Life on the Liffey: I could hear the water bus before I could see it – the grinding and groaning. And then the blast of its light and the clanking chains. Photograph: Jan Stromme/Getty

On the landing stage at Chapelizod bridge we waited for the early- morning water bus. It was dark still, and all around other passengers sat on benche(...)

There’s the guts of 80 years between the youngest and the oldest eater in this long stone building. The logs in the fire are slow burners, more (...)

‘You don’t really need drink, in fact it’s probably been holding you back.’ Photograph: Getty Images

The Signora said it was a tragedia and we presumed someone had drowned. The ambulance was parked on the road and by the sea wall two paramedics were v(...)

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,(...)

‘Nothing is ordinary in India. And everything is diminished by comparison, even poverty.’ Above, two homeless people in Mumbai.  Photograph:  INDRANIL MUKHERJEE/AFP/Getty Images

A cold February morning in 2005 when I returned to Dublin. A wet dishcloth of a day. And out on the motorway, a grim sort of silence, so that for a mo(...)

Culture Ireland’s Showcase Programme will support artists appearing at three festivals in  Edinburgh in the coming months.

Irish artists off to Edinburgh A star-studded line-up of Irish literature and theatre will feature at festivals in Edinburgh this month with the (...)

Graham Norton in Bantry. Photograph: Darragh Kane

  1 Stories come from the strangest places What inspires Danielle McLaughlin to write a short story? A character? A situation? At a fr(...)

Christine Dwyer Hickey: Ulysses and Mrs Dalloway “inspired me to approach my work as follows: take a character, place the camera inside his or her head, switch on the sound and lower them down into a city, then let them off and see what happens…” Photograph: Lorna Fitzsimons

What was the first book to make an impression on you? Probably the Irish Racing Form Book as my father always had his nose in it and I kept nag(...)

Christine Dwyer Hickey and her brother Owen Dwyer at the launch of  The Dancer in 2005. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

In 2004, Christine Dwyer Hickey published Tatty, a remarkable book for its pathos, its dry humour, and the controlled beauty of its style, but perhaps(...)

Me time: Sarah Bannan writes each day from 4.30am to 6.30am. “At that time nobody can disturb me – not my husband or my daughter or my email, nor even social media.” Illustration: CSA/Getty

I write in a tiny crawl space in my one-bedroom cottage every morning from 4.30am to 6.30am. At that time nobody can disturb me – not my husband or(...)