Art at work: Heather Humphreys in her office with a painting by Steven Mannion Farrell. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Since the surprise appointment of Heather Humphreys as Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht in July’s Cabinet reshuffle, art-world luminar(...)

Taoiseach Enda Kenny: expects Leo  Varadkar to be ‘a very competent Minister for Health’. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

Taoiseach Enda Kenny said today the economy was improving but warned no one will be walking down the street feeling “like a millionaire” following the(...)

What’s going on?: we’re still no wiser how the centenary of the Rising will be marked. Photograph: Matt Kavanagh

We’re getting so close to the 1916 centenary you can almost smell the enormous argument approaching. One of the enormous arguments, at least. So far w(...)

Children of the diaspora would get a “taste of Irish education” as well as introducing them to Irish history, culture and “maybe an opportunity to trace their roots”.

The Government would welcome the development of a “youth gathering” which would see children of Irish emigrants visit for up to two weeks to introd(...)

Engaging with our diaspora

The emigration of an estimated 200,000 young people and families during the past six years has caused serious damage to the fabric of society and has (...)

Some puppet: the Little Giant Girl in Liverpool. Photograph: Christopher Furlong/Getty

An old woman dozes in the hot morning sun, her chest rising and dipping to the rumble of a snore that reverberates through the concourse of St George’(...)

Initiatives such as the Gathering seek financial input from abroad but sometimes the money needs to flow the other way. Photograph: Alan Betson

“Most people [in Ireland] don’t give a s**t about the diaspora except to shake them down for a few quid,” was Gabriel Byrne’s immortal condemnation of(...)

How does the Minister for the Diaspora, Jimmy Deenihan, fit into all this?

A recurring theme of Ireland’s response to its economic challenges of recent years has been to “tap the diaspora” through the Global Economic Forum at(...)

Spoiled for priorities: Heather Humphreys receives her seal of office from the President. Photograph: Alan Betson

What do we know about Heather Humphreys, the new Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht? She knows about credit unions, she lives on a farm (...)

Jimmy Deenihan: time is of the essence. Photograph: Dave Meehan

The bookshelves of Jimmy Deenihan’s new office in the Department of the Taoiseach are still empty, but on the desk of the country’s first Minister of (...)