The statue of Patrick Kavanagh on the canal near Baggot Street bridge. “At the risk of worrying dentists, the plaque build-up will edge ahead this weekend, when another of his Dublin addresses is commemorated.” Photograph: Eric Luke

Patrick Kavanagh is unique among writers, surely, in that he has as many commemorative seats in Dublin as he has plaques. The score is two-all at the (...)

Zaire, October 30th, 1974: Muhammad Ali lands a left hook knocking out George Foreman during the “Rumble in the Jungle” fight at the Mai 20 Stadium in Kinshasa. Photograph: Ring Magazine/Getty Images
Humbled in the jungle

I met George Foreman once. He was in his latter-day incarnation by then – as preacher, entrepreneur, and very wealthy frontman for the George Foreman (...)

 Donal Troddy from Dublin  taking part in the 35th SSE Airtricity Dublin Marathon on Monday. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

One of the pleasant surprises of Monday’s Dublin City Marathon, I thought, was how few participants were wearing headphones. Or maybe my impression of(...)

Angela Bailey from Wigan, who is five months pregnant, taking part in the 35th SSE Airtricity Dublin Marathon. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times. 2:37

In some ways, it was just another day at the office for 83-year-old John Collins from Limerick. There was a slight break from routine, in that the (...)

“Whenever office-bound workers drag themselves away from the desk for midday food these days, it’s likely to be eaten on the run. As for the long, boozy lunch – once a staple of the journalistic profession, among others – that’s dead. Even if people do make it to a restaurant, the meal will usually be both abstemious and short.”

After a string of vague promises stretching back years, I finally got around this week to having lunch with a fellow journalist who lives down the cou(...)

“Recently I joined a club called GoCar, which rents them out by the hour. It works a bit like nicotine patches. Whenever the urge strikes, I make an online booking and head for the nearest ‘base station’. Then I drive around for 60 minutes or so. That’s usually enough.”  Photograph: Frank McNally
Driving a bargain

It’s a full four months this week since I quit. And to date the experience has been so easy that I’m just annoyed I didn’t break the unhealthy habit y(...)

Dave Brady: faster than a speeding hare. Photograph: Donal Glackin. Courtesy of Irish Runner magazine

On Tuesday night I found myself in a place called Toberbunny – I’ll explain why later – and was amused, given the name, to see that it was overrun wit(...)

“The urge to burn things at Samhain is also an ancient one. Halloween bonfires mimic those lit by the druids to encourage the waning sun to return in spring. So, whether they know it or not, those kids stealing tyres are the inheritors of an ancient pagan ritual marking a turn in the wheel of the year.” Photograph:    Scott Barbour/Getty Images
Rubber bandits

I was in my local pub in Dublin on Sunday evening, trying to watch the rugby, when a kerfuffle developed outside. “They’re at it again,” said a man in(...)

“It’s a charming little garden – a railed-off refuge from the busy streets around it, with a fountain, a pool, and manicured shrubs. Its Art Deco trimmings wouldn’t be out of place in Paris, or Vienna, or any of the better kept cities of Europe. The downside is that you’ve probably never been in it. Nor had I until recently, although I pass that way often. The problem is the opening hours – 8am to 4pm Monday to Thursday, with a half-day Friday – which are more in keeping with a bank than a public park. It doesn’t open weekends at all, even in summer.”

Located in the middle of Dublin, beside the Four Courts, Chancery Park is a small but perfectly formed example of everything that’s good and bad about(...)

William Hogarth’s Beer Street and Gin Lane

It’s a week for sombre anniversaries in London. First we had the burning of the old Houses of Parliament (Diary yesterday), which by this time 180 ye(...)