Brendan Behan aboard the Cunard Liner Queen Elizabeth, at Pier 90, North River, Manhattan. Photograph: Fred Morgan/NY Daily News Archive/Getty Images

I was standing in a thrift store on Long Island. There were walls and walls of books, but the long-term emigrant’s eye was drawn, in the usual (...)

Darragh McKeon: influenced by Colum McCann and Andrei makine

When Darragh McKeon began to write his debut novel, set in the dying days of the Soviet Union, he could hardly have imagined that by the time i(...)

Colum McCann:  “The only things worth doing are the things that might possibly break your heart” – the line quoted by Maryland governor Martin O’Malley. Photograph: Alan Betson

Literary prizes and academic postings are all very well, but a writer hasn’t truly arrived until his work is quoted by politicians on a regular bas(...)

The banquet hall at Lismore Castle in Co Waterford. Photograph: Frank Miller

The blazing logs in wide hearths; the portraits; the tapestries glowing above the shaded lamps; the vaulting roof-beams and arched, coloured windows; (...)

Seamus Heaney: to read the extraordinary outpouring of grief, memory and mourning is to realise his death was a unique – and a uniquely Irish – event. Photograph: Neil Drabble/Camera Press

Many years ago I was invited to a dinner in the Department of Foreign Affairs attended by Seamus Heaney, among others, and presided over by the then t(...)

Gabriel Byrne addresses the New York audience

Actor Gabriel Byrne has spoken emotionally about the death of a friend in a Dublin hospital in an appeal for “simple and transformational changes” to (...)

More than 1,000 people attended a memorial service to the late poet Seamus Heaney in New York last night. Photograph: Bryan O’Brien/The Irish Times.

The crowd spilled out into the aisles of Cooper Union Great Hall in New York City to hear 20 American and Irish writers read the words of Seamus He(...)

Colm Tóibín is one of three Irish authors nominated for  the International Impac Dublin Literary Award. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons/The Irish Times

Three Irish authors have been nominated for the International Impac Dublin Literary Award. The longlist, published today, consists of 152 titles propo(...)

Delegates mix in the yard at  Dublin Castle during a break at the Global Irish Economic Forum yesterday. Photograph: Frank Miller

The boys and girls of the Global Irish Economic Forum got back to school yesterday. Their task? To come up with a bright idea like The Gathering, the (...)

Economist David McWilliams chairs the opening session of the Global Irish Economic Forum at Dublin Castle. Photograph: Frank Miller / The Irish Times

Minister for Tourism Leo Varadkar has said he would be fighting for the retention of the 9 per cent VAT rate for tourism services in the final budget (...)

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