Cultivating American audiences: Frank O’Connor on the CBS arts programme Camera Three in 1958. Photograph: CBS via Getty

The title story of Frank O’Connor’s landmark collection Guests of the Nation became a template for the tragic intimacy of violence in the Troubles, fr(...)

Never had it easy: it took Eimear McBride nearly a decade to get A Girl Is a Half-Formed Thing into print

The mother of the Irish novel, Frances Sheridan, was brought up to be illiterate. Her father didn’t want her to be able to read, and her brothers had (...)

‘In the real world, real children are raised by lots of people doing their limited best – men and women, parents and grandparents, minders and teachers, friends and neighbours.’ Photograph: Getty Images

If you want to win a battle, you need to have a sense of what the other side will do. And I know what I would do if I were planning a campaign against(...)

Photograph:  © UK Government Art Collection

In July 1916, during his appeal against his death sentence for his role in the Easter Rising, Roger Casement wrote to his family, asking, “Who was the(...)

‘The last point about article 41 is that it is paranoid. This may indeed be the most interesting thing about it. Those who oppose same-sex marriage imagine a lost holy Catholic Ireland in which “the family” was perfectly secure until nasty liberals came along and started to undermine it. Yet if you actually read article 41, you will find its tone already imbued with portents of doom: the State pledges not just to support marriage but to “protect it against attack”.’ Photograph: Alan Betson / THE IRISH TIMES

As we face into the Children and Family Relationships Bill and the referendum on marriage equality, there is, yet again, an attempt to divide us all i(...)

Tomás Ó Criomhthain: keen-eyed, romantic vision

If the remote islands off the west coast could be thought of as microcosms of the larger island, Ireland itself could be imagined as Gaelic, preindust(...)

‘In a way, what’s happening in Europe right now is another round in a battle that’s been raging since telescopes were pointed at the skies – the battle between science and religion. The true believers know in their hearts that Hell awaits us if we depart from the path of financial righteousness. Those who believe the evidence are heretics. Angela Merkel (left) is the pope; Alex Tsipras is Galileo.  Photograph: Louisa Gouliamaki Odd Andersen/AFP/Getty Images

When euro zone leaders meet on Thursday to discuss the latest episode of their crisis, the room will be divided between coldly rational realists an(...)

Photograph: Cathal Noonan/Inpho 2:22

It is the Holy Grail of Gaelic football: the Sam Maguire Cup, presented every year to the winners of the All-Ireland final. A group of Maguire’s frien(...)

‘The mindset that produced Michael Noonan’s “affordable and repayable” debt is one in which Ireland’s determination to be “very good” contrasts favourably with Greece’s propensity to be very bad’ Above,  Michael Noonan, Minister for Finance. Photograph: Alan Betson / The Irish Times

There was the boy who cried wolf. And then there was the government that cried “Wolves? Sure, they’re dotes. Just look at them there snuggling up clos(...)

‘Collateral damage is a by-product of what you target. And the damage to a generation of children is an inevitable result of the target chosen by those who govern us.’ Photograph: Getty Images

Austerity is a form of child abuse. The abuse is not deliberate, it is not intentionally malevolent, perhaps it is not even conscious. But it is not a(...)