Edna O’Brien: Doesn’t think she could have written so much had she been married. Photograph: Barbara Lindberg/Rex

Edna O’Brien, once Ireland’s most scandalous woman, arrives in the lobby of the Merrion Hotel and praises a scent that she traces to an arrangement of(...)

Colm Toibin: ‘I was editor of Magill at 27. I wrote my first novel as a way of keeping the daily business of Garret Fitzgerald and Charlie Haughey and all those stories at bay.’ Photograph: Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images for BFI 2:37

Colm Tóibín is not just famous; he has a public persona. The red-framed spectacles that hang round the writer’s neck are not quite so well known as(...)

‘She felt a small, quiet panic rise up inside of her. It was the panic of a swimmer who has drifted out, little by little, on a rogue current and w(...)

Brian Friel “was fatherly, kind, practical and funny. He seemed to look deep into the centre of things.” File photograph:  Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

It all began with a note, welcoming me to sit in on the dress rehearsal of the revival of his masterwork, Faith Healer. Brian Friel said it wou(...)

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 (...)

The power of great literature lies in its ability to reflect society. Writing about John McGahern, the American author John Updike called it “that (...)

Striking Arigna miners walking to Carrick-on-Shannon, January 1969. Photograph:  Brendan Flynn

What’s history, he said I’ll tell you what it is History is the other man’s story The man who owned the pit Not the story of the likes of us Who w(...)

‘Most journalism students I have met over the years aren’t particularly interested in the listicles or churnalism that typifies the low-paid long-hours culture of what the work has become for young journalists.’ Above, Eddie Holt. Photograph: Alan Betson

When the first-year journalism BA class at DCU bounded into the Henry Grattan building on the grim-looking campus in the autumn of 2001, journalism wa(...)

Far from being an ivory tower academic, Paddy O’Carroll, the influential UCC sociologist and political scientist who has died aged 77, was a man roote(...)

Philip King of Other Voices: ‘In the west of Ireland and in west Kerry, there is a new leaving and exodus going on.’ Photograph: Colin Keegan, Collins Dublin

Seismologists in the US have noticed strange tremors and shakes coming from across the Atlantic, where the ocean meets landfall on the edge of Europe.(...)