Then mInister for education Niamh Bhreathnach (left) and Mags O’Brien celebrate victory in  the divorce referendum at the RDS on November 25th, 1995. Photograph: Frank Miller

It’s 20 years since Ireland voted for divorce. An Irish Times series, Divorced Ireland, explores the effects of that vote on Irish life, then (...)

Kingsmill Massacre – Alan Black, the sole survivor of the massacre, in 2000 laying a floral tribute at the Bessbrook Town Hall memorial to those killed – “Atrocities like these can never be expunged from a conscience or explained away.”  –  Picture by Stephen Wilson/Pacemaker

Nuance. It was going to be my watchword for 2015. The one by which every utterance would be measured. Life is too short to muster up the pretence o(...)

‘Even 35 years on, Charvet Charlie, his bagman, his stately home, his befurred, entitled mistress, his grovelling Uriah Heep ministers, the phone-tapping, the tails, the threats, all remain too close, too familiar, too infuriating to be classified as fascinating or entertaining, especially at this point in our history, when it is all too clear how the seeds of that poisonous culture would re-erupt like ragwort, again and again, across the decades.’  Above, Aidan Gillen as Charlie Haughey

Forty-eight hours on, the nausea triggered by 90 minutes of Charlie still lingers. It may be a generational thing. Some aged under 45, say, with no me(...)

Power to the people: water-charge protesters on Merrion Square. Photograph: Cathal Noonan/Anadolu/Getty

For the sake of civility we’ll call them national conversations. Others might dub them soul-searching, or bandwagoning or shouting matches. Anyway, 20(...)

 ‘To dismiss the Roscommon-South Leitrim Independent byelection winner Michael Fitzmaurice as a turf-cutter would be reckless.’   Photograph:  Mick McCormack

A picture of Michael Fitzmaurice, sturdy and unsmiling in his working clothes, standing in bogland amid row upon row of machine-cut turf alongside a m(...)

Illustration: Dearbhla Kelly

A year ago, The Irish Times published the first Blueprint for a Smarter Society.    Here, we revisit that idea, asking writers to(...)

‘The Dublin protests also got a mention in the same feature, including the placards denouncing the “Ministry of Thirst” and the fact that Ireland was the only country in the OECD that did not charge its citizens for water usage.’ Above, people taking part in the anti-water charges protest march in O’Connell Street, Dublin earlier this year. Photograph: Eric Luke / The Irish Times

Today is World Human Rights Day and the theme announced by the UN Secretary-General gels nicely with the big anti-water charges march. States should h(...)

The area where a homeless man was found dead on Molesworth Street, only 50 metres from the Dáil. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/ Collins

The urge to attach labels to people is human. It makes life simpler. But labels stick if left unchallenged, so when a member of Aosdána tweeted that l(...)

Ireland  international wing Tommy Bowe attending the Service of Thanksgiving for the life of John Wilson “Jack” Kyle, former Ireland and Lions rugby player in Fisherwick Presbyterian Church, Belfast. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill / The Irish Times

Irish rugby legends have paid tribute to the one considered the greatest of them all as they joined friends and family of the late Jack Kyle at a spec(...)

 Bertie Ahern canvassing during the 2007 general elction.

Anyone who has ever shadowed a senior politician on a canvass – particularly among the people Paul Murphy describes as “ordinary” – must have had a qu(...)