No broadcast: the Met’s revival of The Death of Klinghoffer, by John Adams. Photograph: Richard Hubert Smith/Metropolitan Opera

Two kinds of censorship limit the rights of artists to express themselves. One is censorship from above: the naked power of the state to ban a book, a(...)

‘When Phil Hogan sends the CVs of constituents to Irish Water, do they actually get jobs? He himself laughed off the very notion last week. So why does he do it? Because the charade satisfies some deep mutual need – for his constituents to feel that they have “pull” and for Hogan to be Big Phil, the local chieftain who can deliver the goods to his people.’  Photograph: Cyril Byrne / THE IRISH TIMES

If the Government is serious about ending the politics of patronage, it has to address two questions. What will politicians do without patronage? And (...)

Now hiring: last year’s advertisement for candidates

Things were looking up. In June last year the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht sent out a public notice “seeking expressions of interest(...)

‘The Taoiseach told the public one day that the decision to appoint McNulty was made by Heather  Humphreys (above); the next day that he alone was responsible.’ Photograph: Cyril Byrne / THE IRISH TIMES

Let’s be clear about what we’re dealing with in the charade of John McNulty’s appointment to the board of the Irish Museum of Modern Art (Imma): the a(...)

Donation: the late Seamus Heaney and his wife, Marie, at the National Library of Ireland in 2011, when he gave his archive to the institution. Bryan O’Brien

Both the National Museum of Ireland and the National Library of Ireland, which stand either side of Leinster House on Kildare Street in Dublin, were c(...)

Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Heather Humphreys who refused to answer questions in the Seanad about  Mr McNulty’s appointment.

When Fianna Fail senator Ned O’Sullivan rose to speak in the brief Seanad debate on the appointment of John McNulty to the board of Imma on Tuesday, h(...)

‘Last year, the outgoing financial regulator Matthew Elderfield warned that the State still has no adequate system for tackling financial offences’. Photograph: Getty Images

We learn from our mistakes – or do we? As Ireland finally emerges from a disastrous recession, a question floats back to the surface: would we do it a(...)

There’s a wonderful letter among Eamon Kelly’s papers in the National Library of Ireland, written to the great actor in 1960 by Pat Brosnan, a farmer (...)

Members of  King of Scots Robert the Bruce Society, hold the Scottish flags as they prepare to vote in the Scottish independence referendum   in Loch Lomond. “The Scots have already sent a message: the current political settlement of strong oligarchies and weak democracies cannot stand.”   (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

I never thought I’d find myself defending nationalism. As a political ideology, the proposition that an Irish crook should be closer to me than an Eng(...)

Jaw-dropping: Lisa Dwan interprets Beckett

Samuel Beckett wrote significant works for Irish male voices: Krapp’s Last Tape specifically for Patrick Magee; Eh Joe for Jack McGowran. But Beckett (...)