Public sculpture is always divisive, and it tends to be even more so when it’s very large. For some years now, there has been a long-running scrap goi(...)

Stanley Fyffe, Jenny Kent, Fintan Dunne and Marie Quinn have seen a “fragile” recovery in Abbeyleix, Co Laois. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons/The Irish Times

The town of Abbeyleix in Co Laois was bypassed in 2010, the year the recession was at its worst. The irony of the bypass is that passing trade from mo(...)

Pat Spillane near his home in Kenmare, Co Kerry. “I think rural Ireland is now on the political agenda, for the first time possibly ever.” Photograph: Don MacMonagle

Pat Spillane works with the Commission for the Economic Development of Rural Areas. “I still see a two-tier economy in Ireland, with the gap between u(...)

Andy and Jackie Pierce of J&B Hope  in Cavan. Andy used his savings to open  the coffee and kitchenware shop he describes as having “an Amish influence”, three years ago. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons/The Irish Times

The people of Cavan certainly did not think they were in a post-recession era earlier this summer when they woke up to hear that 115 people at the tow(...)

Our Summers Past series mines the Irish Times archive to find the best articles from previous summers. In July 2006, five Irish Times writers each too(...)

Robot stories were in the news, as a Japanese hotel opened with a staff of 80 robots. Photograph: Akio Kon/Bloomberg

We’re more than halfway through the year, and there are a few patterns emerging with Old Moore’s predictions. He’s very fond of space, robots, cele(...)

Tyler the Creator, as he is known, may or may not perform in Australia in September: no definitive decision has yet been made about his visa by the Australian authorities

@fucktyler is the blunt Twitter handle of American rapper, Tyler Okonma, who is due to perform in Australia in September. The name of his first alb(...)

Anne Marie Keeley dresses the window in Enable Ireland’s outlet on South Great George’s Street, Dublin, with help from Clare Gilhooley (on left). Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

If eyes are the windows to the soul, then shop windows are the soul of what’s on offer inside. A good shop window will make you stop and look; a gr(...)

The original postcard, which locals date to the late 1970s: the barrel-roofed chandlery has gone, the boat being repaired was wrecked and one of the men working on it is ‘a great man for the yoga’. Photograph: D Nobel/John Hinde Studio

There is a rumour that John Hinde photographers were issued with pots of fuschia bushes and rhododendrons that they drove around Ireland with in th(...)

The John Hinde postcard of Skerries

I don’t know why it is so amusing to see a tanned, handsome man in sunglasses lounging on a beach holding a rather large camera in a strategic posi(...)