Brendan Behan: The Irish aren’t alone in making a lot of space in our lives for alcohol, but we’re ahead of the pack in embracing it. Men like George Best, Behan, Alex Higgins and Richard Harris make many of us feel proud largely because of their hellraising, not in spite of it. Photograph: Hulton Getty

There was a massive man with a massive reputation in Enniskillen. The story was that, in a single session, he could routinely knock back 20 pints and(...)

Jacqueline O’Brien with  Vincent O’Brien and the then president Mrs Mary Robinson. Photograph: Alan Betson

Some things really get on my goat, one of them being arguments about the Goat, or greatest of all time. These disputes invariably descen(...)

Alex Higgins is to be the subject of Eoin McNamee’s next novel, Hurricane, supported by a £15,000 grant from the Arts Council of Northern Ireland. Photograph: Paddy Whelan

A musical about Lough Derg, a fiction based on the life of snooker star Alex “Hurricane” Higgins and a novel about a small-town weekly Northern(...)

George Best with Swedish former Miss World Mary Stavin, publicising their fitness routine for lovers, “It Takes Two To Shape Up And Dance.”

Relax. This column does have something to do with George Best. But it will not relate – or only fleetingly in this sentence – that enormously tedious,(...)

Whyte’s auction of “History, Literature and Collectibles” in Dublin next Saturday features a selection of first editions by Seamus Heaney, including a(...)

Stars on 45: Richard Dormer and Michael Colgan in Good Vibrations
Middle-aged kicks

Richard Dormer ’s time has surely come. The amiable Northern Irish actor and writer, now 43, has been working hard for the last two decades. At(...)