Don McLean in Dublin recently. Photograph: Aidan Crawley

Don McLean (69) grew up in New Rochelle, New York state, and began performing on the folk circuit as a teenager in the 1960s. He gained considerabl(...)

Tanaiste Joan Burton

The Department of Social Protection used long-established principles in dealing with social welfare recipients with debts, Tánaiste Joan Burton told (...)

Jane Lythell: ‘Reading has been such an important part of my life since I was a child and books have formed who I am.’

Jane Lythell lives in Brighton. She was a producer at TV-am and commissioning editor at Westcountry Television, before leaving to become deputy direct(...)

Neil White is a criminal lawyer who writes crime fiction novels. ‘People are much worse than writers are able to imagine them.’

What was the first book to make an impression on you?Any one of the Enid Blyton Famous Five books. I remember well the feeling of mild terror as the m(...)

The will of Helen Beatrix Heelis who is better known as Beatrix Potter. Millions of wills including those of Charles Dickens, Winston Churchill, Alan Turing  are now available online.  Photo: Ministry of Justice/PA Wire

Millions of wills including those of Charles Dickens, Winston Churchill, Alan Turing and Beatrix Potter are now available online. The UK government is(...)

Never sit easy with a fellow who doesn’t like dogs, beer or Charles Dickens. Photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

’Tis the season to write columns that get on board with the Christmas spirit or urge a rejection of all things Yule. You know the sort of thing. Why m(...)

Wireless Mystery players:  Aislinn Clarke, Reggie Chamberlain-King with the rest of the cast

Going to see a play and then spending most of the evening with your eyes shut sounds absurd. But relying solely on what your ears are telling you i(...)

Podcasters: Sarah Koenig, left, with This American Life producer Ira Glass and Serial executive producer Julie Snyder. Photograph: Meredith Heuer/This American Life

It is the most successful podcast in the world, but its maker admits the title may cause confusion. “We didn’t conceive of it as a crime show,” says S(...)

Michael Hordern in a BBC adaptation of MR James’s Oh Whistle and I’ll Come to You My Lad

1. The Rider on the White Horse by Theodor Storm One of the finest short novels in the German language, it has everything: ambition, passion, r(...)

 Conor Brady on writing The Guarding of Ireland – the Garda Síochána and the Irish State 1960 – 2014: “A big task to research everything that happened over half a century with very few papers available”. Photograph: Cyril Byrne / THE IRISH TIMES

What was the first book to make an impression on you? Cannery Row by John Steinbeck. A disturbingly subversive book for an adolescent schoolboy(...)