A cross etched in the grass – the memorial to Frederick Cavendish and Thomas Henry Burke, killed in the Phoenix Park by the Invincibles. It is one of the most discreet memorials you will ever see.

Frank McNally on a most discreet memorial

Connolly Books in Temple Bar Dublin. Photograph: Aidan Crawley

Frank McNally on the theatres of Temple Bar

Frank McNally on a wartime kickaround

Suzanne Burke, Athenry, Caithríona King, Cotofin, and Cathy Dillon, Athrenry, at the Galway Races on Tuesday evening. Photograph: The Irish Times

This meeting is not as flashy as before but punters still in thrall, writes Frank McNally

Joe Coleman with his daughter Carmel and wife, Annette Coleman, from Tuam, Co Galway at the Galway Races. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

It was day one at the Galway Races, and Dermot Weld’s confidence never fluttered

A sign on one of St James’s Street’s two St James’s churches still proclaims: “The Camino begins here”

The Way of St James’s Gate

From an Australian mining town to stardom, via the nuns

  Monaghan’s Conor McManus and Colin Walshe celebrate with the Anglo Celt Cup.  Photograph: Cathal Noonan/Inpho

Enjoying Monaghan’s hour in the sun

In 1904 it was called Pisser Dignam’s field – Bohemian FC fans now know it as Dalymount Park.

An Irishman’s Diary on Bohemian FC’s holy ground at Dalymount Park

Tipperary-man Vincent Maher recalls his time as a doctor at Spandau where Rudolf Hess was imprisoned.

An Irishman’s Diary chats to Vincent Maher

Marsh’s Library, Dublin. It has changed so little in 314 years its founder Archbishop Narcissus Marsh would have no trouble recognising it.

An Irishman’s Diary: On Marsh’s Library

Paris lawyer Frank Samson as Napoleon at a pre-battle briefing before a re-enactment of the Battle of Waterloo.

My my . . . at Waterloo re-enacted

Detail from ‘Classical Beauty’ by Alfred Elmore. Courtesy of Crawford Art Gallery, Cork.

A product of two competing strains of history

Hope Castle in Castleblayney

One of the quietest counties in Ireland has started to sing its own praises in a major way. The homeland of Patrick Kavanagh is ge(...)

Nevil Shute: cryptic phone call from Dublin Castle

Teenager volunteered for Red Cross work

Jack Charlton acknowledges cheers from the crowd at the Republic of Ireland versus England international friendly at the Aiva Stadium in Dublin. Photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

Game had press hoping for another riot to end misery on pitch, writes Frank McNally

Glory years: Alfie Byrne, nicknamed ‘the shaking hand of Dublin’ because of his relentless canvassing

Independent politician who was elected mayor nine years running in the 1930s, and once again in the 1950s, is honoured with a perm(...)

 Antoinette Quinn:  wrote what is probably the definitive critical work on Patrick Kavanagh’s poetry. Photograph: Frank Miller

Biographer of Patrick Kavanagh

Thomas Arthur Comte de Lally, one of the Franco-Hibernians who fought with such “desperate valour” at Fontenoy

An event that loomed large in the Irish psyche

  Orson Welles   in   “The Third Man”.  “There could be a few second- or third-generation Harry Lime lookalikes ghosting around the greater Connemara area even now.”   Photograph: AP

An Irishman’s Diary on Orson Welles

“If there was a world record for the distance between quotability and comprehension, Yeats would have held it since ‘The Second Coming’ was written, 96 years ago.” Photograph: Getty Images

The eminently quotable ‘The Second Coming’

 “Alas, the dream was not to be. The hired deckchairs disappeared and with them went the hope of an open-air beer.” Photograph: Matthew Fearn/PA

Chair-hire in St Stephen’s Green

Robert Altman (sixth from left) in 1906. He has emerged in recent years as a plausible model for one of the most venerated characters in literature, Leopold Bloom

Was this the real-life Leopold Bloom (or one of them)?

“The old fusspot absolutely refuses to drink tap-water”

You can lead a cat to water, but you can’t make it drink

Looks like a cross between a skateboard and a Segway

Automatic skateboard is the wheel deal

Frank and Hanna Sheehy-Skeffington

Pacifist, feminist and all-round radical

Arnold Bax: poet and composer was drawn to Ireland

English composer was friend of Padraig Pearse

Shane Long celebrates after scoring a late equaliser against Poland. Photograph: Morgan Treacy/INPHO

Dublin 4 proves to be home away from home for Poland but equaliser saves Irish blushes

‘Into Battle’ was first published in the ‘Times’ of London in May 1915, alongside news of Grenfell’s death.

‘I adore war. It’s like a big picnic without the objectlessness of a picnic.’

Ireland scored early and often against a Scots defence of less than Calvinist virtue to win by 30. Photograph: Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

Astronomical scores threatened to break the laws of physics

Ireland’s Paul O’Connell celebrates winning the Six Nations.  Photograph: Livepic/Reuters

Ireland suffer 80 minutes of the madness that was England vs France before knowing they’d won

Ireland fans David Lynch, Darren O’Neill, Mark Cullen and Ross McComish, from Belfast, Co Antrim in Edinburgh for the Scotland match. Photograph: Cathal Noonan/Inpho

Perfect views of the eclipse the ideal taster as the green army descends on Edinburgh

At the initiative of Aubrey Herbert, they stopped fighting at Gallipoli long enough to do the decent thing by the dead

A brief truce in a time of unrelenting slaughter

St Patrick’s Day parade in Dublin. Photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

Grand marshal Brendan O’Carroll says it’s like being given a knighthood

 Barry Geraghty: all set for Cheltenham.  Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

To Cheltenham on a full tanka

Kate O’Brien: “She took on difficult subjects, and the State Censor, in a post-independence Ireland. And she also had a transcendent imagination when required.” Photograph: Sasha / Getty Images

Celebrating Irish women writers: ‘She’s on record somewhere as distrusting humour on principle. But her very seriousness now seems(...)

A new history of Ireland’s national instrument

 Robbie Henshaw celebrates scoring Ireland’s  try with Conor Murray and a cast of thousands. Photo: Inpho/James Crombie

Record-equalling 10th successive win put Joe Schmidt’s men in Six Nations driving seat

Ben Goss (centre) with Andy Beattie (right), former England International and Bath Rugby player, with colleagues and friends from London, The Midlands and Gloucestershire, after arrivng at Dublin Airport for the Six Nations clash with Ireland on Sunday. Photograph: Alan Betson

First of 15,000 travelling fans, brimful of confidence, arrive for Sunday rugby kick-off

Alondra de la Parra will conduct at the celebratory Mexican-Irish concert in the National Concert Hall.

A joint history of being on the receiving end of colonial oppression has given the Mexicans and Irish a special empathy

  AP McCoy: “I read McCoy’s autobiography a few years ago, in which he spoke with brutal honesty about the price those around him paid for his drive to win. He is a very intense man, clearly. So I wouldn’t associate the Gaelicised ‘craic’ with him that much. But as for the word’s other spelling, it could be his middle name.”  Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

You see craic these days even in the ‘Spectator’ magazine, that bastion of British conservatism

Keith Wood pictured with his wife Nicola at the annual Ireland Funds’ rugby lunch at the Shelbourne Hotel. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Former international player was the star of the show at the Ireland Funds’ annual rugby lunch

A cartoon from the ‘Lepracaun’. Illustration courtesy of Dublin City Public Libraries

The cartoonist wing of the nationalist movement

The cult of St Fechin is now growing in Britain too, thanks to ‘Father Ted’

The place that dares not speak its name

Liam Clancy: his version of the ballad ‘Aghadoe’ has helped keep the name of John Todhunter alive. Photograph: Alan Betson

Liam Clancy and the haunting ballad ‘Aghadoe’

“Even with Con Houlihan as a guide to who and where all the local singers were, Munnelly’s work proved, as it often did, slow and frustrating.”  Photograph: Alan Betson

‘Munnelly must have packed away his tape machine that day as a natural historian would a cage with a breeding pair of dodos’

Margaret Barry and Brendan Behan in 1961. Photograph: Gordon Standing

‘Blessed with the decibel levels of a foghorn, she bypassed the microphones and sang from the front of stage, to general acclaim’ (...)

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