John McGahern: ‘The Dark shines a light into an unsavoury Ireland that many would have preferred to keep hidden at all costs.’ Photograph:  Frank Miller

It is difficult to believe that 50 years have passed since 260 advance copies of John McGahern’s second novel, The Dark, were seized by Irish Customs (...)

Jack Marrinan (right) at a GRA delegate conference in 1979. Photograph: Eddie Kelly/The Irish Times

John Marrinan, who has died aged 81, was a key moderniser of policing in Ireland. Always known as Jack, he was assigned to protection duties at the ho(...)

Jack Marrinan: was GRA general secretary for 27 years. Photograph: Matt Kavanagh

The death has taken place of Jack Marrinan, one of the key figures in the development of the Garda Representative Association (GRA), which represents (...)

Archbishop of Dublin John Charles McQuaid: at the end of the second Vatican Council, he said: “You may have been worried by talk of changes to come. Allow me to reassure you: no change will worry the tranquillity of your Christian lives.”

The second Vatican Council closed 50 years ago this year, having begun in October 1962. One of the major changes it ushered in was the saying of the M(...)

 Bishop Kevin Doran, Bishop of Elphin maintained  that “people who have children are not necessarily parents” and “perhaps in some cases people are gay because of contexts”. Photograph: Alan Betson / The Irish Times

Towards the end of his long reign as Catholic Archbishop of Dublin, from 1940 to 1972, John Charles McQuaid became increasingly shrill in his interven(...)

Ashurst, Military Road, Killiney was bought for €4.065 million

Home to some of the largest residential properties in Dublin, Killiney has long been the chosen address of many of the capital’s wealthiest and bes(...)

A woman touches an icon of the Virgin Mary during a pilgrimage to    Lourdes .... “inside the Domain, there is a intensely spiritual atmosphere, even when you are not taking part in a procession”. , southwestern France, on August 24,   (Photo: Remy Gabalda/AFP/Getty Images)

Until last week, I had never been to Lourdes, which is an admission, I suppose, on a par with Fintan O’Toole letting it be known that he had only rece(...)

Reflected glory: the Ha’penny Bridge. Photograph: William Asanome/Getty

When such a scholarly, encyclopaedic exploration of our capital city as this highly readable new study by David Dickson is published, one benedictiont(...)

‘The home in Tuam closed before I was born.’ Above, people leave candles and mementoes during a march and vigil last week  in memory of the Tuam babies. Photograph:  Brian Lawless/PA

Even though I am currently in Indianapolis on sabbatical, even at a distance of 4,000 miles it’s impossible not to feel people’s shock at reports of w(...)

 Sally Mulready is a former resident of a mother and baby home on the Navan Road, Dublin. Photograph: Cyril Byrne / The Irish Times

Sally Mulready, the London- based Irish community campaigner, has welcomed an inquiry into Ireland’s mother and baby homes and has sought a meeting(...)