Illustration: Thinkstock

Ireland will get its first Laureate for Fiction in January 2015, chosen from a longlist of 34 writers announced recently. The €150,000 laureateship(...)

The duchess of Cornwall speaks at the awards dinner for the 2014 Man Booker Prize at the Guildhall in London, on Tuesday. Photograph: Reuters

THE OPENING LINES 1. “He should have seen it coming.” 2. “Two former lovers of Molly Lane stood waiting outside the crematorium chapel with(...)

John Banville tackles perhaps the gallery’s most famous piece, Caravaggio’s The Taking of Christ (1602). His meticulous, erudite account somehow makes us see an overly familiar masterpiece anew.

In 1944 George Bernard Shaw wrote from England to Thomas Bodkin, a former director of the National Gallery of Ireland, to ask whether the institution (...)

A sketch of George Moore by his friend Edouard Manet

From October 3rd-5th, the important biennial symposium at the Princess Grace Irish Library in Monaco will be entirely devoted to the Irish writer Geor(...)

Photograph: Frank Miller

He bestrides the literary world, a writer who sparkles and sings in company, then goes home to one of his rather nice bases in Dublin, Wexford, Flo(...)

John Banville, ‘the Proust of Ireland’, pictured in Dublin in 2002. “His prose is very dense, and he goes out in a peculiar way; to observe people.” Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

It is the dilemma of many an aspiring writer. If you want to write books and keep food on the table, it’s best to keep the day job.A character in Hadr(...)

Surprise surprise: Sheridan Smith as Cilla Black

Back in the heyday of light entertainment, Cilla Black was huge, a proper television personality whose shows Surprise Surprise and Blind Date were rat(...)

My new friend has asked me to sneak a particular word into this column. In all my 13 years writing here nobody has ever asked me to do that. Back i(...)

The Wexford hurlers’ championship odyssey was one of John Allen’s highlights this year and he is delighted to welcome Liam Dunne and his team back into the “almost contenders” section for next year’s championship. Photograph: Donall Farmer/Inpho

Imagine only one game left in this year’s Liam MacCarthy Cup. We’ve had some good entertainment again this season from these modern day Cúchulainns. H(...)

 Author John Banville with Miriam O’Callaghan   at Mindfields during Electric Picnic 2011. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons / THE IRISH TIMES

Sum up the Electric Picnic in three words Sense of community. Best festival experience/memory as a punter? Elbow late at night at Electric Picnic a fe(...)