‘The Photo Album of Ireland’ takes in Brownies, Polaroids, Instamatics and even photo-booth selfies

I was sitting out on a city street under the canopy of what may or may not have been a beech tree, having a conversation with a friend who was nurs(...)

‘The beautiful woman I met at a bar told me she wasn’t a lesbian, but if she was, she would like to sleep with Fiona Shaw [above].’ Photograph: Tullio M Puglia/Getty Images

Pencils ready, girls: mo laethanta saoire: my summer holidays. Mary, close your mouth and stop looking gormless; if the wind changes, you’ll stay l(...)

My son phoned me. He sounded low. ‘I’ve lost my wallet,’ he said. ‘Everything’

My 17-year-old son was standing on a grass verge about five miles outside Killybegs recently, wondering if he had missed the bus into Donegal town.(...)

‘I hope that those impressive daughters have a lovely American summer’

I have no recollection of where the last six months have gone. I can only assume that I was so busy descaling the dishwasher, replenishing the rins(...)

Certain magazines are obsessed with ‘the perfect beach body’. Above: a hot day at Dollymount. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

I observed a photoshoot the other day. I sat on a rock and watched an intense young man with kiss curls and several cameras cascading around his ma(...)

Sunny days in Dublin. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien

I walked the beach over the weekend, picked my way over castles and trenches and the occasional 10-year-old buried inside a seaweed sarcophagus. It(...)

Cliff Richard: note-perfect but a dull phenomenon. Photograph: Andreas Rentz/Getty Images

‘It’s so funny, how we don’t talk any more / But I ain’t losing sleep (no no no no), /And I ain’t got new sheets (eets eets eets eets eets).” T(...)

The women’s mini marathon in Dublin: ‘I felt almost overwhelmed by the sheer force of the event.’ Photograph: Morgan Treacy/Inpho

The boy was about nine or 10, a born entrepreneur, standing with confidence at his handsome garden gate on Dublin’s Leeson Street, a plate of home-(...)

The cheque was eagerly anticipated, but the possibility of having a play produced was the real prize

Years ago, around the start of the millennium, I won an award. The award was for playwriting and consisted of a cheque and a kind of vial of hope that(...)

Another year bites the dust. I’ll be 52 in a couple of days. With the grace that falls like gentle rain on each passing year, I have finally learned t(...)