Brian Cody (left) and Eamon O’Shea (right) are accidental coaches in a way, facilitators and nurturers of talent who do not pretend to know more than they do. Photograph: Lorraine O’Sullivan/Inpho

Malcolm Gladwell is at it again. This time destroying some of the myths about the Mafia, and given his typically unexpected conclusions, offers a theo(...)

Jim O’Brien at work in his Tipperary workshop on hurleys that will be used by some of the Tipperary players in the All-Ireland final. Photo: Bryan O’Brien 4:53

“Have you got those two 35s?”Mark Dowling is almost furtive in the way he asks his father Brian to pass out the two freshly-fashioned hurleys that are(...)

 Pádraig Pearse: he may have whistled but he most definitely did not say farewell to his wife in the moments before his execution.  Photograph:  National Archives of Ireland

There are so few diaries from the Easter Rising that, even almost a century later, words as sparse and dry as those of Sgt Maj Samuel Lomas stand out(...)

Bees can be upset by cold, or any jostling that disturbs their normal behaviour. Photograph: Alan Betson
The bee and the western wind

Peter Wheeler and Sighle Lynd – she a daughter of Irish writer Robert Lynd – lived on the edge of London’s Hampstead Heath and had a particular(...)

For those who thought the light had gone out on the Kilkenny hurlers and coach Brian Cody, the message is clear: he is as switched on as ever and eager for the fray, starting with tomorrow’s NHL opener against All-Ireland champions Clare. Photograph: Lorraine O’Sullivan/Inpho

Brian Cody begins his 16th season as Kilkenny manager tomorrow when his team face All-Ireland champions Clare in Cusack Park. He is the longest(...)

Minister for defence Oscar Traynor  inspects the recruits at Portobello Barracks, Dublin, in 1952.

The oldest participant in the 1916 Rising was Mathew Stafford, who was 63 at the time. According to testimony in support of his claim by Oscar Traynor(...)

 Irish poet and soldier Francis Ledwidge (1891-1917).  Photograph:  Hulton Archive/Getty Images
The Great War and Irish poets

As January 1914 dawned, Europe had experienced 100 years of comparative peace since the Battle of Waterloo. During that time, technological developmen(...)

Brendan Bourke: photographer, film-maker, writer, teacher and best friend

There is a priceless copy of James Joyce’s Ulysses in the New York Public Library. A first edition. Signed by Joyce to his friend James Stephens. (...)