Steve Cranly, Colette Reynolds and Wendy Louise Knight cheer on a winning bet in the first race on the second day of the Punchestown Racing Festival near Naas, Co Kildare. Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Frank McNally: Results in keeping with the fickle weather as favourites lose out

 Val O Donnell leads the toast  at the Palace Bar in Dublin on the 50th anniversay of the death of Brian O’Nolan. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Fans gather in Palace Bar to pay tribute to the man himself, Myles

Members of Fingal Old IRA Commemorative Society in a re-enactment of the 1916 Grand National  at Fairyhouse. Photograph: Eric Luke / The Irish Times

Frank McNally: Rogue Angel given top notch ride to deliver victory for Gigginstown Stud

View of the crowd gathered outside the ruins of the GPO in April 1916. Photograph: Getty Images

Is this like your Fourth of July, or Bastille Day? Did the rebels really think they could win?

Samuel L Jackson, a top snake-wrangler and “mudebroth”, as St Patrick might have called him.

We are not short of religious swearwords in this country but I was excited to learn another one: ‘mudebroth’

Rudyard Kipling  Photograph: Getty Images

Rudyard Kipling’s ‘entertaining, if racist’ short story about a red-haired Irishman

Samuel Johnson: “What entitles Sheridan to fix the pronunciation of English?” he asked. “He has, in the first place, the disadvantage of being an Irishman.”  

'Greet Britain' could have been the standard pronunciation if not for the influence of speakers from this side of the water

Ireland fans at the France v Ireland match in the RBS Six Nations Championship in Stade de France, Paris, where heads rolled. Photograph: Andrew Boyers/Action Images via Reuters

The love in the air came from a cross-dresser who, like the players, had little luck scoring

Fergal Duffy from Navan, Co Meath with his father Jim Duffy, Rathfarnham, Dublin, at the Arc de Triomphe ahead of Ireland’s clash with France. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Weather and security fail to dampen supporters’ mood ahead of tie with France

Welsh and Irish fans show the tension of the last moments of the drawn Six Nations game in the Palace Bar, Dublin. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Ireland’s quest for unprecedented third successive Six Nations title begins with result almost as rare

“The Red Hand, that ubiquitous symbol of Ulster, straddles the political and sectarian divide.” 

During a visit to Belfast recently, I was struck by the contrasting neutrality of the hand.

Detail of a sign on a pub in London’s Mayfair

When Irish footmen were all the rage in English aristocratic circles

Christy O’Connor Jnr celebrates on the final green after winning his match in the 1989 Ryder Cup. Photograph: Getty images

Amid sadness at early death, emphasis of service on celebrating great sportsman’s life

“If there’s an actual crossroads anywhere that encapsulates Irish history, it must be the one at Kilmainham Courthouse.”

‘You’re looking for the gaol, aren’t you?’

 A vicar’s tea party list of storms will  kick off the year, while a weather system named after a 7th century saint will end it. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Frank McNally forecasts all kinds of ‘seismic’ events – political, sporting and even geographical

Mark Wiggins and Daniel O’Brien in the Mendicity Institution’s workshop. Photograph: Frank McNally

One of Ireland’s oldest charities and 1916

Hugh McGinnis:   even at 94, he was at a loss to explain the savagery he saw

An Irishman's Diary: Hugh McGinnis was the last surviving soldier from the massacre in 1890

 Ada Lovelace: computer genius and daughter of Lord Byron

Irishman’s Diary: Wild imagination set her apart from other geniuses of the era, including Charles Babbage

Thinkstock

An impressive spectacle in full flight

Marie Antoinette by Elisabeth Vigée Le Brun (1778). Kunshistorisches Museum, Vienna

Marie Antoinette and Irish finance

“My own fond theory is that Micheál O’Hehir smuggled  shemozzle back from New York in his luggage after the 1947 All-Ireland football final.”  Photograph: Jack McManus

The shebeen-shebang shemozzle

President Higgins is escorted by  Sean Rainbird, director of the National Gallery of Ireland, and the Italian ambassador, Giovanni Adorni Braccesi, to the reading. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

On a stormy winter day, President Michael D Higgins led us into the haven of poetry

Use ye not the word 'fulsome' when ye mean 'full', for that is unclean

Players from both teams get involved in a scuffle during the AIG Fenway Hurling Classic between Dublin and Galway in Boston. Photograph: Ray McManus/Sportsfile

A new way of measuring on-pitch incidents

Ireland’s Jonathan Walters celebrates scoring the second  goal at the Aviva on Monday night. Photograph: Donall Farmer/Inpho

Green army plays 12th-man stormer as Irish secure prized European Championships spot

“The next time I’m in Dublin’s Upper Leeson Street, I shall pause long enough to admire a sculpture called ‘Carnac’, by Bob Mulcahy”

A right Balzac (on the road to Carnac)

Detail from the Duke of Connaught Memorial Window, Ottawa, by Wilhelmina Geddes

Bringing an Irish artist back into the light

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