Sigmund Freud had a name for the psychological mechanism that brings together visceral hatred and deep similarity. He called it “the narcissism of minor difference”. (Photo by Imagno/Getty Images)

Frank O’Connor, who died 50 years ago this month, fought on the anti-Treaty side in the Civil War and his first stories were about that experience. On(...)

Self-image: the 17th-century composer Turlough Carolan on the  old £50 note. Photograph: De Agostini/Getty

Recently I stayed up all night to follow a cricket match between Ireland and Papua New Guinea which, because Papua New Guinea has no first-class crick(...)

Photograph: Getty Images

Few people reading these words will need convincing that all Christmas stockings – children’s or otherwise – should contain at least one book. With (...)

Fintan O’Toole: “I thought perhaps JG Farrell might have been excluded on the basis that he was half-Irish, but so was Laurence Sterne, and Elizabeth Bowen, CS Lewis, Joyce Cary, Jonathan Swift and Iris Murdoch, none of whom was British, got in. Puzzling”

I was one of 82 foreigners enlisted for BBC Culture’s poll of the best 100 British novels. Each of us was asked to pick a top ten. Only half of mine (...)

All of Belfast was laid out at my feet with the expansive vista across the city dissolved south to the Mourne Mountains and north to the Antrim Hills.

I like Belfast. Religion may have a lot to answer for, thereabouts, but I always found this compact, redbrick city a welcoming place. Some may stil(...)

The Giant’s Causeway in Co Antrim was the top ranked Irish sight on the Lonely Planet’s list of must-see destinations worldwide. Photograph: Paul Faith/PA Wire

Six Irish attractions have made it onto a list of the world’s top 500 must-see sights of all time, compiled by guidebook publisher Lonely Planet. (...)

Publish and be hanged

Independent Newspapers’ appeal to the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) against a massive €1.25 million defamation award is a welcome, important –(...)

Jonathan Bardon: many authors, while (rightly) concerned to be scholarly, do not seem to put themselves out to be lucid, lively and just plain readable

Historian Jonathan Bardon’s works include A History of Ulster (Blackstaff Press, 1992); Belfast: A Century (Blackstaff Press, 1999); Beyond the Stu(...)

Hope Castle in Castleblayney

The new Monaghan Tourism website does not exaggerate when it describes the local landscape as “unspoiled”. The county of the little hills is indeed(...)

Famine memorial

Sir, – Further to Paul Robinson’s letter (June 10th) on Edward Delaney’s Famine memorial in St Stephen’s Green Park, the Office of Public Works is pla(...)