

It waits in the wings and creeps up on you, just when you thought you were done with nappies

Luggala, Co Wicklow: ‘Let’s ensure every Irish person has one small house, before we acquire more big ones.’

Opening the national chequebook is not the way to secure its future

Posed by model. Photograph: Getty.

Study about Irish women and alcohol is scaremongering and meaningless

Spin cycle: White House press secretary Sean Spicer takes questions. Photograph: Drew Angerer/Getty

In a sea of ‘alternative facts’, Daniel Levitin wants to help people get to the truth

Men at work: the opening of the Sport Ireland  National Indoor Arena in Dublin on Thursday. Photograph:  Brendan Moran/Sportsfile

Answer: One to cut the ribbon, and 12 to not notice anything wrong

“It’s worth reminding ourselves, daily if necessary, that being an adult does not mean being stressed and anxious all the time.”

When it comes to a work culture, give me Paris over Palo Alto any day

Martha McHale, with her daughter, Molly, and granddaughter, Mila: “I’m a granny while my friends are going for IVF.” Photograph: Alan Betson

Doctors say Irish women should have children younger. But is it realistic? We talk to a mix of parents about having children at an(...)

Heavy statistic: some 23 per cent of Irish adults are classified as obese. Photograph: Peter Dazeley/Getty

Unless we change our diet, Ireland risks becoming the fattest nation in the world

Holly Carpenter, who has lost her place on TV3’s Celebrity Masterchef Ireland.

The first episode served up a familiar blend of tears, technique and . . . stolen cod

Here’s some advice for family members of those who have joined a gym for the first or fifth time. The first rule is this: don’t talk about the gym membership. Discreetly avert your eyes if you notice them leaving the house in lycra

Yes, I’ve joined a gym, but I don’t want to talk about it, so pretend it hasn’t happened

More and more people are using smart watches and health apps to monitor their lifestyle. Photograph: Getty Images

When it comes to our health, more knowledge may not always be a good thing

Joseph Fiennes playing Michael Jackson in a new Sky Arts show, Urban Myths

Paris Jackson says Joseph Fiennes’ TV portrayal of the black singer is ‘offensive’

In January, the office kitchen fills with the pungent aroma of other people’s reheated veg curry and lentil Bolognese. Photograph: Ross Anania/Getty Images

Workplaces reek of dirty runners, reheated soup and the pious stench of self-flagellation

Helen Mirren: The problem with her is – well, there’s no problem with Helen Mirren. At 71, she is still opinionated, acerbic and relevant.  Photograph:  Hayoung Jeon/EPA

Women's writing for Women's Day: For older men in the public eye, there are far more choices than ‘shockingly sexy for his age’ o(...)

“Loneliness is personal, and it is also political.” Illustration: artfromthefringe/Getty Images

Loneliness can be a silent assassin that wreaks havoc on people’s lives – and experts want it to be a health-policy issue

The trouble with resolutions is  they tend to fall into two categories: things you are going to do anyway, and things that were never going to  happen

Start with easiest thing, do it again. Repeat 66 times. Take a bow, you’ve kept a resolution

At home with the  Zuckerbergs: the 13.8 million people who viewed the video of Mark Zuckerberg’s child Max’s early steps are not his family or friends

After two years in the US tech industry, I do not believe Silicon Valley is creating a humane world

This year gifted the world a rich array of expressions of annoyance

Whatever your bad habits are, abandon yourself to them on Christmas Day, ideally while wearing pyjamas

Wing it by channelling Gwyneth and Nigella with wrapped pebbles, soup tins and stale cake

Harte scans the horizon for a herd: “There’s very little infrastructure there – we have to bring in our own water. But it’s funny how little you really need to be totally comfortable and happy.”

These four dedicated conservationists work with the planet’s most endangered species

Ensure your Christmas dinner is a hygge feast and not a huge fiasco

Navigate the minefield with our guide to the year’s top Yuletide conversational no-nos

Sporting opium: silver medallist Annalise Murphy with other Irish Olympic sailors. Photograph: Alan Betson

An overheard conversation finally provides proof of the healing powers of sport

Madonna on stage at the Billboard Women in Music 2016 event in New York. ‘You are allowed to dress like a slut, but  do not, I repeat do not, share your sexual fantasies with the world.’ Photograph:  Nicholas Hunt/Getty Images

In a blistering speech, the singer says sexism is rife in the business. And it’s not all men’s fault

This week, do yourself a favour and find a stranger to talk to – in person. Photograph: Simon Ritzmann/Getty

Don’t be held hostage by your smartphone and be the talker you were born to be

Ciara O’Doherty: “The bigger the audience, the bigger the fee the brand will be willing to pay.”

‘It’s in the interest of brands and influencers to let people know when payment’s involved’

Amy Schumer responded to “fat-shamers” by posting a  photo of herself in a black swimsuit on Instagram

The comedian’s Instagram response to ‘fat shamers’ still fixates on the superficial. It’s time to focus on what women say and do

Carrie Fisher and Harrison Ford while promoting “Star Wars: The Force Awakens”. Fisher’s description of her on-set affair with Ford 40 years ago will strike a chord with many. Photograph: Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP

Carrie Fisher's gawky reminisce of falling in lust with Harrison Ford brings back mortifying memories

The opening sequence of the Jungle Book themed RTÉ The Late Late Toy Show. Photograph: Andres Poveda

Jennifer O’Connell wraps up her review of Ryan Tubridy’s eighth Toy Show

Raped: Evan Rachel Wood was attacked by a partner and by the owner of a bar. Photograph: Alberto E Rodriguez/Getty

The ‘Westworld’ star has revealed that she was raped on two occasions. More women, both in Ireland and around the world, are going(...)

Silicon future: Tina McDaid with her children, Jack, Aidan and Evelyn; she says her time in California has made her favour technology much more. Photograph: Declan Doherty

A leading US academy says iPads can help under-twos. So what are parents to do in an age of ‘sharenting’ and Snapchat streaks? (...)

Jennifer O’Connell: “I read recently that the average home has 300,000 items in it . . . 244 boxes later, that sounds modest.”

Living with the barest essentials can be done yet we hold on to the least important items

In Ireland, Women’s Aid heard more than 22,000 complaints of abuse of women and children in 2015.

The message Trump’s election sends to girls and women everywhere is clear: know your place. Put up and shut up

Aaccording to a paper published in the Journal of Medical Ethics last year, at least 250 people have so far been cryopreserved in the US

There are around 250 people cryopreserved in the US alone. As the procedure hit the headlines again this week, we look at why peo(...)

“It is simplistic to suggest that the world is divided into those who prize truth and those who  think it does not matter”

Oxford Dictionaries’ choice does not help us understand Brexit or Trump’s election

Packing it in: The decision to return was the easy part. “It was followed by long negotiations with employers, sad conversations with friends. Late-night emails to shipping companies. Frantic searches for  baptismal certs.”

‘We came home to reapply for our visas. A longish holiday. And we couldn’t quite leave’

‘The idea of this country is one thing, and the reality is another.’ Comedian and writer Maeve Higgins, who has lived in the US for three years, beside the Brooklyn Bridge. Photograph by Michael Nagle

Safety, gay and immigration rights, and corporation tax under a Trump administration are some of the concerns among Americans-in-(...)

Start me up:Carl Widger, Aisling Maher, Yvonne Brady, Patrick Murphy and Ian Harkin

To start a business between 2010 and 2014 took courage. Five people describe how they did it

Bono: “you can grow up to be a woman just like that man”. Photograph:  Alan Betson/The Irish Times

What are we to tell our daughters: you can grow up to be a woman just like that man?

Kardashian jewellery raid: Kim Kardashian in Paris with Kanye West, in a shot from her Instagram account

Kim Kardashian is set to scale back on social media after her gunpoint jewellery robbery in Paris. But an internet without her wou(...)

Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt at the Cannes Film Festival in 2011. Ms Jolie has filed for divorce. Photograph: Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images

In coverage of Brangelina split, there’s been only one bad guy – and it’s not the Brad guy

‘There are ways in which I feel less Irish too: for one thing, I get excited about the prospect of rain.’ Photograph: Eric Luke

It’s much harder to put down roots when you always have one eye on home. For that reason, I’ve decided this will be my last column(...)

Addyi: women should be wary of swallowing this vision of equality wrapped up in a little pink pill. Photograph: Thinkstock

It’s not female sexual desire that needs ‘fixing’ so much as society’s notion of what’s normal

A Traveller family from Limerick participating in a Travellers’ rights protest in Dublin in 2009. Photograph: Alan Betson

Why are racism and discrimination still so widely accepted when they are directed against Travellers?

Danielle Meitiv, who has been cleared of one charge of neglect, and her son, Rafi (10). Photograph: Sammy Dallal/Washington Post via Getty Images

Parents being charged with neglect for letting their children walk home alone will only result in arrested development

‘Algorithms may be good at crunching numbers and putting them in some kind of context, but journalists are good at asking annoying questions.’ Photograph: Thinkstock

This year, computer software will produce more than a billion stories on the web. The majority will never be read, but in this era(...)

Dave Goldberg: he changed nappies, did laundry and spent time with his wife and children every day. Photograph: Johannes Simon/Getty Images

Far more men – maybe even the majority – would identify as feminist if there wasn’t so much confusion over what the term signifies

A married couple from Brooklyn advocating for marriage equality outside the US supreme court. Photograph: Johnny Bivera/AFP/Getty Images

Vote however you wish on May 22nd, but at least vote on the question being asked

Lululemon’s clothing has become, in certain circles, more sought-after than Chanel. Photograph: Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

The trend of women wearing skin-tight yoga pants brings out the inner Taliban in some men

‘Eamonn Lillis’s crime was horrific, and there is a genuine public interest in the subject of his release after a sentence of just five years and two months.’ Above, Lillis leaving Wheatfield Prison. Photograph: Colin Keegan/Collins

What exactly were the teams of reporters at Dublin Airport expecting Lillis to do?

A worker in California installs a section of artificial lawn, a water-saving alternative to traditional lawns. Photograph: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

If we ever move back to Ireland, we will be able to run masterclasses in how to cut down on water bills

Daniel and Amy McArthur of Ashers bakery leaving Laganside Court in Belfast. Photograph: Stephen Kilkenny/PA Wire

As we are the first country in the world to hold a referendum on gay marriage, we have the opportunity to reframe the debate away (...)

The Commitments: ‘The Irish are the blacks of Europe. And Dubliners are the blacks of Ireland. And the northside Dubliners are the blacks of Dublin’

Roddy Doyle’s trilogy is up for this year’s Dublin: One City, One Book initiative. That’s very clever all the same

If newsworthiness is that hard to define quality that makes a story worth telling, what was it about Elaine O’Hara that deemed her so much less newsworthy than other Irish women who have disappeared?

It’s chilling to realise a woman can go missing in Ireland without an outcry

A study carried out among a small group revealed that the average person makes a food-related decision 224 times a day. Considering we’re asleep for up to eight hours, that’s roughly once every five minutes.

If you sit by the window in a restaurant you’re 80 per cent more likely to order salad. Eat from a bigger plate and you’ll eat one(...)

Sharon Curley (Tina Kellegher) and Dessie Curley (Colm Meaney) in a scene from The Snapper.

Have you forgiven Miley his affair? Do you know the plural form(s) of the word ‘you’? Do you have a Bono story?

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