The Northern Ireland Assembly election will take place on Thursday, May 5th. Each of the 18 constituencies – including West Tyrone – will elect six Members of the Legislative Assembly (MLAs).

What is it about the SDLP and West Tyrone? When it comes to Assembly elections in this constituency it seems the party either opts for the self-destr(...)

Taoiseach Enda Kenny  at Custom House Quay, Dublin. File photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

If you listen carefully, you can hear an extraordinary admission: Fine Gael is owning up that its election manifesto was a scam. It’s not saying thi(...)

Emmet Kirwan in Juno and the Paycock at the Gate. Photograph: Pat Redmond

‘People want plays that are modern,” says actor Emmet Kirwan. “People just want to see stuff that they recognise in their own lives, that they can id(...)

A grave can be anything from 4 to 10 feet deep. “The gravediggers used to get paid by the foot and they’d always be delighted to get a 10-footer.” Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

How mean-spirited would you have to be to have the flaws of your wife carved onto her gravestone as soon as she goes to her eternal reward? Such a mea(...)

 Photograph: Eric Luke

So often have I heard about Patrick Pearse reading the proclamation “on the steps of the GPO” that, despite multiple visits to the building over the y(...)

There’s a bird outside my window thinks he’s Elvis. He’s not. But what the heck? He’s happy. He’s been singing away there for hours, wittering, trilli(...)

Johnny Eagle, tattooing pioneer. Photograph: Ulster Ink

“Imagine heaven and hell are trains, smash them both together and colour it all in ink”. This was how one former employee of tattoo artist Johnny Eagl(...)

Brendan Behan: described himself as a “drinker with a writing problem”. F Scott Fitzgerald poignantly wrote that “first you take a drink, then the drink takes a drink, then the drink takes you”. Photograph: Hulton Getty

Alcohol has played a central role in the creative lives of some of the most famous authors of the last few centuries. Lewis Hyde notes in his essay(...)

The Thrill of it All tells the story of a band called The Ships in the Night, using interviews, lyrics, memoirs and diaries.

This month The Irish Times Book Club is reading Joseph O’Connor’s latest novel, The Thrill of it All. Here is an extract from the first chapter, wh(...)

Christine Dwyer Hickey: ‘The first time I was in Armagh city was 10 years ago and the tension that had long since left Belfast was still there on the apple-scented air.’

When I was a child I believed completely in God. This was not something I had picked up at home –ours was not a house for religion. Indeed, my father,(...)