Graffiti in Brazil depicting the drowned Syrian toddler Aylan Kurdi. It reads: “Peace, abandoned”. Photograph: Paulo Whitaker/Reuters

‘Must Christ be crucified in every generation for the benefit of those who have no imagination?” The question posed by Bernard Shaw in his play St Joa(...)

Production crew and sets on Skellig Michael to film Star Wars Episode VII, last year. Photograph Charles McQuillan/Getty Images

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away there was a culture that had a strong sense of boundaries and limitations. Fifteen hundred years ago, when (...)

Van Morrison from the cover shoot for his album Moondance. Photograph: Elliott Landy/Rhino

In the age of celebrity nothing is quite so incomprehensible as someone who hates fame. There are many ways to play the fame game: some suck it up (...)

Island life: inside the cottage on Achill where Heinrich Böll stayed. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

A great irony hangs over the Irisches Tagebuch, or Irish Journal, of the German novelist Heinrich Böll. As mass emigration reached critical levels, Bö(...)

‘The Minister for Health Leo Varadkar recently said that the health service, simply to meet current demand, needs an extra €1 billion a year’. Photograph: Alan Betson / The Irish Times

As we approach a general election, there is a basic story that both the government parties would like to tell. The last seven years have been horrible(...)

Fintan O’Toole, pictured with his then-four-year-old son Samuel in ‘The Irish Times’ in August 1990, when he walked 80 kilometres of the Wicklow Way, from Marlay Park to Clonegal

In the first of a series where we mine the Irish Times archive to find the best articles from previous summers, Fintan O’Toole walks the Wicklow Way i(...)

Borstal breaker: Behan pounding away on incendiary prose. Photograph: Daniel Farson/Picture Post/Getty Images

It is striking that some of the most innovative writing in Ireland in the decade after the second World War began its life behind bars. This was true (...)

“What’s wrong with taxing inherited wealth? It’s about the most progressive and least economically damaging kind of taxation there is.” Photograph: Getty Images/iStockphoto 2:36

I’m sure I’m not the only one who is sick of hearing about “hard choices” from people with great salaries, ample expenses and luxurious pensions. So l(...)

Patrick O’Donoghue in the RTÉ series The Gleneagle. Photograph: RTÉ

In Casablanca, Humphrey Bogart’s Rick famously complains: “Of all the gin joints in all the towns in all the world, she walks into mine.” And of all t(...)

Waiting for Godot: Lucien Raimbourg, Jean Martin, Pierre Latour and Roger Blin in Blin’s production of En Attendant Godot at Théâtre de Babylone, in Paris, in 1953. Photograph: Lipnitzki/Roger Viollet/Getty

In August 1945 Samuel Beckett left Dublin for the Normandy town of St Lô to work as a “quartermaster/interpreter” at an Irish Red Cross hospital. As a(...)