“Maybe the decade of centenaries will shed new light on the process by which the gunboat Helga was handed over to a young Free State to become the Muirchú, or “Sea Dog”, and henceforth defend the integrity of the territorial waters. It was surely a dark joke by our departing overlords.”

I can understand writers being upset at the new policy of naming naval patrol ships after Samuel Beckett and James Joyce. No doubt some naval patrolle(...)

Alan Bestic (second from left) with a group of journalistic colleagues. Photograph: Irish Times

Alan “Sammy” Bestic, who has died aged 92, knew from an early age that he wanted to be a journalist. His trade remained one of the loves of his life (...)

Ruth Moller, eldest child of Erskine Childers, fourth President of Ireland, who has died aged 87 after a long illness, had a colourful, interna(...)

A watchtower and perimeter wall marks the boundary of the former Maze Prison. “I have heard of schoolchildren arguing with their teachers that there were no loyalist prisoners in the Maze. Photograph: Paul McErlane/Bloomberg News

History is contentious in Northern Ireland but there is a way for us to hang on it. For many it is an embarrassment. The work of reflecting on (...)