James de la Rue’s illustration of Finn and Emmie from Darkmouth

Shane Hegarty: Writing Darkmouth was a steep learning curve, and it meant creating a world for a brutally honest and sophisticated(...)

Photograph: Benjamin Jessop/Getty

All good things must come to an end. And mediocre things as well. So it’s time I hung up the pen

Big singing: Pat Kenny, now on UTV Ireland

UTV Ireland has given us a new channel, but has anything really changed?

You’re not allowed end a message without one, and sometimes its better to just go with the flow

Cast member Seth Rogen and wife actress Lauren Miller pose during the premiere of  The Interview,  the film that allegedly sparked the Sony hacking. REUTERS/Kevork Djansezian

‘As it is we live in an age where privacy is a malleable concept, in which exerting control over your Facebook settings is still l(...)

'Last Week Tonight with John Oliver' was great comedy - and journalism

We all like a well-written, interesting list along a solid theme, yes? Well, this is none of those things

We now hear concocted terms, like ‘superstorm’, that have no real definition but sound exciting. Photograph: NASA Goddard Modis Rapid Response/AP

The way the mainstream media hypes up panicky weather claims says a lot about how they treat science stories in general

Ray D’Arcy: can he meet the challenge of sounding fresh within the comfortable walls of the RTÉ establishment?

Afternoon radio sometimes feels like a sleepy backwater, but D’Arcy’s big move might well shake up that perception

Remembrance: candles in the doorway on Molesworth Street in Dublin where John Corrie was found. Photograph: Aidan Crawley

The death of the homeless man in the shadow of Leinster House was big news. Behind the headlines it was really two parallel stor(...)

Wingman: Gerry Adams’s apology was backed up by Martin McGuinness. Photograph: Peter Muhly/AFP/Getty

John Delaney, Gerry Adams and ‘Morning Ireland’ all said sorry this week – in different ways, and with various degrees of convicti(...)

There but never in the way: Ryan Tubridy with some of the children appearing on the RTÉ Christmas special

It should be a consumerist nightmare, but instead ‘The Late Late Toy Show’ has earned its place as a national treasure

iTuning out: from U2’s Apple tie-in ad for The Miracle (of Joey Ramone)

The U2 singer’s iTunes apology had parallels with Richard Flanagan’s speech, but each came from a very different place

Waiter, waiter: how much service is truly shocking? Photograph: Betsie Van der Meer/Stone Sub/Getty

Whether it’s the Bridgestone or Georgina Campbell, restaurant guides are best served with smart lines

Photograph: Rui Santos/Getty

The rise of weight training is no surprise in an age of constant attention

Three’s a crowd: Paul O’Connell, Rob Kearney and Tommy Bowe in Ireland’s new rugby kit. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/INPHO

Another new jersey – for the Ireland rugby team this time – and the attack of the giant logos continues

Name game: elephant calves Kavi and Ashoka at Dublin Zoo. Photograph: Eric Luke

We all – well most people – love zoos, but the media loves a zoo story more than anyone

AdBlock: wipes sites so clean that it leaves white rectangles where you know an ad should be – like someone cutting holes in a newspaper before you picked it up. Photograph: Scott Griessel/Getty

Online advertising is a scourge of our day. The plug-ins that block them are a scourge of advertising

What’s going on?: we’re still no wiser how the centenary of the Rising will be marked. Photograph: Matt Kavanagh

With the centenary of the Rising approaching, the only thing certain is that it’s going to get messy

Photograph: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg

The media treat their Facebook pages as part of their brand but don’t always take responsibility for what other people post on the(...)

Regeneration: Doctor Peter Capaldi and Jenna Coleman

It’s time for a new Doctor Who, and a new chance to get on board the Tardis

Awesome: squeezing into shot at Fianna Fáil’s 2009 ardfheis

Give an Irish person an RTÉ camera and Marty Morrissey and any sense of decorum goes out the window

 Pádraig Pearse: he may have whistled but he most definitely did not say farewell to his wife in the moments before his execution.  Photograph:  National Archives of Ireland

Despite the stoicism and forgiveable innacuracies in his account of the executions of the leaders of the Rising, there are glimpse(...)

Dab hand: cleaning the graffiti off Molly Malone this week. Photograph: Eric Luke

Dublin’s statue of Molly Malone is an ever-stoic victim of the impulse to spray-paint, tag and otherwise deface our surroundings (...)

Now dig this: why don’t we depict historical events in the spots across the country where they took place?

It’s easier to learn about the past when it pops up in front of you

Airy port: The departures lounge in Heathrow’s Terminal 2. Photograph: Niel Hall/Reuters

Sure, Heathrow still has its dignity-stripping moments, but for the Irish the longest walk is no more

Ombudsman for Children, Emily Logan. Photograph: Sam Boal/Photocall Ireland

The Special Inquiry into the removal of children from their parents has much to say about the media’s role

Suspended: Luis Suárez. Photograph: Mike Egerton/PA Wire

Behind the inevitable jokes, the soccer star’s ban was part of an even grander narrative cycle: the World Cup story had its baddie(...)

Cliche 18: ‘Enjoy the weather while you can. Rain will be returning next week.’ Photograph: LOSW/Getty

How’s it possible to write the same weather story over and over? Try it yourself with this handy guide

Summer holiday: Graham Norton at BBC Radio 2

As the summer holidays kick in, the replacements are released – and some are bigger than others

Last post: Enda Kenny’s abandoned Twitter page

The Taoiseach’s not much of a social-media person, but someone had the great idea that he should do a Facebook Q&A while visiting (...)

Kind of genius: Pat and Una McDonagh, directors of the Barack Obama Plaza. Photograph: Brian Gavin/Press 22

The M7’s new Obama-themed service station will reveal what many parents already know: service stations can be destinations in them(...)

In the thick of it: Wozniacki with McIlroy shortly after they started dating, in 2011. Photograph: Matthew Stockman/Getty

Those five lines delivered to Caroline Wozniacki inadvertently articulated what it must be like to live a life that has become (...)

Sincere: Conchita Wurst. Photograph: Mogens Flindt/Scanpix Denmark/Reuters

Ireland needs to stop treating the Eurovision Song Contest as if it can be reverse-engineered

Each cover is nastier than the one before. Should these publications be treated as emotional pornography?

‘Lovelocks’ on the Ha’penny Bridge. Photograph: Alan Betson

‘Lovelocks’ are a scourge of many cities, including Dublin and Belfast. What’s the answer? Maybe it’s more lovelocks

And they’re off: posters in Dublin. Photograph: David Sleator

Rule one: don’t just shout at calling politicians. Not straight away

Winning line-up: Richie McCaw and the New Zealand squad with the Rugby World Cup trophy in 2011. Photograph: Andrew Cornaga/Photosport/Inpho

After winning the rights to next year’s Rugby World Cup, the channel has a chance to shake up RTÉ’s sheepskin coat

Big fish, small pond: Colin Farrell on the red carpet at the Iftas on Sunday. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

The Iftas once again reaffirmed a very important truth about Ireland: we don’t do showbiz

Full sail: Sea Stallion, a reconstructed Viking ship with 65  crew, in Dublin Bay. Photograph: Eric Luke

The Vikings raided Ireland repeatedly after first visiting, in the late eighth century, taking both treasures and people. But they(...)

On TV: the series Vikings, which got the men’s hair about right. Photograph: History

Stories about the Vikings, including this half-dozen, have been exaggerated so much that they wouldn’t recognise themselves

Land of fair foreigners: members of Fingal Living History Group. Photograph: Alan Betson

It’s always been considered different, and even had its own dialect, so is it time that Fingal went solo?

Built beside a graveyard: ironically, the lack of crowds at Millfield shopping centre in Balbriggan, Co Dublin, make it quite a pleasant place to shop. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Balbriggan’s Millfield home to the largest Tesco in Ireland, but is now in receivership. But in a struggling town, the people a(...)

Oscar winner: Wilde is ranked World’s No 1 Irishman. Photograph: Eric Luke

Measuring fame across thousands of years is an imprecise science. But someone’s had a go

Following a lead: Matthew McConaughey as Rust Cohle. Photograph: HBO

There’s an extraordinary climax to the episode on Sky Atlantic tonight. Will it be the high point of the series starring Matthew M(...)

By the skin of his teeth: Late Late Show host Ryan Tubridy with Eurosong hopeful Laura O’Neill and her mentor, Billy McGuinness of Aslan. Photograph: Collins

Every week the broadcaster gives viewers something to talk about

Old problems, new environment: teenagers cherish privacy, even if much of their behaviour online seems to run counter to this. Photograph: Alan Betson

It seems right to be snooping on your children’s digital lives, but dinah boyd, author of ‘It’s Complicated: The Social Lives of N(...)

Gordon D’Arcy’s beard: notable for its thrust. Photograph: Dan Sheridan/Inpho

The big beard is in fashion, and Irish men are now partying like it’s 1899

Dope debate: Luke Flanagan at a news conference to promote cannabis legalisation. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA

In the US, even Barack Obama wants an open discussion on drugs. In Ireland that debate is set to stagnate

Global hit: Chris Hadfield gives hurling a lash. Photograph: David Sleator

Tourism Ireland looked at a man who had walked among the stars, and seen the great sea of humanity from the window of the Internat(...)

Our man in Riyadh: Enda Kenny with Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud (right), Saudi Arabia’s deputy prime minister and minister for defence

You’re on a trip to the Gulf and everyone is asking awkward human-rights questions. Just think of the cash and you’ll be fine

Reports of the demise of the social network are exaggerated, but teens appear to be leading an unlikely charge towards simplicity (...)

“Look, no horns.” Viking historian Iain Barber at the Rose and Viking festival in St Anne’s Park, Raheny, in 2012. Photograph: Alan Betson

We’ve a lot of anniversaries on our plate these days, but the Vikings should be allowed raid the calendar

Little Leo had a great wheeze. Dad’s acting all important. And the three visitors have finally left.

Jammed in: commuters in India. Photograph: Sanjay Kanojia/AFP/Getty

Ireland’s railway carriages are often packed, sweaty sardine tins on wheels. Don’t expect that to change

Brave new world: Colm Keaveney with Micheál Martin, the Fianna Fáil leader, on Tuesday. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Former Labour Party chairman Colm Keaveney’s dash through the evening radio shows taught us as much about the presenters as it did(...)

Livin’ on a wing and a prayer: Prince William singing with Taylor Swift and Jon Bon Jovi, the only person who can sing that song ironically, at Kensington Palace  this week. Photograph: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire

The Edge and Prince William have been ridiculed for their lack of style, but evolution laughs at all dance-floor dads

Dog days:  Brian O’Driscoll after the Australia  match last Saturday. Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho

Against the All Blacks, it’s David v Goliath. The problem is that Goliath thinks he’s David too

Photograph: iStock/Getty

I’m always missing a key ingredient at a vital moment, my curries often taste like bolognese, and my bolognese often tastes like n(...)

Curtains: Silvia Napoleoni as Denise and Susan Loughnane as Debbie in Love/Hate

The superb crime drama has never been afraid to kill off its characters, but has it become too trigger-happy?

Don’t laugh if you’ve heard this one before: Michael Fassbender with fellow 12 Years a Slave actors and their director, Steve McQueen. Photograph: Larry Busacca/Getty

Michael Fassbender says he won’t be doing a promotional tour for his latest movie. You can hardly blame him: interviews with film (...)

Aidan Gillen: his character needs to both match and confound Haughey’s public persona. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

RTÉ’s TV drama about Charles Haughey, starring Aidan Gillen as the late taoiseach, will be worth watching. Why did it take so long(...)

Greatest hurling final ever?: Pádraic Collins and Aaron Cunningham celebrate Clare’s win in last weekend’s replay. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Do we live in an age filled with the greats, or are we just great at superlatives?

Elaine O’Hara: The ‘Sun’, the ‘Star’ and the ‘Mirror’ ran particularly lurid front-page headlines about her murder. Photograph: PA

Elaine O’Hara’s life in all its complexity – and her death in all its horror – were reduced to fodder for a play on words

Shelf life: percentages of ebook sales can be healthy for authors, but a  monthly subscription will be spread thinly. Photograph: Hemera/Getty Images

It seems obvious that you should be able to borrow books online, but this evolution is not without its worries

In the box: Eamon Dunphy, Liam Brady, Johnny Giles and Bill O’Herlihy watch Ireland play Austria in their studio at Ernst Happel Stadium, in Vienna. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Another Ireland soccer manager goes, but the RTÉ panel of Eamon Dunphy, Johnny Giles and Liam Brady stays the same. Will their soa(...)

Titanic Belfast:  the city appears to have built something strong and lasting out of its most famous disaster. Photograph: Peter Muhly/AFP/Getty

Between two of the best tourist attractions in Ireland, North or South, is a walking tour of the recession

Pat Kenny begins his Newstalk radio show yesterday. Photograph: Frank Miller

The Great Radio War between Pat Kenny and Sean O’Rourke has begun. At times, the listeners became collateral damage

Exhausting yet invigorating: fans at last year’s festival. Photograph: Gaelle Beri/Redferns via Getty

The Stradbally festival will be around for another decade at least, because once you’ve experienced it it’s hard to leave

Handcuffed: Michaella McCollum Connolly with police in Peru on Tuesday. Photograph: Mariana Bazo/Reuters

Irish eyes have been trained on Peru this week, as Michaella McCollum Connolly and Melissa Reid were charged with drug trafficking(...)

Flower power: When Dáithi Ó Sé – pictured with the 2011 Roses – became the host of the competition, the contestants got the closest thing they have had to a peer

If the Lovely Girls couldn’t see off the Rose of Tralee, is it on our TVs for good?

The White Birds or Angry Birds?: WB Yeats. Photograph: George Grantham Bain Collection/Library of Congress

If WB Yeats really could be “all over” YouTube and Twitter, he’d suffer many writers’ greatest problem

Chewed up, spat out, Friday after Friday: Pat Kenny in the Late Late Show studio

Broadcaster comes to commercial radio loaded with confidence, but at a station with very little

Pictured at the Wrecking Ball Weekender at Nowlan Park Kilkenny was Bruce Springsteen. Picture Dylan Vaughan.

Steve Van Zandt on playing music for fun with Bruce Springsteen for almost 40 years

Pictured at the Wrecking Ball Weekender at Nowlan Park Kilkenny was Bruce Springsteen. Picture Dylan Vaughan.

Steve Van Zandt on playing music for fun with Bruce Springsteen for almost 40 years

Civil marriages are now well over a quarter of the total. What’s stopping them taking over?

Old-school teenage rockers: The Strypes  Photograph: Davin O’Dwyer

The Strypes played Glastonbury, and the most exceptional thing was that it was no longer exceptional

Several hundred people breathing over his shoulder: Rory McIlroy at the Irish Open at Carton House this week. Photograph: Andrew Redington/Getty

Nobody asks the fans who have paid to watch GAA, soccer, rugby or cricket to keep the noise down. What’s so special about golf?

Cavalcade: the Obamas’ convoy in Dalkey, Co Dublin. Photograph: Eric Luke

They came, they saw, they closed off streets. Wasn’t the first family’s Irish visit a bit silly?

Hot to trot: hunter-gatherer humans can run animals to exhaustion. Photograph: Digital Zoo/Riser/Getty

Science says it’s not our fault we’d rather not bother with exercise

Bad coverage: It used to be lighters in the air at concerts – now it’s smartphones. Photograph: Thinkstock

When you hold the camera up to record a moment, are you really there at all?

Photograph: Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

Think you’ll be sitting down to watch the Lions play Australia this month? Think again

Daft Punk: the dance pioneers have managed to kick against the atrophy that has stymied so many others

Their album was hyped, trashed and rehabilitated all within a month. Then it was released

Photograph: Keith Goldstein/Photographer’s Choice/Getty

I’ve begun to devour physical, printed books again – but not for the obvious reasons

“We really should get that fourth wall fixed, Mossy”: Chris O’Dowd and Richard Ayoade in The IT Crowd

The traditional British sitcom wasn’t dead: it just needed the kiss of life from an Irishman

Photograph: Robyn Mackenzie/ISP/Getty

An Irish man creeping up on his fifth decade really has reached the crest of the hill. After that it is a slow, backaching roll to(...)

So what if our attention spans are short, and we demand brevity. It’s about time we trimmed some of the cultural fat

Astronaut Chris Hadfield celebrated St Patrick's Day from the International Space Station

From hundreds of kilometres above Earth, Chris Hadfield has tweeted his way into Irish hearts

A phone that tracks your eyeballs? Just give me one that lasts a day

Book 'em: gardaí uphold the law. photograph: brenda fitzsimons

This paper’s front page last Saturday included a striking photograph of new gardaí swearing their attestation oath, copies of…

Weight training 'can be massively beneficial to an athlete'. photograph: getty images

While weight training won’t replace running, it can complement your training and break up the monotony

An award was given in the UK this week for the book-review hatchet job of the year

Shambling zombies: The Walking Dead

It’s unlikely that when, in 2001, Cillian Murphy was wandering around empty early-morning London streets sporting surgical scrubs…

The Daasanach. Photograph: Getty Images

So, you’ve read Born to Run. You’ve worked months to adjust your running style to a forefoot strike.

photograph: juanmonino/getty

For obvious reasons, you don’t see swimmers too often. Runners? Impossible to miss

Dear Rest of the World,

I was all set to start this column on the virtues of Newstalk’s Off the Ball by using the Bill Shankly quote about football being…

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