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

These days it’s known as the Discover Ireland Horse Show – and it’s about a great deal more than just horses. There’s music, food, trade stands, an(...)

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

We all have days when we don’t look so good. But who is this waif and stray sitting on the steps of Dublin’s Olympia Theatre in the winter of 1960?(...)

  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

Most people loved Paul Murray’s novel Skippy Dies. The energy of its cast of impulsive adolescents, the exuberant detail of its school setting, the fi(...)

Sophia Tkacheva in action

Sophia has neat blond plaits and a pink leather satchel. She’s a bit shy. She lives in Gorey, Co Wexford, with her mum, her dad and her younger sis(...)

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

July is the month of roses, and the annual Dublin City Rose Festival provides the perfect excuse – should we need an excuse – to celebrate these ex(...)

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

Six books are in contention for this week’s 2015 Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award 2015. They are Refund by Karen E Bender (Counterpoint(...)

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

Jane Urquhart is indisputably a Canadian novelist. She was born in Ontario. She shares an editor with Margaret Atwood and Michael Ondaatje. She has(...)

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 . . .

When we have “ahhhh” pictures in this column, they often feature cute furry animals, small children – or some improbable combination of both. Few of (...)

 Fine Gael TD James Dillon  dancing with Mrs Dillon at the Fine Gael dance in Clery’s ballroom, Dublin

‘Good posture makes you look elegant and exude confidence,” the ballroom dancing rule-book declares. “Hence the old adage, ‘Persistent practice of (...)

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

The Ireland Chair of Poetry is a solemn, formal, academic institution. The poets who hold it, however, tend to be anything but. Gather the three mo(...)