“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(...)

Fr Peter McVerry and Brian O’Driscoll at the Mansion House, Dublin, after being conferred with Honarary Freedom of the City of Dublin. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill 2:42

Gordon D’Arcy eat you heart out. Freshly retired from international rugby, Brian O’Driscoll also acquired a new defensive partner over the week(...)

Lord and Lady Rosse of Birr Castle and Tom Roche of Just Forests with the poplar after hearing it had been accepted as Ireland’s nominee in the European Tree of the Year 2014 competition. Photograph: Just Forests

It may go down in history as the tree that died for Ireland. A giant grey poplar, it had stood for 200 years in the gardens of Birr C(...)

Rob Kearney scores his try, Ireland’s third. Photograph: INPHO/Dan Sheridan

It was Celtic springtime in Dublin, at least for a day, and the Irish rugby team caught the mood eventually to dance rings around their Scottish cousi(...)

Inmates and invited guests listen to Fiach Mac Conghail, director of The Abbey, Brenda Fitzpatrick, head teacher and governor, Colm Barclay, at Wheatfield introduce the Abbey Theatre’s performance of 
The Risen People

 
by James Plunkett adapted by Jimmy Fay, last night. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

The Great Dublin Lock-out became temporarily locked-in last night when, on an occasion that was historic in more ways than one, the Abbey Theatre pres(...)

Background The Ansbacher deposits story was a huge event in Irish journalism that moved constantly between the politics and business pages o(...)

Frank McNally at Mulranny during his Great Western Greenway cycle from Westport to Achill, along with Anna O’Connor, Mayo County Council’s walking and cycling officer. Photograph: Michael McLaughlin

The old Westport-Achill rail line was never entirely successful. This offshoot of the Midland Great Western Railway company covered one of the emptier(...)

Red-tinted glasses: Alex Ferguson at a training session in 2011. Photograph: Matthew Peters/MUFC/Getty

The wave of adulation that greeted Alex Ferguson’s retirement was a bit like the famous ending of the 1999 Champions League Final. It was the u(...)

Lusaka home from home: Fr Prof Michael Kelly (right) with former Zambian president Kenneth Kaunda and Dr Charlotte Scott (wife of the current deputy president) at the Irish Ambassador's St Patrick's Day party earlier this month

Unlikely as it might seem, on the surface, Lusaka is a home from home for Fr Prof Michael Kelly. Born almost 84 years ago in Co Offaly, he grew(...)

Shocked Republic of Ireland fans after Austria equalised just before the final whistle during the Republic of Ireland v Austria World Cup qualification game. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

It wasn't quite The Sound of Music ,not least becuse of the unhappy ending. But apparently i(...)