Mary Nally, the founder of Third Age, a national voluntary organisation that represents older people. Photograph: Alan Betson

For almost three decades, Mary Nally has been tapping into a powerful yet often underused resource around Ireland. She has harnessed it to set up a(...)

 Liam Redmond of HeadstARTS at the club for people with intellectual disability with some volunteers at DCU. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill / The Irish Times

It’s a chilly evening and I’m at Dublin City University, trying to find where I should be. I follow the sound of laughing and good-natured shouting(...)

Jean O’Brien, founder of Irish Charity Lab, which was set up last year to help charities in Ireland develop skills and strategies for digital communications to support their causes. Photograph:  Laurence McMahon/Laurence J Photography

Last year, it felt as if everyone and their granny got doused with buckets of ice-cold water. Video clips of the pre-bucket cringes and post-bucket(...)

Start the siren: cabbage white caterpillars attack. Photograph: Thinkstock

It might appear that plants just sit there, but don’t be fooled by that calm exterior. Plants can’t simply up sticks and move when the going gets t(...)

John Kearney, chief executive of Irish Community Rapid Response, in  Baltimore, west Cork. Photograph: Emma Jervis Photography

If you suffer a serious injury or sudden illness – the kind that prompts an emergency phone call – then every minute counts, and getting appropriate m(...)

Jennifer Ryan of MyLife Solutions: ‘The idea that I am an entrepreneur baffles me; I don’t have a business head.’ Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

When psychologist Jennifer Ryan was called to talk to teenagers who had been in a fight at school, her gut led her to speak first to the one who th(...)

Ray Burke of Active Connections pictured in Farran Woods, Cork. Photograph:  Daragh Mc Sweeney/Provision

New series: Solutions for social problems This week sees the start of a new series in ‘Health & Family’ in which we profile social entrepreneurs (...)

Dr David McKeown, a research engineer at University College Dublin: ‘It will be just me and the microphone and that is scary.’ Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

What if you could get a glimpse of the funny side of what researchers do by hearing their jokes? Next week, a handful of intrepid researchers w(...)

The Earth seen in relation to a solar eruption

Fancy yourself as a sunspotter? If so, Sunspotter.org needs your time and brain power. The crowdsourcing website asks volunteers to compare pairs o(...)

Claire O’Connell at home in Dublin, trying to improve her life month by month. Photograph: Alan Betson

Is a new year’s resolution any more than an aspirational notion? By the end of January will you still be working out four times a week, or will you(...)