Damian Cullen: turning up an hour early for his first 5km race didn’t affect his non-existent pre-race preparations.  Photograph: Alan Betson

6.30pm: Not knowing what to expect, I arrive a full hour early for my virgin road race – a 5km event run by a small athletics club in a tiny Tipper(...)

Running on empty: Damian Cullen finds running monotonous without his headphones. Photograph: Alan Betson

A few years ago my car was broken into. The few dozen CDs I had hidden in plain sight were, apparently, too tempting to resist. Driver’s window bro(...)

Poet Seamus Heaney:  is buried in a corner of St Mary’s churchyard, under ash and sycamore trees. The Scullions lie between him, his baby brother Christopher, his mother, his father, his two aunts and his sister Anne

O death where is thy sting? Last August I was in Ballaghy, Co Derry, for an event marking the first anniversary of poet Seamus Heaney’s death. Havi(...)

Carl Frampton of Northern Ireland celebrates after his victory over Chris Avalos of USA for the IBF Super Bantamweight World Title at Odyssey Arena on February 28th in Belfast. Photograph: Charles McQuillan/Getty Images

He unites the people of the North in a way politicians can only dream of.World champion boxer Carl ‘The Jackal’ Frampton is riding high after retainin(...)

Nine-year-old Makayla Bradley, with her sister Rebecca at home in Churchtown, Dublin. Photograph: David Sleator/The Irish Times

When Rebecca Bradley wrote a school essay about her sister, she couldn’t have imagined her story would soon be read and discussed and admired and shar(...)

Ruth and Paul Gilhool with their sons, Kieran and Ronan, at home in Ballynacally, Co Clare. Photograph: Eamon Ward

Tuesday, April 30th, 2013: Our Ronan has just turned eight and is still recovering from an operation to remove a lump above his knee. His doctor said (...)

Raids and searches by the Black and Tans in Thurles, North Tipperary, 1921. From the AE Bell Collection/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

No door. Not an unlocked door; or an open door; there was never a front door on my neighbour’s house – just a gap in the stone wall which the three Ma(...)

Jane Marson. Photograph: Philip Fitzpatrick.

Jane Marson had a cold. One of those annoying, run-of-the-mill colds that just refuses to budge. Not that the teenager was too bothered – after all, i(...)