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

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

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

‘The themes are kind of grown-up: love and loss and death and grief and the compromises you make in your life.’ Above, Aislín McGuckin and Raymond Scannell in Famished Castle

Hilary Fannin’s play takes in a decade of loves won and lost and our economic boom and bust

Passengers boarding the Dartry Tram line in Westmoreland Street, Dublin. Photograph: Dermot Barry

The Times We Lived In: Dublin in 1948 and a photograph by Dermot Barry

Reign of Spain: Plácido Domingo. Photograph: Chad Batka/New York Times

The Spanish tenor will be in Dublin to sing at a gala concert this month – rain or shine

John O’Conor: ‘At the final it has always been my great delight, when I announce the winner, to say that we have the money to do the next competition. This will be the first time I’m not able to say that.’ Photograph: Alan Betson

O’Conor has done what many people thought impossible by putting Dublin on the piano map via the Dublin International Piano Competi(...)

Liza Klaussmann: while Tigers in Red Weather was about women trying to liberate themselves in the postwar era, her new book is more about masculinity. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Liza Klaussmann’s novel crashes a fictional gay pilot into the real-life marriage of socialites Sara Wiborg and Gerald Murphy, tur(...)

Dublin City University’s Fiontar programme has revolutionised the way in which students relate to the language

We are forever hearing about the imminent death of the Irish language, but there is a growing interest in the language worldwide, (...)

Stage set: Gearóid Solan of Irish National Youth Ballet, dancing with Aoibh Ní Ríain Broin

In September 15-year-old Gearóid Solan will join the Royal Ballet in London. He’s the first Irish male dancer to be accepted at Co(...)

Published: July 12th, 1972; Photograph: Kevin McMahon

Family history: Elizabeth McCullough’s  mother, Dorothy, and Dorothy’s father

In a country where it can seem as if every bird in the bushes has written a memoir, it’s worth paying attention to those by an U(...)

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

Babe in the woods: a 25 year-old Enda Kenny being shouldered into the Dáil in 1975

Published: November 19th, 1975 Photograph: Jimmy McCormack

Richard E Grant: “There are 1,100 perfumes released every year. It’s like a 57-year-old man saying, ‘Right. I’m now going to release a pop record.’ You don’t stand a chance in hell. But here I am”

We all love Richard E Grant in his classic role of the acerbic, alcoholic, unemployed actor Withnail. Now the Swaziland-born movi(...)

 Best Day Out in Ireland 2015 - #bestdayout . Illustration: Dearbhla Kelly.
The Best Day Out in Ireland
  • Travel
  • April 18, 2015, 01:00

An ‘Irish Times’ competition is looking for the best ways to spend a day in Ireland – and we want your help. Here, ‘Irish Times’ w(...)

Published: November 9th, 1965 Photograph: Gordon Standing

Gealltanas (2002), airbrushed and ebonised oak, gold leaf, pearlescent ink and slate

The Castledermot woodturner’s exhibition A Journey shows his – and the form’s – evolution from craft to expression of ideas

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’

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