Pete Briquette: thinking of emigrating

Our young cat, Pete Briquette, has been trying out one of the other houses on our road lately. I don’t know if he’s planning a permanent move, or what(...)

Helene Hanff,  author of ‘84 Charing Cross Road’

The life of Helene Hanff, which began 100 years ago today in Philadelphia, was a masterclass in the fickleness of fame. It was dominated for decades(...)

“Such was the scene, painted in all its imagined glory by a war artist for the ‘Illustrated London News’”

As notorious pieces of war propaganda go, the German placard currently on loan to the National Museum at Collins Barracks is a very understated piece (...)

 Taoiseach Enda Kenny   with Gregory Ellis and Keith Pascoe of the Vanbrugh String Quartet at the opening of the newly refurbished Kevin Barry Recital Room at the National Concert Hall in Dublin. Photograph: Dave Meehan

I don’t suppose it was a decisive issue, one way or another – the 1921 Treaty debates were probably doomed from the start, wherever they were held. Bu(...)

Violet Gibson toward the end of her incarceration

For such a simple inscription, her gravestone in a Northampton cemetery is unusual in having both a comma and a full stop.  Neither is strictly n(...)

First World War propaganda poster

After all the Easter-adjusted centenary commemorations, it’s disconcerting to read The Irish Times of 100 years ago today and be reminded that the Ris(...)

The relentless advance of the aspirated “haitch”

I spent a couple of hours last month talking to an English journalist who was in town to cover the Rising centenary. And during a wide-ranging exchang(...)

‘Sing Street’ – charming and funny

I went to see Sing Street the other night and, like most of the reviewers, thought it charming and funny. But I also found myself wondering afterwards(...)

 Val O Donnell leads the toast  at the Palace Bar in Dublin on the 50th anniversay of the death of Brian O’Nolan. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

It was a sobering thought that, although only five years old, the annual MylesDay had already reached its second major milestone. First celebrated i(...)

   “The words of Beckett poured forth from a spot-lit Lisa Dwan into a void of blackness and quiet (except for the usual epidemic of coughing that made the place sound like a sanitorium).” Photograph: Eric Luke

On Wednesday night, not for the first time, I found myself outflanked by Fintan O’Toole. Speaking as MC at an event in the National Concert Hall, he m(...)