William Butler Yeats: inventing traditions. Photograph: National Library of Ireland

In Remorse for Intemperate Speech, one of the most often quoted poems from his 1933 volume The Winding Stair, William Butler Yeats accuses himself (...)

 ‘The alleged attacker of Maíria Cahill was ordered into exile by the IRA. So was the alleged attacker of Paudie McGahon.’ Above, BBC Northern Ireland ‘Spotlight’ reporter, Jennifer O’Leary interviewing Paudie McGahon. Photograph: BBC Northern Ireland

In recent Irish history, just two bodies have had the power to order a citizen into exile. No government, no court of law, no official body, however p(...)

‘Official policy is now (blindly and inadvertently) driving us towards effective segregation.’ Photograph: Getty Images

Ireland is dis-integrating. A decade ago, the challenge of integrating an unprecedented wave of migrant families loomed large on the official policy a(...)

‘The Constitutional Convention’s  expert advisory group did sterling work. Over 2,500 civil society groups and individuals made submissions. And the citizen members impressed everyone by their diligence, seriousness and open-mindedness.’ Above, voting taking place at the Constitutional Convention  meeting in Malahide, Co Dublin in 2013. Photograph: Eric Luke / THE IRISH TIMES

Politicians often complain about public cynicism and usually blame the media for it. But the nabobs of negativity have nothing on the political system(...)

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(...)